Thursday, March 10, 2011

Useful Idiots Play a Numbers Game

You can number the Ceeb's Neil Macdonald as one of those who, having crunched the numbers, believes there's no need for any congressional probe into the radicalization of American Muslims:
...Consider, for example, that so far at least, [Congressman Peter] King's witness list does not contain the name of Charles Kurzman, a professor of sociology of the University of North Carolina.
Kurzman examines things like the number of Muslim-Americans who perpetrated or were suspected of perpetrating attacks since 9/11: 24 in 2003, 16 in 2006, 16 in 2007, a spike of 47 in 2009, and a drop to 20 in 2010. A total of 161 over nearly 10 years.
The 2009 spike, he notes, was due to a group of 17 Somali-Americans who decamped to join Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, in Somalia and posed little direct threat to the U.S.
The number of Muslim-Americans he identified as having plotted against U.S. targets in 2009 was 18. Last year it was 10...
Kurzman counts a total of 33 victims, which should probably also be set against the fact that since 9/11 there have been about 150,000 murders in this country, or about 15,000 a year.

Kursman's (sic) report goes on to say that "it may be useful to put these figures in perspective." And it will be interesting to see whether King and his committee do the same. In 120 post-9/11 plots identified by Kurzman — plots in which authorities learned of the plans in advance and disclosed their source of information — the single greatest source (48 cases) has been tips from the Muslim-American community itself.
In a few cases, Muslim groups have even turned in provocateurs urging jihad who turned out to be undercover police agents...
Do these numbers mean that the threat of global jihad has been overblown? Or do they reflect the fact that, most of the time, the U.S. has been pretty effective in keeping terrorists at bay? (Similarly, is the vast reduction in the number of Israelis killed by jihadi terrorists reflective of a reduced terror threat, or of the effectiveness of Israeli measures that make it far more difficult for terrorists pull off a successful attack?)

The website Religion of Peace keeps a running tally of jihadi terrorist incidents and casualties. Neil and the sociology prof might want to take a looky-loo and crunch those numbers, too.

Update: Get a grip, Keith.

Update: How clever of those who don't want the probe to go ahead to try to focus on the probe's validity (or lack thereof) instead of on the Muslim radicalism.

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