Gulf News is a UAE-based media outlet and, before we delve into the article they ran today, we simply must point out that the UAE is not a free country, a free society or a nation in which the media enjoys freedom. In fact, just the opposite. The UAE is essentially a monarchy. So Gulf News cannot be regarded as independent to begin with.
Gulf News ran a story today that was published by the Associated Press which was critical of efforts by the NYPD to gather intelligence on Jihadist terror plots and groups by “spying” on Muslims.
The article is perfectly ridiculous for a variety of reasons, but the fact that Gulf News picked it up is doubly so, because if a non-Muslim gets caught kissing his girlfriend in public even in Dubai, he’s looking at jail time.
Then there’s some pesky facts as to why the NYPD might need to keep an eye on Muslims and mosques in particular. We have a breaking news bulletin for the folks at Gulf News: the overwhelming majority of terrorist plots and attacks in the US seem to involve Muslims. This is particularly true in New York, where, to name a few, we’ve seen the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the September 11th attacks and the attempted bombing in Times Square, all perpetrated by Muslims.
This doesn’t make all Muslims bad people or terrorists. But in the intelligence world, you need to gather your intelligence from locations and sources that make sense. And watching Methodist churches in the Catskills or Catholic school girls in Schenectady isn’t likely to produce any actionable intelligence to head off a terrorist attack.
Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that mosques and the Imams who oversee them have been involved in material support for terrorism, so it makes sense for the NYPD to attempt to save lives of all kinds of people by gathering intelligence on Muslims in mosques.
It’s as simple as that.
After all, it’s not like it is highly unusual for Muslims in America to be involved in Jihadi plots:
But now we come to the real irony when it comes to a UAE-based media outlet whining about intelligence gathering involving surveillance of Muslims.
Back when the 9/11 Commission was interviewing witnesses and officials, they received testimony from former CIA director George Tenet, who had been CIA director under both Clinton and Bush. In sworn testimony before the commission, Tenet revealed that the US missed an opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden in an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan because the raid had to be called off due to the presence of members of the UAE royal family in the camp. It seems that the UAE royals were great friends with Bin Laden and shared his love of falconry. So, periodically, they’d load up a bunch of SUVs in a C-130 (bought from US manufacturer Lockheed) and fly out to go falconing with Bin Laden. They’d leave the SUVs behind for their good buddy when they scampered back in to the Hercules for the trip back home.
So, excuse us if we remain unimpressed by Gulf News’s whining about intelligence gathering targeting Muslims. In fact, we hope someone in the CIA has the good sense to keep a close eye on the UAE, given their past.