Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Trends on Global Terrorism: Islamic And Leftist Terrorists

The recently declassified NIE report on terrorism contains an interesting paragraph:

"Anti-U.S. and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint." It continues: "We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train and obtain logistical and financial support."

As Glenn Greenwald points out, the report says nothing about right-wing terrorist groups (remember Timothy McVeigh?).

Why does this matter? Because of this:

That this claim about "leftist" terrorist groups made it into the NIE summary is particularly significant in light of the torture and detention bill that is likely soon to be enacted into law. That bill defines "enemy combatant" very broadly (and the definition may be even broader by the time it is enacted) and could easily encompass domestic groups perceived by the administration to be supporting a "terrorist agenda."

Combine this with the disappearance of habeas corpus and you would have the beginnings of a police state. It is very important to understand how individuals are defined as "enemy combatants" in the proposed bill and to make certain that this definition isn't general enough to allow almost anyone to be caught in the net and then "disappeared". Even if the government wouldn't do such a thing, what safeguards do we have against individuals working in the system committing just such acts against their own private enemies?
Here are the House votes on the bill.