Europe's Mujahideen

Where Mass Immigration Meets Global Terrorism

By Robert S. Leiken on April 1, 2005

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Immigration and terrorism are independent social phenomena stemming from dissimilar causes and with radically different objectives. To explore the relationship between the two will raise academic eyebrows and generate the usual accusations. But if we want to connect the dots, we can hardly do less. The two phenomena have grown spectacularly in the past several decades, becoming mass immigration and global terrorism. And they converge in Western Europe.

Television commentators regularly fret about terrorists crossing our southern border concealed in a torrent of illegal immigrants. National media attention is riveted on the Middle East. But the nightmare of Department of Homeland Security officials with whom I talk is not the Mexican border or the Middle East. They lose sleep over Muslim immigrants from enlightened Western Europe.

At the Nixon Center we have investigated 373 suspected or convicted terrorists who resided in or crossed national borders in Western Europe and North America since 1993.1 Despite extensive search our matrix did not include any mujahiddeen with ties to al Qaeda entering from Mexico, In contrast, we found 26 subjects who used Canada as a host country. Moreover, while the U.S. asylum system has been relatively secure, Canada and European are regularly abused by terrorist asylum claimants. Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian who tried to bomb the Los Angeles airport, availed himself of the Canadian asylum system.

Canadian authorities have pointed to the existence of Islamist support cells in Canada and have identified 50 terrorist groups composed of 350 individuals in their country.2 In Mexico on the other hand, the Arab Muslim population is miniscule and there is no evidence so far of any support cells. As for the Middle East, the Department of Homeland Security has stationed law enforcement agents in capitals such as Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Casablanca, Jakarta, Islamabad and Riyadh (and Jeddah), specifically to investigate visa applicants suspected of ties to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.3 The CIA and FBI focus like a laser beam on travelers from that region.

Meanwhile, in Western Europe, the two trends of mass immigration and global terrorism intersect visibly and dangerously. For more than a decade the region has formed a haven for Middle Eastern "dissidents," often a.k.a. mujahideen, and for graduate students like Mohammed Atta. But these visitors or first generation immigrants are by no means the only source of concern. The murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Dutch Muslim of Moroccan descent served notice for a new generation of mujahideen born and bred in Europe and the object of focused al Qaeda post-9-11 and post-Iraq recruitment. Because these children of guestworkers are European born, they are citizens entitled to passports. And they are also entitled to enter the United States without so much as an interview by a U.S. official. That is because European countries enjoy a reciprocal agreement with the United States called the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

The new mujahideen are European born and bred and products of a little noticed convergence of migratory networks and terrorist cells. In addition, European Muslim recruits can form the al Qaeda cells most apt to plot a course in the United States. The second-generation terrorists speak European languages, handle computers, surf the internet, exchange e-mail, and are familiar with post-industrial infrastructures and customs. Unlikely to be watchlisted, the new mujahideen not only navigate a modern society but can enter the United States freely. But terminating the VWP would exact a heavy bureaucratic, financial and diplomatic price and would be a major blow to U.S.-European relations and constitute a strategic misstep. This paper proposes to mending, not ending, the VWP.

Recent Trends in Mass Migration and Global Terrorism

More than 175 million persons currently reside in a country other than where they were born, about 3 percent of world population.4 The number of migrants more than doubled between 1970 and 2000.5 Though overall population growth began slowing during the 1980s, international migration continued to grow substantially, at about twice the rate of population growth.6 Demographers project an increase in the world population to approximately nine billion by 2050, including some 230 million migrants.7 The annual flow of migrants is now somewhere between five and 10 million people.8

The surge in contemporary mass migration can be attributed to a synergy of the three conditions that each individually encourages migration. These are demand/pull from receiving countries, supply/push from source countries, and last, but not least, networks that link supply and demand. It is worth pausing at this last condition, one that is often poorly appreciated.

As Thomas Sowell showed, migration research consistently reveals a flow from "particular destination points… to particular points of origin."9 For example, as I have noted elsewhere :

Migrants from different parts of China have settled in corresponding places in Thailand, Indochina, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States. Two towns four miles apart in northern Italy sent the bulk of their respective emigrants to opposite sides of the Australian continent. In Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Rochester, and San Francisco (as well as Buenos Aires and Toronto) Italians from specific towns and villages ‘concentrated in particular neighborhoods or even streets.’ Polish Jews settled in different lower east side New York streets from Russian, Hungarian and Romanian Jews…..As far back as the 1920’s it was evident that Mexicans from specific villages were migrating to particular zones in U.S. towns. American researchers were already indicating "a tendency for migrants from particular sending areas to be channeled to specific districts in American cities.10

If there is a single "law" in migration, the late Myron Weiner wrote,

[I]t is that a migration flow, once begun, induces its own flow. Migrants enable their friends and relatives back home to migrate by providing them with information about how to migrate, resources to facilitate movement, and assistance in finding jobs and housing.11

In our times this chain migration has given rise to an unprecedented institutionalization of immigration. Aspects of institutionalization include, among other things, the rise of remittances as a major factor in current account balances in developing countries, alien smuggling networks, original phenomena such as transnationality and dual citizenship, and "the migrant syndrome" which carves out adult populations from sender communities leaving the latter merely hollow juxtapositions of nurseries and nursing homes. But the aspect of institutionalization most relevant to terrorism is "channeling," ad hoc immigrant streams that run from specific sender communities to specific host communities.12

Nearly 93 per cent of Algerian immigrants go to France and similar channels exist between Morocco and Spain, Turkey and Germany, Pakistan and Britain, and Morocco and the Netherlands. Regionally, Latin America sends its migrants to the United States (and more recently to Spain) while the Middle East, especially North Africa, channels its migrants primarily to Western Europe.

Modern mass immigration differs from past international migration in part because it encompasses the globe. Since World War II, channels of migration have burrowed the planet, primarily but not exclusively from developing countries to developed ones. In 2000, migrants comprised 8.7 percent of the population in developed countries, while accounting for but 1.5 percent in developing countries.13 The south-north axis of immigration is deepening: in 1965, Western industrialized countries absorbed 36.5 per cent of international migrants as compared to 43.4 per cent in 1990.14 Today nearly one of 10 persons living in the more developed regions is a migrant as opposed to one of every 70 persons in developing countries.15 From 1995-2000, the more developed regions of the world received nearly 12 million migrants from the less developed regions, an estimated 2.3 million migrants per year. The largest gains per year were made by the United States and Canada, which together absorbed nine million, followed by Europe with four million.16

The Special Case of Western Europe

In 2000/2001 approximately 22 million foreign nationals resided in Western Europe, comprising over 5.5 percent of the total population.17 The Western European situation is unique because these were generally not countries of immigration (in dramatic contrast from the United States and Canada).18 The uneasy encounter between immigrants from developing countries and peoples unaccustomed to immigration was heightened by the provenance of the predominantly Muslim newcomers. Arab Muslims, who comprised the bulk of immigrants in countries such as Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Spain, appear to be especially retentive of their original cultures, especially of certain religious practices which set them apart. They are extreme examples of a general phenomenon, again signaled by Weiner more than a decade ago when he was,

struck by the diminished pace of assimilation by immigrants in many host countries and by the eagerness of migrants to retain ties with their countries of origin, now made easier by the growth of a system of global communication and the low cost of international travel….19

Mass immigration in Western Europe is firstly a legacy of guest worker programs adopted in the 1950s and 1960s to import inexpensive labor to cover a perceived labor shortage during a period of rapid growth and to shore up less competitive industrial sectors.20 These migrants were labeled "guest" workers, but practically all scholars agree that guestworker policies resulted in unanticipated and, to a certain degree, unwanted, settlement.21 Workers who initially intended to stay temporarily brought in spouses and children or started new families and once temporary workers became permanent. Meanwhile the guestworkers developed rights and political allies. They promptly exercised their prerogative to have their families join them, despite efforts by authorities to discourage such family reunification. Once children were born and went to school in Western European cities, these temporary workers tended overwhelmingly to become permanent.22 By the time adverse economic conditions stirred governments to try to enforce original understandings of return, many foreign workers "had such long continuous residency due to permit renewal that they could not be forced to return home."23

If these "temporary" workers became permanent, via family reunification policies, they also formed part of an ongoing accumulation of immigrants. Not only is chain immigration a "law," as Weiner reminds us, but immigration almost invariably produces another "chain," a generational one. Thus it is somewhat misleading to state that:

[T]he composition of the foreign population in Western Europe is a reflection of successive waves of post-war migration associated first with labor shortage and more recently (especially since the mid-1970s) with family reunion and formation, as well as the flight of refugees. 24

The statement is misleading not only because "labor shortage" is not a neutral, objective term (shortage at what wage?), it also is illusive to conceive of immigration merely as a sequence of "waves" for these waves form a pool, or a sea, of descendants. What’s more the passage to the host society cannot be taken for granted, especially in the 21st century and even more especially in Western Europe. Just as the United States hosts a politically potent Latino community (an unintended consequence of an unbroken wave of Latino migration dating from the adoption of its guestworker—Bracero—program in 1942), Western Europe hosts a comparable Muslim community as a result of guestworker, family reunification, and broad asylum policies.

But the footprint of the European Muslim immigrant community is far heavier and more visible than that of America’s "problem" Latino community.25 Western Europe hosts an extremely challenging second and third Muslim immigrant generation who are citizens. To speak more bluntly, Western Europe, in a fit of absent mindedness, during which it became common for Western intellectuals to speculate on the obsolescence of the nation-state, has acquired not a colonial empire this time but an internal colony whose numbers are roughly equivalent to a Saudi Arabia in the heart of Europe.

A portion of this population offers a challenge to social cohesion (what some European scholars call "societal security") and a small fraction presents an international security threat.26 That last is because migratory networks and terrorist cells increasingly overlap, as illustrated by the Madrid bombings and by the Van Gogh incident.

In the late 1990s the European public began to grow restive in the face of perceived government failure even to identify the sources of "insecurity" (a politically correct French code word for vandalism, delinquency, and violent assaults often linked to immigrant enclaves), still less to reduce it, and policies that failed either to regulate the arrival of immigrants or to integrate their new neighbors. In the 21st century, extremism and terrorism emanating from the same population has converted discontent into electoral rebellion and crisis, as in the foulard (headscarf) controversy in France, the asylum crisis in Great Britain, and the reaction to Van Gogh’s hideous assassination. Pro-immigration lobbies and scholars often treat the connection of Islamist terrorism and international immigration with condescension or invective. But this defensive stance will not withstand what Solzhenitsyn called "the pitiless crowbar of events."27

Trends of Terrorism

Like international migration, global terrorism presented a rising trajectory in the period 1970-2003. To capture the tendencies of global terrorism we analyzed the RAND-MIPT database on terrorism, a convenient tool for quantitative and analytical research.28 We focused on the targets listed by RAND that could be indisputably classified as civilian.29 We looked at the evolution of casualties from terrorist attacks on civilians from 1968 to 2003 and found a clear trend of targeting the civilians in larger numbers. To quantify this trend more precisely we arrived at a terrorist casualty ratio per year—total victims (injured+killed) / total incidents. We then calculated the averages of these ratios for the 1970s (1970-1979), 1980s (1980-1989), the 1990s (1990-1999) and for 2000-2003. We found an average casualty per incident rate of 4.47 for the 1970s, 4.87 for the 1980s, 12.29 for the 1990s, 14.49 for the period 2000-2003.

The sharp rise in casualties corresponds to the emergence of Islamist terrorism. During the 1970s and 1980’s the predominant terrorist groups responsible for the most casualties were secular (largely nationalist, anarchist, or fascist). In the 1990’s those groups were supplanted by religious, typically Islamist, groups, and we witnessed a corresponding rise in both casualties per incident as well as lethality. We calculated and compared the casualty rates for the two kinds of groups between 1968 and 2003. We found 3.27 casualties per incident for the secular nationalist groups and 27.05 casualties per incident for the religious groups. By the same token, the lethality ratio (total dead / incidents) is 0.92 for the secular groups and 38.4 for the religious groups.30 (See Appendix,)

Thus in the very period that mass immigration to the West rose, there was a parallel rise in mass terrorism. It would be shallow and misleading to link these two trends in a sensational way. As we indicated from the outset if mass immigration and mass terrorism may be said to stem from similar causes (globalization, "imperialism," modernization et al.), they have different social sources and objectives. Our point here is that these two phenomena converge in Western Europe. This convergence poses the least appreciated threat to Western security today.

U.S. and European Muslims

If it is to strike the United States, al Qaeda, as a 9-11 Commission Staff Report phrased it, has "a travel problem:" how to transport mujahideen from their breeding grounds to their target areas.31 To understand why this task is both necessary and feasible, we must glance at the Muslim communities in the United States and Western Europe.

So far those American Muslims receptive to jihad have expressed it by supporting Palestinian Islamist groups, in funding terrorism, not committing it. To strike at the United States, it appears that al Qaeda generally must rely on infiltration as opposed to domestic "sleeper cells" and recruitment, though there are rare examples of the latter, such as the case of Iyman Faris, the Ohio trucker-and naturalized U.S. citizen, who attempted to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. (In the light of the Islamization of major American Islamic groups and mosques, one cannot discount the emergence of American sleeper cells in the future. For a discussion of this, see Bearers, chapter 4).

As opposed to their American counterparts who enter a settler country, "a country of immigration," in Western Europe immigration is generally a recent phenomenon occurring in less expansive geographical units. Partly for that reason, immigration in many European countries has become a national issue in a way and to a degree that has yet to happen in the United States. But what most sharply distinguishes European from American immigrants is their provenance, in the former most often from Muslim countries. Moreover, European Muslim immigrants tend to be indigent and to live in enclaves unlike their American counterparts. European Muslims typically live in banlieues (outer "inner cities"). American Muslims tend to be educated professional or business people who are far more affluent than their European equivalents.32

Western censuses do not inquire into faith, making for wide discrepancies in estimates of Muslim immigrant populations, with government and journalistic estimates tending to be larger than those of scholars. Either set of calculations may be influenced by political considerations. Nevertheless we can make some rough estimates of the numbers of Muslims residing in those countries, with the predominant source country in parenthesis. Demographers believe that the U.S. Muslim population does not exceed three million, less than 2 percent of the population.33 In France (Algerian, Moroccan) that population reaches 7 to 10 percent (news reports suggest five to seven million Muslims reside in France) with government figures on the higher scale and academics coming in as low as 3.7 million.34 The Netherlands Muslim (Moroccan) population reaches one million or 6.2 percent of the country’s 16 million people. Germany’s Muslim population (Turkish) is about 3.7 percent (approximately three million) and Belgium’s 3.7 percent.35 The U.K number is 2.7 percent or about two million, but radical fundamentalism prevails in many British mosques and communities.36 Thus France and the Netherlands have the largest Muslim populations as a percent of their population, followed by Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Britain at around 3 percent. Norway, Finland, and Ireland have among the smallest Muslim populations in Western Europe, under one percent.

Muslims form the majority of immigrants in most Western European countries, including Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany or, as in the U.K., the largest single component. Moreover, while America’s Muslims are diffused geographically and are fragmented ethnically, European Muslims tend to congregate in enclaves or even ghettoes. We have not been able to go beyond estimates as to the numbers of immigrants from specific countries (e.g. Tunisians in Italy or Moroccans in the Netherlands). Our matrix of 373 terrorists found more French nationals than nationals of Pakistan and Yemen combined. Likewise we found more Britons than Sudanese, Yemenis, Emiratis, Lebanese, or Libyans. These results highlight the Western European Muslim immigrant component of international terrorism.

The Van Gogh Slaying: A Harbinger?

"He was an average second generation immigrant," said the chairman of a Dutch parliamentary commission that reviewed the immigration record of Mohammed Bouyeri.37 Bouyeri’s ritual slaying of Theo Van Gogh, a boorish Muslim-bating Dutch filmmaker, rocked the Netherlands and surrounding countries in the first days of November 2004, while Americans were absorbed by the presidential election. European counterterrorist authorities saw the killing as an historic development of the terrorist threat. The danger was no longer perceived as coming from visitors from the Middle East but "unknown individuals" within the country swept up in the radicalization of resident Muslim youth.38 If the Hamburg cell was composed of student visitors and the Madrid bombings were committed by Moroccan legal residents, Van Gogh’s killer was born and bred in Europe. He was a citizen eligible for a passport and could easily have traveled to the United States to commit mayhem.

Bouyeri, the child of Moroccan immigrant workers, was raised in a proletarian area of west Amsterdam sometimes called "Satellite City" owing to the dishes protruding from virtually every balcony, tuned to al Jazeera and Moroccan television. Bouyeri’s parents, who never learned Dutch, arrived in a wave of immigration in the 1970s. But Bouyeri graduated from the area’s best high school. His transformation from promising student to mujahid follows a pattern of young Muslims in Europe recruited by Islamic militants and trained to slaughter Westerners.

Dutch authorities say Bouyeri was one of several Muslim militants who changed apartments regularly as part of "Hofsad group." This group had made contacts with like-minded groups in Spain, Morocco, Italy and Belgium and reportedly was planning a series of bombings in the Netherlands. The network also included a Dutch-Moroccan arrested earlier in 2004 with bomb-making materials and detailed plans of several Dutch government installations, including the country’s only nuclear power plant. The group targeted other prominent Dutch politicians, the Hague parliament, the Amsterdam-Schipol airport, and the nuclear plant of Borselle and planned to assassinate the President of the European Commission. The leader of the group is thought to be Abdeladim Akoudad, a Moroccan linked to the Moroccan Islamic Combat Group connectedto both the Madrid and Casablanca bombings, who has been jailed in Spain since October 2003. Various European intelligence services connect the group with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and a Syrian coordinator involved with jihadis in Iraq and with Salah Eddine Benia, one of the operational chiefs of Al Qaeda.39

Bouyeri resided with several collaborators in an apartment where police seized fundamentalist literature and videos. Throughout Western Europe, Islamist recruiters distribute literature and propaganda openly on streets like Bouyeri’s and in the kind of mosque he attended. A report from the AIVD, the Dutch intelligence and security service, noted that al Qaeda was "stealthily taking root in Dutch society" by recruiting alienated Dutch-born Muslim youths in mosques, cafes and prisons.40 The report describes how recruits watch jihad videos; attend readings, congresses, and Islamist summer camps; and discuss jihad and Islamic martyrdom in Internet chat rooms. An AIVD spokesperson labeled the Van Gogh murder "a Dutch plot, homegrown terrorism."41 Islamism has become "an autonomous phenomenon" in the Netherlands, according to the report, signifying that without any influence from abroad some youths are embracing the radical fundamentalist line. The same could be said about the youth culture in the Muslim enclaves of Belgium, Britain, France, and Spain.42

In neighboring Belgium, a socialist senator of Moroccan origin, known for her criticism of fundamentalist ways within immigrant Muslim communities, went into hiding after receiving death threats, taken far more seriously after Van Gogh’s murder. Widespread in Europe has been the recognition that public figures critical of Islamism have become terrorist targets. Earlier in the fall terrorists targeted Madrid’s National Court where Baltazar Garzon, the prosecutor investigating al Qaeda’s Spanish links holds court. The German foreign ministry’s counter-terrorist chief says "for the terrorists assassinations are cost-effective: public attention is maximized but no civilians and no Muslims are killed as in Madrid, so negative fall-out is reduced."43

Fears abound that Belgium may be approaching the boil of the Netherlands, with the complication of a profound north-south ethnic divide. The week of the Van Gogh killing authorities banned the Vlaams Blok, the populist and popular party in the Flemish (Dutch-speaking) part of the country which has denounced excessive Muslim influence. The party, now operating under a new name, demands separation from Belgium and ties with the Netherlands. The Minister of Internal Affairs declared that the government was determined to take up pursuing a plan occasioned by the Madrid bombings to crack down on radical Islamism.44 However, the French south wants milder measures than the Flemish north. Like the Netherlands before the emergence of Pim Fortuyn (the left-wing activist who roused latent opposition to Muslim immigration and whose assassination by an animal rights activist galvanized the country), Belgium appears split between multiculturalism and nativism. But there is a widening consensus that Muslim integration has failed.45

Fifty-seven percent of Germans polled two weeks after the event said they thought there was a "very high risk" that events like the murder of Theo Van Gogh could happen soon in Germany.46 "Holland is everywhere," observed Dieter Wiefelspütz, the Social Democratic Party’s domestic expert. Christian Democrat leader Marcus Söder said, "When we look at the recent events in the Netherlands, we see a clash of civilizations in full, and we must prevent anything similar from evolving here… "47 Leading moderate German Muslim groups organized a mass rally in Cologne against terrorism. Even as France was coping with reaction to its banning of the Muslim headscarf (foulard) to deter growing Islamist radicalism in public schools, a similar controversy was brewing in Bavaria. Meanwhile Spain and Italy were arresting Moroccans involved with the Madrid bombing and Italy was opening four more reception centers for illegal immigrants, mainly from Muslim North Africa. Italy and Germany earlier this year floated a controversial plan for the European Union to build reception and information centers in North African countries to prevent illegal migrants from crossing the often perilous seas to Italy, Malta, and Spain. The plan failed to win approval from other European countries, including France and Spain, and was rejected by human rights organizations as tantamount to erecting "concentration camps in the desert."48

A recent New York Times report stated:

The conservative Islamic revival that has swept the Arab world from the Middle East to North Africa in recent years has reached Europe, where frustrated second- and third-generation Arab immigrants frequently say they feel rejected by European society.49

Yet no Western country had gone further than the Netherlands in accommodating its Muslim immigrants. Priding themselves on their trademark tolerance of minorities and dissenters, the Dutch welcomed tens of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers escaping wars and turmoil in Muslim countries. The immigrants then could avail themselves of generous welfare benefits and an affirmative action hiring policy. The state funded Muslim religious schools that isolated many migrant children from mainstream Dutch life. There are about 300,000 individuals of Moroccan descent in the Netherlands today.50 Public television sought to woo them with programs in Moroccan Arabic (Drama). Bouyeri was collecting unemployment benefits when he murdered Van Gogh.51 The Muslim birthrate is double that of the native Dutch, whose former European Union commissioner Frits Bolkestein claims that cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht will have "non-European" majorities within a couple of generations if current trends continue.52

But continuity appeared the least likely option after the overwhelming Dutch reaction to the assassination, which was only the latest phase in the Netherlands’ rejection of liberal immigration and multicultural immigrant policies and the culmination of what might be called a neo-conservative revolution in the country sparked by Fortuyn. After the killing, the Prime Minister, fearing widespread violent demonstrations, urged citizens to stay home and view the victim’s cremation on television. More than half of Holland’s total television audience watched live on TV. The Immigration Minister announced legislation allowing the deportation of Islamic radicals even if they are Dutch citizens.53 Lawmakers contemplated repealing stringent laws banning government surveillance of religious church organizations dating from the war against Catholic Spanish rule. The government tabled laws closing mosques if they engage in activities contrary to public order, banning foreign imams from running mosques, stripping dual-nationals of Dutch passports and expanding security and intelligence services and police powers of search and arrest and censoring websites and broadcasters inciting hatred.54

The murder also revealed grave weaknesses in Europe’s attempts to identify indigenous Islamic radicals. European authorities said the fragmentation of the network once connected to al Qaeda made cross-border co-operation even more urgent. Counter-terrorism experts and officials acknowledge that the failure to detect and act on the threat posed by Bouyeri stemmed in part from inadequate coordination among branches of the Dutch security service.55

Outsiders and Insiders

Scores of Muslim aliens or first-generati5on immigrants have been arrested in Western Europe since September 11, but, as we have seen, extremist fundamentalists can be found among alienated immigrant descended citizens, such as Bouyeri.56 Western Europe has two sorts of candidate Muslim terrorists. We might call them outsiders and insiders. The former, the "outsiders," are the aliens, foreign dissidents, typically students or asylum seekers, some of whom have sought refuge from anti-Islamist crackdowns in the Middle East. Among these "outsiders" are radical imams who hail from Muslim countries and who preach extreme Islamism, lend their mosques to terrorist recruiters, and sometimes serve as messengers or even leaders of terrorist groups.57 Thanks to European integration, and specifically the Schengen agreement, once these aliens secure entry into any EU country, they have access to all of them. Less mobile, but connected to these networks, are lower class first-generation immigrants, legal residents or illegal, such as the storekeepers, merchants, and criminals who perpetrated the Madrid bombings.

The "insiders," on the other hand, are actually citizens from an alienated native-born second or third generation. Like Bouyeri, these are often scions of guest workers. Sometimes they are alienated lumpen in the banlieues of Marseilles and Paris and former mill towns like Leicester or Birmingham. These jobless immigrant youth are victims of downward mobility and a kind of adversarial assimilation. But the latter, an anti-West Westernization, is illustrated more graphically by another archetypical second-generation recruit: comfortable and upwardly mobile middle-class youth, like Bouyeri, or Omar Khyam the computer student and soccer captain from Sussex, England, who dreamed of playing for his country but was arrested in April with seven other second generation Pakistanis with half a ton of explosives aimed at London. Another well heeled example is Khyam’s associate, Mohammad Momin Khawaja, the Canadian-born son of a Pakistan immigrant professor arrested plotting to coordinate the London bombing with an attack on Ottawa. Then there were the affluent "British bombers" who struck Israel in the spring of 2003. These upwardly mobile middle-class youth and the downwardly mobile slum dwellers seem to be reproducing in Western Europe the two social types that Gilles Kepel found at the base of Islamist movements in developing Islamic countries such as Algeria, Egypt and Malaysia: "the devout bourgeoisie" and the residents of shanty towns.58 The following passage represents the viewpoint of the alienated second generation (in this case a member of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood):

Neither the blood spilled by Muslims from North Africa fighting in French uniforms during both world wars nor the sweat of migrant laborers, living under deplorable living conditions, who rebuilt France (and Europe) for a pittance after 1945, has made their children … full fellow citizens. Since they are denied such recognition, the author demands, ‘Oh sweet France! Are you astonished that so many of your children commune in a stinging naal bou la France (f* France) and damn your Fathers and call them ‘infidel?’59

The second generation has been the object of officially documented recruitment efforts in Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.60 Jihad recruiters operate "in makeshift prayer halls in Brussels, Islamic bookstores in "Londonistan," smoky coffeehouses in Amsterdam, prisons in Milan."61 These candidates often subsist on the fringes of organized crime, frequently in gangs, regularly ending up in prisons where they are likely to encounter Islamist recruiters. They are the latest and most dangerous version of the "revolt of the second generation:" jobless, alienated immigrant youth, dramatic examples of "downward" or "adversarial" assimilation.62

There is no Chinese wall between first-generation immigrants (or visitors) and second-generation immigrants. There are many examples of the first influencing (radicalizing) the second, and not only in Western Europe but also the United States.63

The Madrid bombings of March 11, 2004, alerted the world to the proliferation of jihadi networks in Europe since September 11. Bin Laden now provides encouragement and strategic orientation to scores of relatively autonomous European jihadi networks that assemble for specific missions, draw operatives from a pool of professionals and apprentices, and then dissolve. In Western Europe, al Qaeda and allied groups have selected a region whose nationals can travel without the scrutiny trained on individuals from regions with a widely recognized al Qaeda presence.

European Jihadi Networks

Al Qaeda, or Bin Ladinism, now spans Europe.64 The Madrid bombers received illumination, advice, and assistance from imams and colleagues in Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and Norway as well as North Africa. After the 9-11 roundups and with growing intensity since the invasion of Iraq, Islamist terrorists have extended their European operations according to senior counterintelligence officials, classified intelligence briefings, and press reports based on secret recordings of militants.

British police estimate they have more than 60 suicide bombers on the loose, thought mainly to be second generation Muslim immigrants and converts. In London after the March 2004 Madrid bombings, the chief of police declared a terrorist attack on Britain "inevitable." Several days later his officers uncovered a plot involving nine British nationals of Pakistani origin and half a ton of ammonium nitrate. Counter-terrorist officers revealed that some of the suspects corresponded via email with mentors counseling waging "holy war" on Britain. Several of the detainees had visited Pakistan, and at least one was believed trained in a terrorist camp there.65 In August, eight more second generation Pakistani immigrants were charged with assembling the elements of a "dirty bomb." One was alleged to be in possession of reconnaissance plans for attacks on financial institutions in three U.S. cities (including the New York Stock Exchange, the Citigroup building in New York, the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, and the Prudential Building in New Jersey). The arrest came days after U.S. officials warned that al Qaeda was planning attacks against five major U.S. buildings. The alert was linked to the discovery in Pakistan of information on the computer of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, a computer engineer allegedly involved in running a communications system for al Qaeda leaders.66

One senior Moroccan official says "every country with an Arab or Muslim immigrant population now faces the problem" of sleeper cells.67 In France, fighters have been recruited for Chechnya while German groups link up with Balkan mafia gangs to procure weapons. Italy’s document-forging industry makes the country a natural place to recruit and dispatch volunteers. Spain forms a passage from North Africa to the rest of Europe as well as a staging area for attacks on Spain itself.

The Correspondence of Migratory Channels and Jihadi Networks

Of our Canadian-hosted sample, mentioned at the outset, 16 of the 26 were originally from North Africa. This high correlation between the Maghreb and Canada can be attributed to immigration channels. Many Maghrebis have at least a working knowledge of French, and existing traditional immigration networks link France and North Africa. Many of the Canadian-hosted individuals in our database of 373 jihadists, such as Ahmed Ressam, transited France before arriving in Canada, where they settled in and around French- speaking Montreal.

The Madrid bombings were carried out by Moroccan immigrants, legally resident in Spain, many mentored by a Syrian-born Spaniard alleged to be bin Laden’s operational commander in Europe. Spain has a migratory culture similar to our southwest, with Morocco a mere nine miles off-shore. The contrast between Morocco (per capita GNP $4,000) and Spain ($22,000) is the most dramatic between any two borders in the world, greater than the Mexico ($9,000) - United States ($37,800) gap and greater than that between the PRC ($5,000) and Hong Kong ($14,400). When we consider that Morocco has a population of more than 32 million, 1/3 of which is under 14, a literacy rate barely topping 50 percent (compared to Spain’s 98 percent literacy rate) and a infant mortality rate 10 times as high as Spain’s, that 99 percent of Spaniards have health insurance and only 20 percent of Moroccans, we can understand why the Spanish government has budgeted a three year plan to fortify its southern border with radar, sensors, cameras, helicopters, and an identification system.68 This correspondence between Morocco-Spain migratory networks and terrorist cells is reproduced in France vis a vis Algeria. A similar correspondence exists regarding Pakistan and Britain and Morocco and the Netherlands.

"Inside the Fortress"2

Immigration has two components: territorial (entry) and membership (naturalization, citizenship.) As Zaki Badawi, the Dean of the Muslim College in London, a mainstream Muslim leader says, the new mujahideen are already "inside the fortress." The menace of the European mujahideen cannot be met by focusing on territorial measures like immigration controls. As we have noted, al Qaeda and its confederates do not confine themselves to dusky immigrants with poor command of Western languages.

The shift from foreign to homegrown terrorists rattled Britain’s MI5 in part because the security service thought that it had taken the measure of the foreign cells. Instead their attention has been focused on new "lilywhites," a term originally applied to English terrorist recruits of the Irish Republican Army. While the family of these sleepers may originate in South Asia, they themselves were born and bred in Britain and mask their dangerous liaisons until summoned to act. They do not don Muslim attire or frequent radical mosques and are without criminal records. They are often successful young entrepreneurs or technology buffs. The MI5 raids on two groups of second generation Pakistani mujahideen in 2004 (see above) confirmed these suspicions.

In Western Europe, al Qaeda and company have selected a region whose nationals can travel without the scrutiny trained on individuals from regions with a widely recognized al Qaeda presence. Recruiters seek out Europeans with clean records, especially women and converts, who comprise fully 9 percent of our database.69 Moreover, unlike previous generations of jihadis who invited police attention with their long beards, open proselytizing and orthodoxy, the new generation of "takfiri" holy warriors assume a Western lifestyle better to pursue jihad. Takfir wal Hijra (Anathema and Exile) is a radical Islamic doctrine developed in North Africa, the source of many of Europe’s Muslim immigrants. This new al Qaeda reservoir presents a direct threat to U.S. security thanks to its members’ familiarity with modern society, in many cases their command of English, and their counter-profile characteristics.

Thus the main national security danger from immigration comes not from illegal immigration (a mere 6 percent of our sample entered illegally) or Latino immigration but from Muslim immigrants in Europe who reach the United States easily and legally through Canada or the Visa Waiver Program, which covers virtually all of Western Europe and allows passport holders to enter the United States without a visa (and thus without an interview).70 The Department of Homeland Security stated in September 2003 that terrorist "operatives have been studying countries to determine which have the least stringent requirements for entry." It does not get much easier than taking out a European passport and boarding one of the more than 200 daily flights bound to the United States from Europe.

Is Assimilation the Answer?

Whereas immigration reduction could be a vital measure to reduce the work loads of border and visa inspectors in the United States, such a policy, while certainly helpful, would by no means eradicate the security threat in Western Europe. Over the long run, to reduce meaningfully the danger that Muslim immigrant communities in Europe will shelter terrorists, Europeans must find ways to assimilate the second and third generations of their prolonged mass Muslim immigration. That is why European governments such as those in Britain, France, and the Netherlands have recently adopted programs aimed specifically at assimilating resident Muslim minorities.

Milton Gordon’s classic exposition provides the fullest answer to the question: what do we mean by "assimilation?"71 Gordon identifies seven "variables" or aspects of assimilation:

  • Cultural assimilation or behavioral assimilation (acculturation)- changing cultural patterns (e.g. religion) to host society;
  • Structural assimilation- Large scale entrance into primary groups (cliques, social networks, clubs, institutions of host society);
  • Amalgamation- marital assimilation; large scale intermarriage;
  • Identificational assimilation- development of a sense of peoplehood or ethnicity based on host society;
  • Attitudinal assimilation- absence of prejudice;
  • Behavioral receptional assimilation- absence of discrimination;
  • Civic assimilation– absence of conflict in public life, not raising issues involving fundamental values.72

For Gordon "structural assimilation" was pivotal. But his object was to describe the total process of assimilation (which may take three or four generations). Entrance into primary groups is the path to intermarriage, the overcoming of prejudice and discrimination and so forth.

But for purposes of national security, structural assimilation is not the urgent question. Most relevant from a national security perspective is "identificational assimilation." That conclusion was endorsed by a meeting of immigration and security authorities convened by the Nixon Center Immigration and National Security Program in Brussels in May 2003. For national security, loyalty is the main issue and that involves chiefly a shared "sense of peoplehood," thus identificational, assimilation. That aspect of assimilation does not require structural assimilation though it would seem to require "attitudinal" and "behavioral" assimilation. One may identify with the host country without being integrated into primary groups but one is unlikely to do so as the object of prejudice. In the United States, traditionally first-generation immigrants have come to identify with the host country without large-scale integration into primary groups, and that is still truer of the second generation.

Where identificational assimilation fails, jihad can flourish. That is the case today in many European countries with large Muslim populations. That certainly makes Muslim assimilation an important goal in the United States, but it is a goal that America appears to be achieving in the main./i>73 In Bearers we contrasted Muslim sleeper cells in France (the Kelkal cell) and the United States (the Lackawanna "cell"), one as an example of a sleeper cell made up of "unemployed, desperate youth" backed by a "fundamentalist and alienated" immigrant community and the other a failed and fragmented group composed of "fairly well adjusted youth" in a community which clearly rejected radical Islam. "Far from becoming community heroes like Kelkal, [the Lackawanna instigators] were rejected and reported."74

Identificational Assimilation

But with respect to language, education, and economic mobility, mujahideen like Bouyeri or the British bombers are assimilated, at least according to many of Gordon’s criteria. What is missing is identificational assimilation or what John Fonte calls "patriotic assimilation."75

Ruud Koopmans and Paul Statham argue that assimilation reduces immigrant political violence in homeland politics.76 However, their study did not examine the connection between assimilation and specifically Islamic violence. One might argue that what European Muslim assimilation produces is a shift of the problematique. Muslim migrant political attention moves from the national to the religious and often focuses instead on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (and lately on Iraq). This displacement evokes, mutatis mutandi, the way "adversarial assimilation" of Latin Americans in the United States has produced a symbolic Latino "racial" politics.77

Under classical "assimilation American style" the United States has pursued a mix of transmutation (Anglo-conformity), melting (fusion over generations), and cultural pluralism (a relative cultural autonomy) which does not demand sudden, dramatic assimilation in the first or even the second generation but rather a process which cedes a certain cultural autonomy not just in the private but also, to an extent, in the public square.78 The relative autonomy respecting religion pertains also to assimilation. The French ban the foulard in public schools; the Germans ban its wear by public employees. The British celebrate it. We tolerate it. Rules for the federal workplace require "government supervisors to respect individual expressions of faith by federal employees. Christians will be able to keep Bibles on their desks, Muslim women will be able to wear headscarves, and Jews can stay out on high holy days."79 One reason that assimilation seems to work better in the United States than in Europe is that the process avoids both the Charybdis of the (French) melting pot and the Scylla of pluralism and balkanization (Britain). The American compromise is squarely in the Western spirit of religious toleration: leaving the sphere of faith to the individual and political deliberation and coercion to the state.

But American assimilation has never been challenged by anything approaching the mass immigration of a community so powerfully resistant to integration for cultural reasons. (The closest analogy would be the Catholic Irish immigration of the mid-19th century which indeed produced serious strains in the mainly Protestant American society yet was far less problematic than Middle Eastern or South Asian Muslims in contemporary Europe). In Western Europe we appear to be witnessing something akin to the proverbial irresistible force meeting an immovable object. But national identity in Europe, even more so than in America, has weakened in the past half century. Among opinion-leaders the centripetal force of national identity, of a national ethos, of patriotic sentiment, of integrating institutions (like public schools and other intermediate institutions) has declined vis-a-vis the centrifugal forces of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, et al.

In an attempt to redress the balance, Europeans increasingly stress "the responsibilities as well as the rights" of immigrants.80 As mentioned, they have been instituting programs intended to integrate Muslims to "Britishness" and Dutch values" and looking for ways to develop a European form of Islam. These efforts to develop "identificational assimilation" have been intensified by September 11 and the growing jihadi threat and represent a long-range counter-terrorism strategy.

Mend, Don’t End, Visa Waiver

Like a thief in the night who tries each door, we must assume al Qaeda will probe all our borders. But when the front door is ajar, the thief will walk right in. Under the VWP that door is wide open for European Muslim citizens. Al Qaeda is likely to try that border first. Indeed, the members of the Hamburg cell that led 9-11 came by air from Europe and were treated by the State Department as Visa Waiver travelers.

Canada is the second most comfortable mujahideen access route. Terrorists crossing the border are not isolated, individual acts but collaborative efforts involving maintenance in the border country, border information, logistics, linkages to alien networks, etc. Canada offers scores if not hundreds of terrorists, often in the protracted and welfare-supported process of claiming asylum, a large Muslim immigrant population, and English and French speakers.

Though alarms are regularly sounded respecting the Mexican border, neither directness, simplicity, nor the aid of co-religionists and terrorist cells are offered by Mexico. It may seem at first glance that one can just "walk across" the Mexican border, but try getting from there to Phoenix. Since 1994, the Border Patrol has all but shut down the routes along the traditional border-jumping towns of San Diego and El Paso. As a result, alien smugglers moved traffic to sparsely patrolled but harsh desert zones in Arizona where hundreds of crossers die annually. That is where most illegal border crossers now make their treacherous way into the United States.81 Numbers of illegal aliens cross the border every week there, but these are now almost always guided by alien-smuggling rings or are repeat offenders who have contacts to carry them to a major interior city. Alien smugglers can be infiltrated by terrorist groups but also by police agents. Those who do not speak Spanish will be easily identified. It is true that OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) have crossed the border in increasing numbers, but these are mainly Spanish speakers from Central America or South America. Our most urgent national security immigration challenge involves Muslim immigrants coming from Europe (and secondarily the Middle East and Asia), who are more likely to enter by air or via Canada. This problem demands better visa and border control as well as cooperation with the Europeans (foreign policy) and U.S. DHS agents at European airports.82

Even our concern about the Mexican border should have a Western European dimension. Moroccan affiliates of al Qaeda who have learned Spanish may well home in on the Mexican border. San Diego, with its important radical Muslim community, could be a target of opportunity. Yes, the terrorist like the thief will try every door, and we must work to secure all of them. But our first priority should be the air access of European Muslims familiar with Western society and with English, in the case of not only of British but educated second- or third-generation Muslim immigrants in general.

DHS officials used to say that the Visa Waiver problem would be resolved by the US VISIT Entry-Exit system now being installed at ports of entry (POE).83 But US VISIT is a response to a pre-9/11 (and abiding) problem: illegal immigration. The 9-11 hijackers entered from Western Europe with substantially legal visas and passports. And only 6 percent of our sample of 373 jihadists entered illegally.

Moreover, if resources are best spent on improving the inspection process at POE, then why have visas at all? The answer to that question was provided at the hearings of the 9/11 Commission. The testimony by the immigration inspector who prevented the Saudi now believed to be the "20th hijacker," Mohamed al Kahtani, from entering the country at Orlando International Airport on Aug. 4, 2001, demonstrated that there is no substitute for a face-to-face interview. Kahtani’s interview was a lucky break resulting from an alert veteran inspector upon attempted entry. Interviews by DHS or European counterparts of European mujahideen candidates should occur before boarding at European airports.

Should we suspend the VWP in certain countries, as some in Congress have advocated? The State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs is already strained to enforce more stringent visa scrutiny involving longer interviews and thus more staff time. Moreover, there are comparatively low rates of visa abuse in European visa waiver countries, such that reinstating visa requirements, without very substantial appropriations to State and DHS (running into hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars), would divert staff from countries with higher rates of visa abuse.84

We must tread lightly upon an area where immigration/national security policy bleeds into foreign policy (procuring intelligence is another). We would pay a serious diplomatic price for terminating the VWP, as we have for making the visa process more arduous. Students, tourists, and business people who come to the United States contribute not only to our education, travel, and commerce, but also are usually well disposed to our country. In the current anti-American climate, to lose these friends would represent another setback for public diplomacy. By the same token, we should review the practice of adjusting visa fees to pay for our new security adjustments. Such policies only persuade foreigners, especially students who can ill afford them, that we mean to exploit them and add force to current anti-American propaganda.

Some relief from this quandary may lie in the post-9/11 electronic passenger manifest procedures that require airlines to submit information on passengers prior to their arrival to, and departure from, the United States. DHS has pilot projects using these procedures ongoing in Atlanta and at the Baltimore Washington International airport. Fifteen minutes after "wheels-up," passenger information is transmitted to DHS where it is checked against watch lists. Inspectors at the POE can be notified to detain suspects for questioning. This is a classic immigration-security moment when passengers are suspended between two countries for several hours so that their background can be checked.

But there is always the danger that the very terrorist sought en route may be by then in the process of hi-jacking the plane.85 DHS officials would prefer if the National Targeting Center needs were advised of check-in information 45 minutes before wheels up. But that would mean tacking on another 45 minutes across the board to transatlantic travel time, not a proposition likely to sit well with airlines or travelers, already complaining about long lines and searches. The same strictures would apply to a reported DHS proposal to require airlines to submit passenger information one hour before take-off.86 Instead we should insist that the airlines require that U.S.-bound transatlantic travelers submit passport information on purchasing tickets. That would give our new National Targeting Center time to check potential entrants. Then we should work with the Europeans so that European or U.S. Homeland Security officers are present at the gates to weed out those whose passports or other data are suspicious.

That procedure could be supplemented by placing DHS or foreign security officers at check-in counters for U.S.-bound flights from European airports. DHS involvement is now deemed essential for the visa process in capitals like Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Casablanca, Jakarta, Islamabad and Riyadh (and Jeddah), where DHS has recently opened law enforcement offices specifically to investigate visa applicants suspected of ties to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.87 Why are they not necessary in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome, where al Qaeda has specifically been recruiting Western-looking individuals, presumably for entrance into the United States? In addition we should revise the criteria used in periodic reviews of VWP countries to take into account terrorist recruiting and passport-issuance procedures. When necessary we should re-evaluate specific countries with the prospect of review, or ultimately termination. These measures may help persuade Western European countries to understand our concerns and encourage them to increase security cooperation where necessary. Rationing access can be a means to increased security. Mend don’t end Visa Waiver; but cast a cold eye on Europe’s new mujahideen.

A Counter-Terrorist Bridge Across the Atlantic

Islamism has Western Europe in its sights. Bin Laden’s April 15, 2004, audio tape offered a truce to Europe. A radical Islamist objective may be to transfer the region from the House of War (Dar al Harb) to the House of Truce (Dar al Ahd) and then to the House of Islam (Dar al Islam). If anything U.S. policies alienating European publics, even in countries that supported or still support the U.S. war effort in Iraq such as Spain, Poland, Italy, and Britain, may have abetted that effort. The main result of the Madrid bombings was European withdrawal from Iraq, first Spain and then gradually Italy and Poland. Now even Britain is strictly limiting its military participation. One country where support for U.S. policies in both the government and the populace remains strong is the Netherlands and that is partly thanks to popular reaction against homegrown Islamist tendencies, a European reaction on which the United States has generally failed to capitalize.

Our common interests with Europe include vulnerability to and opposition to terrorism, a common civilization, cultural and political values and institutions, and the broad threat of unregulated mass immigration. This last factor will continue to roil Western Europe and country by country there will be a reaction against aggressive Islamism, starting with the Netherlands and Belgium, fanning out to France, Britain, Germany, Spain, and Italy. It will not be our business to fan anti-immigrant sentiment, still less xenophobia, but we should join with other developed countries to foster policies for regulating and reducing immigration, for encouraging economic development in sender countries which will eventually (after a short period of increase) diminish emigration (the experiences of Italy, Spain, and South Korea are instructive here). But the first and most obvious area of U.S.-E.U. cooperation should be on the issue of counter-terrorism. Our public diplomacy has been lackadaisical in underscoring the fact that Western Europe and the US are both central targets of Islamist terrorism. Top cabinet officials should travel to Europe to present the U.S. position, engage in debate in European media, and arrange and institutionalize counter-terrorist cooperation. We should also encourage cultural interchange aimed at reasserting Western civilization as against the fashionable and weakening trend of multiculturalism, a trend that is being rejected in countries such as the Netherlands. Here again, the failures of immigration policy should reinforce efforts to unite the West.

The United States should encourage international lending institutions to grapple with the problem of emigration—currently neither the World Bank nor the INS nor any regional development bank has a program focused on reducing emigration. We should stop the short-sighted glorification of immigration as if it were simply a matter of Western compassion and economic pragmatism. It is not pragmatism to rob developing countries of initiative, entrepreneurial talents, and semi-skilled labor, to steal entire adult populations in sender towns suffering from the "migration syndrome," or to encourage dependence on remittances from abroad rather than domestic, self-sustaining growth.

Connecting the Dots

Given the awful threat it presents, why has so little been written about the convergence of global terror and international migration? I know of no academic program of Immigration and Terrorism Studies; our tiny Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center is unique. But we cannot conjure this discipline into existence by simply marrying immigration studies to terrorism studies: The relationship between terrorism and immigration is too specific for that. One has to start by establishing facts, by establishing the concrete operative connections between terrorism and immigration, and then by creating operational research categories.

Partly as a result, the fields of immigration and national security historically have had little commerce. The immigration field has been dominated by economics and "diversity." It has tilted generally to the left, attracting those whose sympathies are with the downtrodden, as well as libertarians from the right. The field of national security in general, and terrorism in particular, (again speaking broadly) has sloped right, with realists and neo-conservatives focusing on strategic and military issues and often seeking to support Western national interests, interests which some immigration specialists regarded as imperialist or obsolete. Thus, immigration specialists, taken as a whole, have viewed national security specialists, as a whole, with suspicion, while security experts have tended to regard immigration experts with disdain and immigration as an issue marginal to foreign and national security policy.

The paucity of verifiable data on terrorism (due to the secrecy of terrorists and counter-terrorists alike) means many terrorism studies are based generally on informed opinion rather than data. Andrew Silke has shown the dearth of quantitative analysis in terrorism research, especially compared with other social sciences, specifically forensic psychology and criminology. By analyzing articles published from 1995-2000, Silke found 86 percent of forensic psychology and 60 percent of criminology scholarly articles utilized statistics. In contrast, only 20 percent of the scholarly articles on terrorism attempted a quantitative analysis.88 Moreover, while there have been efforts to quantify number of victims, costs, methods of attack, and types of attack, few scholars have attempted to analyze the makeup of terrorists themselves.89 Notable exceptions to this rule are Ariel Merari’s studies of detained Palestinian terrorists and Marc Sageman’s sociological study of participants in what he terms the "Global Salafi Jihad."90 There is also precedent for studying the immigration data of terrorists, most notably by Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, whose work was narrower in scope than our own, but it blazed a trail.91 With Steven Brooke I have written a forthcoming article on the quantitative analysis of terrorism and immigration summarized in the March 21, 2005 edition of Newsweek.

Perhaps the most important reason for the deficiency we are pointing to is the taboo resulting from the politicization of intellectual and scholarly life in the West, the grip of bien pensant politics and ideology on the research agenda. In our case dogma takes the form of a powerful yet inane syllogism: immigration is about poor hard-working victims; terrorism is vile and evil. To correlate the two is to challenge an orthodoxy that expresses itself largely in a discrete silence or else in hasty generalizations. But if we want to connect the dots, we are obliged to think this connection through.

Appendix. Terrorism Statistics: Civilian Targets and Mass and Religious Terrorism

Our research is based mainly on the RAND-MIPT data on terrorism which offer a very convenient tool for quantitative and analytical research.92 The Department of State has its own data which can be found in its annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism. A comparison of the two can be found in the Johnston’s archive website.93

Looking at the Johnston’s graph the pattern is the same. However, the RAND data is usually higher. We use the RAND data and website for convenience as well as because we are looking for trends (rather than precise numbers). These would likely be the same given that the patterns are obviously the same. Table 1 shows the list of target catagories listed by the RAND website with the number of incidents, injuries and fatalities from 01/01/1968 to 11/10/2004.

Starting with this list and data, we tried to identify what we considered as Civilian Targets. We decided to integrate the following categories:

  • Airport & Airlines
  • Business
  • Educational Institutions
  • NGO
  • Private Citizens & Property
  • Tourist
  • Transportation
  • Religious Figures/Institutions

We excluded Journalists and Media as civilian targets. To identify the trend, we looked at the evolution of the deaths and injuries toll from 1968 to 2003 (2004 not being completed).

Looking at the data one can conclude that there is a general trend of targeting civilians as well as a trend toward mass terrorism. To back the conclusion on trends in Mass Terrorism, we first determined a ratio of casualties per year (Total Victims/Total Incidents). We then calculated the averages of these ratios for the 70s (1970-1979), 80s (1980-1989), the 90s (1990-1999) and for 2000-2003. As we can see there is obviously an increase of the ratios’ average since the 70s. This reflects a tendency toward mass terrorism, with a sharp increase in casualties beginning in the decade of 1990.

This coincides with the increase of the number of mujahideen groups. The RAND data show that among the most lethal during the 80s were the secular Palestinian groups. In the 90s, the most lethal were the religious or jihadi groups.

To sustain this thesis one can again make a quick (although superficial) quantitative analysis. By separating the groups that we identified as religious from the other, we get striking figures. Our calculations yield a total casualties ratio (total victims to total incidents) for the secular groups of 3.27 victims per incident. The same exercise for the religious groups gives us 27.05 victims per incident. By the same token, the lethality ratio (total dead / incidents) is 0.92 for the secular groups and 38.4 for the religious groups. Of course 9/11 contributes importantly to this high level.

We did not compare the Islamist groups to other religious for two reasons. First, because Islamist groups represent the great bulk of the total incidents, probably more than 95 percent of the total incidents. Second and foremost, the numbers and ratio might be misleading because of one specific incident, the terrorist attack of Aum Shinri Kyo which injured 5,000 persons. We would have a higher casualty ratio for non-Islamist groups which might not reflect a real trend.

Please note, however, that the time variable is not taken into consideration in this last study. The groups listed are all those that committed any terrorist deed from 1968 to 2004. Moreover, we do not make any distinction between civilians and non-civilian targets. There might also be room for discussion as to the inclusion or exclusion of some groups. This means that the final number might change by adding or subtracting some groups. However, the trends would not change.

Table: Target Catagories

Table: Terrorism Statistics by Year


1 Robert S. Leiken, "Bearers of Global Jihad: Immigration and National Security after 9-11."For these 375 al Qaeda related mujahideen, we have gathered data on name, country of birth, immigration vehicle (visa type, fraudulent documents, etc.), host country, citizenship (including whether naturalized or born in the host country to immigrant parent(s)), the legality of their immigration, evidence of document fraud (false passports or false identification papers), conversion to Islam, host country, date detained, date convicted or pled guilty, and plot implicated in, if any.

2 Canadian Security Intelligence Service, International Terrorism: The Threat To Canada Report # 2000/04, May 3, 2000; see also Deneen L. Brown, "Attacks Force Canadians to Face Their Own Threat," The Washington Post, September 23, 2001; "U.S. seeks mutual ‘security perimeter’" The Washington Times, November 26, 2001; Cindy Rodriguez, "Canada: Suspects Take Advantage of Liberal Asylum Program," The Boston Globe, November 23, 2001; Migration News, October 2001

3 Philip Shenon, "Homeland Security Dept. Planning 7 Offices Overseas to Screen Visas," The New York Times,,/i> October 7, 2003.

4 World Migration 2003. Managing Migration - Challenges and Responses for People on the Move, Volume 2 of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) World Migration Report Series, (Geneva: IOM, 2003): 4. Hereafter referred to as IOM 2003.

5 International Migration Report 2002, (New York: United Nations, 2002): 2. Hereafter referred to as UN 2002.

6 Susan F. Martin, "Global Migration Trends and Asylum," U.N. High Commission on Refugees Working Paper, No. 41, April 2001.

7 IOM 2003: 5.

8 IOM 2003: 6.

9 Thomas Sowell, Migrations and Cultures: A World View, (New York: Basic Books, 1996): 5.

10 Robert S. Leiken, ,i>The Melting Border: Mexico and Mexican Communities in the United States, (Washington, DC: Center for Equal Opportunity, 2000): 11. Available online at

12 Myron Weiner, The Global Migration Crisis, (New York: Harper/ Collins, 1995): 28.

12 Joshua S. Reichert, "The Migrant Syndrome: Seasonal U.S. Wage Labor and Rural Development in Central Mexico," Human Organization,,/i> 40:1 (Spring, 1981); see also Merilee S. Grindle, Searching for Rural Development: Labor Migration and Employment in Mexico, (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988): 37; Douglas S. Massey, Rafael Alarcón, Jorge Durand, and Humberto González, Return to Aztlan: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico, (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1987): 78, 153, 162;, Mexico-United States Binational Migration Study, (Mexico City and Washington D.C.: Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform., 1998, vol. 1): 143.

13 UN 2002: 11.

14 UN 2002: 2.

15 UN 2002: 2.

16 In just the five years from 1995-2000, the more developed regions of the world received nearly 12 million migrants from the less developed regions, an estimated 2.3 million migrants per year. The largest gains per year were made by Northern America, which absorbed 1.4 million migrants annually, followed by Europe with an annual net gain of 0.8 million.

17 John Salt, "Current Trends in International Migration in Europe," CDMG# 39, (Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2003): 11.

18 The U.S. and Canada themselves were experiencing largely new situations in that immigration was coming overwhelmingly from developing countries. European countries classification as "not countries of immigration, "see Christian Joppke, Immigration and the Nation-State: the United States, Germany and Great Britain, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999): 62

19 Myron Weiner, ed., International Migration and Security, (Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1993): xviii.

20 For a discussion of the failure of "guest" worker policies in the United States and Western Europe, see Robert S. Leiken, Enchilada Lite, (Washington, DC: Center for Immigration Studies, 2003).

21 Miller, 744; see also, Freeman, 1994: 26.

22 Stephen Castles, "The Guest Worker in Western Europe — An Obituary," International Migration Review, Vol. 20, Issue 4, (Winter 1986): 770-771; see James F. Hollifield, Immigrants, Markets and States: the Political Economy of Post-war Europe, (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1992).

23 Miller and Martin; Freeman, 1994: 26.

24 John Salt, "Current Trends in International Migration in Europe," CDMG# 39, (Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2003): 11.

25 On the problems posed by the Mexican and Latino community, see Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004).

26 Ole Waever, Barry Buzan, Morten Kelstrup and Pierre Lemaitre, Identity, Migration and the New Security Agenda in Europe, (New York: St. Martin’s 1993); Barry Buzan, Ole Waever and Jaap de Wilde, Security: A New Framework of Analysis, (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Press, 1998).

27 Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn, "A World Split Apart," Commencement Address Delivered At Harvard University, June 8, 1978.

28 . The Department of State has its own data which can be found in its annual report "Patterns of Global Terrorism" . A comparison of the two data bases can be found in the Johnston’s archive website .

29 These targets were listed in the RAND database as Airport & Airlines, Business, Educational Institutions, NGO, Private Citizens & Property, Tourist, Transportation, Religious Figures/Institutions. The categories Journalists and Media were excluded.

30 In this calculation we did not draw any distinction between civilian and non-civilian targets. Also, this does not take into account the potentially distorting effects of 9/11.

31 Staff Statement No. 1: Entry of the 9/11 Hijackers into the United States (Washington, DC: September 11 Commission, 2003).

32 Peter Skerry, "Political Islam in the United States and Europe," in Dick Clark, ed., Political Islam: Challenges for U.S. Policy, (Washington, D.C.: The Aspen Institute), 2003: 41.

33 Hillel Fradkin and Peter Skerry, remarks to the Nixon Center Immigration and National Security Forum, February 25 2004.

34 See Alain Boyer, L’Islam dans la Republique (2000) 25-6; "Connait-on les chiffres exactes de la population? Demographie: le brouillard statistique", Le Figaro, 11 January 2003.

35 Estimates given by the French fluctuate, for instance, the Washington Times reports "Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy spoke of ‘between five [million] and six million’ Muslims; the right-wing and xenophobic National Front – which wants to get rid of them – mentioned eight million, and a document by the government Secretariat of Relations with Islam used the figure of 4.2 million." Andrew Borowiec, "A religious symbol of secular conflict; Muslim headscarves spur French national debate," The Washington Times, January 11 2004.

36 For approximate percentages of population see The World Factbook, (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency), 2003. (Field Listings: Religion) available online at , accessed February 10 2004. Specific accounting of the Muslim population is usually not possible, however. Religious identity, by law, cannot be employed in French census data or government documents. Accurate sampling is further frustrated by the fact that national origin, frequently employed to determine the extent of Muslim immigration, cannot account for the degree of Islamic observance among those sociologically identified as Muslim. German figures are more conclusive. "Islam in France and Germany," CSIS Euro-Forum, March 6, 1999. Available online at , accessed February 10 2004.

37 Andrew Higgins, "A Brutal Killing Opens Dutch Eyes To Threat of Terror, The Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2004.

38 Mark Huband, "Van Gogh killing ‘highlights risk from home-grown terrorists," Financial Times (London), November 12, 2004.

39 Jean-Pierre Stroobants, «Le réseau islamiste "Hofstad" était solidement ancré en Europe», Le Monde, December 9, 2004 ; David Crawford and Keith Johnson, "Homegrown: New Terror Threat In Europe," The Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2004

40 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Joan Clement, "Crackdown on radicals as Dutch mourn film maker," The Telegraph (UK), November 10, 2004.

41 Glenn Frankel, "Muslim Suspect in Dutch Director’s Killing Was Caught Between Cultures," The Washington Post, November 28, 2004.

42 General Intelligence and Security Service, Recruitment for the jihad in the Netherlands: from incident to trend (The Hague: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations), December 2002.

43 Interview with Georg Witschel, November 17, 2004, Washington, DC.

44 Roland Planchar, "Réactions belges au «cas» Van Gogh", La Libre Belgique, November 9, 2004. Available online at

45 Bob Van den Broeck and Marie-Claire Foblets, La faillite de l’intégration? Le débat multiculturel en Flandre, (Académia/Bruylant: Louvain-la-Neuve, 2004).

46 The poll was conducted by EMNID on November 13-14 in all Germany. The poll was conducted on November 13-14 with approximately 1000 citizens above the age of 16 from all Bundesländer. EMNID, "Deutsche befürchten religiös motivierte Gewalttaten", Wirtshaftswoche, November 17 2004.

47 Georg Wedemeyer, "Ruhe vor dem Sturm?Nach dem Mord an dem Filmemacher Theo van Gogh und der folgenden Anschlagsserie in den Niederlanden schaut Deutschland auf seine Muslime," Stern, November 18, 2004; "Holland Prompts Soul-Searching in Germany," Deutsche Welle, November 16, 2004.

48 Ruth Sinai, "The EU Turns a Very Cold Shoulder to Illegal Migrants," Ha’aretz, November 29, 2004.

49 Craig S. Smith, "In Mourning Slain Filmmaker, Dutch Confront Limitations of Their Tolerance," The New York Times, November 10, 2004.

50 Craig S. Smith , "In Mourning Slain Filmmaker, Dutch Confront Limitations of Their Tolerance," New York Times, November 10, 2004.

51 Glenn Frankel, "Muslim Suspect in Dutch Director’s Killing Was Caught Between Cultures," Washington Post, November 28, 2004.

52 Ian Traynor, "Dutch liberalism stares into a troubled future as anti-Muslim backlash grows" The Guardian (London), November 13, 2004; Glenn Frankel, "Muslim Suspect in Dutch Director’s Killing Was Caught Between Cultures," Washington Post, November 28, 2004.

53 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Joan Clement , "Crackdown on radicals as Dutch mourn film maker," The Telegraph (UK), November 10, 2004; Ian Bickerton, "MP seeks closure of ‘extremist’ mosques," Financial Times (London), November 12, 2004.

54 Ian Bickerton, "MP seeks closure of ‘extremist’ mosques," Financial Times (London), November 12, 2004.

55 Mark Huband, "Van Gogh killing ‘highlights risk from home-grown terrorists,’" Financial Times (London), November 12, 2004.

56 Figures of these arrests are very difficult to obtain, but The Economist reports that between 9/11/2001 and 01/31/2003 "more than 200 Muslim terrorist suspects have been arrested in Europe," The Economist, "Tackling a Hydra," February 1, 2003. Our Matrix shows 63 arrested in Europe since 9/11; cf. Jonathan Stevenson, Counter-terrorism: Containment and Beyond, (London: IISS, 2004):27.

57 Robert S. Leiken, "Europe’s Itinerant Imams," The Weekly Standard, July 19, 2004.

58 Ibid.

59 Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003): 168.

60 Dutch police have arrested about 20 suspected Al Qaeda recruiters in the last year for crimes such as immigration offenses or document forgery, according to a Dutch official. See Sebastian Rotella, "Extremists Find Fertile Soil in Europe," Los Angeles Times, March 2 2003; See also General Intelligence and Security Service, Recruitment for the jihad in the Netherlands: from incident to trend (The Hague: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations), December 2002.

61 Sebastian Rotella, "Extremists Find Fertile Soil in Europe," Los Angeles Times, March 2 2003; Jason Burke, Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, (London: IB Tauris), 2003: 246-247.

62 A generation ago Michael Piore wrote of "the distaste for available work in settled communities with sizeable second generations whose upward mobility is blocked." Michael J. Piore, Birds of Passage: Migration, Labor and Industrial Societies, (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press), 1979: 107. The Russell Sage Foundation in New York has sponsored a series of studies on this contemporary problem in America. Recent studies of the American phenomenon include: Rubén G. Rumbaut and Alejandro Portes, eds. Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America, (Berkley, CA: University of California Press), 2001; Roger Waldinger, ed. Strangers at the Gates: New Immigrants in Urban America, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), 2001; Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut, Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), 2001; see also Herbert Gans, "The Second Generation Decline: Scenarios for the Economic and Ethnic Futures of Post -1965 American Immigrants." Ethnic and Racial Studies April 1992; Alejandro Portes and Min Zhou, "The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and its Variants," Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, November 1993; Alejandro Portes et al. The New Second Generation, (New York: Russell Sage Foundation), 1996. But the problem of the second generation is more serious in Europe and in the Middle East – Leiken, Bearers: Chapters II,IV, VI-VII. On downward or segmented assimilation see Alejandro Portes and Min Zhou, "The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and its Variants," Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, November 1993; Alejandro Portes et al. The New Second Generation, (New York: Russell Sage Foundation), 1996. For European Muslim examples see Riva Kastoryano, La France, l’Állemagne et leurs immigrës, (Paris: Armand Collin),1996: 133-58; Remy Leveau, "The Political Culture of the ‘Beurs," in Steven Vertovec and Ceri Peach, eds., Islam in Europe, (New York: Plagrave MacMillan, 1997) and Herbert Gans, "The Second Generation Decline: Scenarios for the Economic and Ethnic Futures of Post-1965 American Immigrants," Ethnic and Racial Studies, April 1992.

63 In Western Europe: The perpetrators of the terrorist attacks against French tourists in Marrakech in 1994 were second generation French Muslims under the influence of a Moroccan teacher working in France. The Beghal network in France was lead by an Algerian married to a French woman. The Kelkal network which bombed the French trains was set up by an Algerian member of GIA.; see Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search For A New Ummah, (New York: Columbia, 2004): 303n., 316. In the United States the Lackawanna group was influenced by a Saudi named Juma al Dosari (see Leiken, Bearers, chapter V.)

64 See Leiken, Bearers, chapter VI.

65 Robert Macpherson, "Mosques urged to help after police foil British bomb plot," Agence France Presse, March 31, 2004; Jason Bennetto and Kim Sengupta, "Terror Arrests: Bomb Plot’ Linked To Canada Suspect," The Independent (London), April 1, 2004; William Tinning, "‘He was not political. He wanted to play cricket for England’," The Herald (Glasgow), April 1, 2004; Rosie Cowan, Richard Norton-Taylor and Audrey Gillan , "Police search emails for trail to Pakistan," The Guardian (London), April 1, 2004; ; "Fresh arrest in UK terrorism probe,", April 1, 2004 ; "Anti-terror inquiry continues after police charge teenager," Birmingham Post (England) April 7, 2004.

66 Jason Bennetto, "Eight Accused Of Plotting UK Terror Attack," August 18, 2004; Christopher Adams, Farhan Bokhari and Frederick Studemann, "Eight terror suspects are charged over alleged US finance bomb plot," August 18, 2004; Stewart Tendler, Michael Evans and Daniel McGrory, "Gang charged with plot to hit UK with ‘dirty bomb’," The Times (London), August 18, 2004.

67 Keith Johnson and David Crawford, "New Breed of Islamic Warrior Is Emerging," Wall Street Journal, March 29,2004.

68 The World Factbook 2004, (Washington, DC: CIA Directorate of Intelligence), Available online at:

69 For years there has been a growing concern that extremists are recruiting warriors from among the disaffected Moroccan youth in the Netherlands. [Vincent van Steen, a Dutch intelligence official] said foreigners who fought or trained in Afghanistan and are now living in the Netherlands played a role in the recruitment. "These people are very influential for some radical youngsters, who see them as role models," he said. On al Qaeda recruitment in Western Europe, see Leiken, Bearers, chapter VI.

70 Under this program, tourists and business travelers from 27 countries (including all Western European countries with the exception of Greece as well as Australia, Japan and New Zealand) may enter the United States for up to six months without obtaining a visa from an American consulate overseas as is required for most other visitors (with the exception of Canadians and those living in the Mexican border region who need Border Crossing Cards). Thus Western European nationals who have been granted passports may enter the U.S. without vetting by an American consular official. In 1999 a report by the Inspector General of the Justice Department (IG) found that terrorists had applied under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) "because they believed that they would have a greater chance of successful entry." Three years later Congress’ General Accounting Office (GAO) pointed out that "The U.S. government has not systematically collected data on how frequently potential terrorists… have entered the United States under the program." Richard Reid, the hapless "shoe-bomber" (a British citizen of immigrant parents) entered the country on the Visa Waiver Program.

71 Milton M. Gordon, Assimilation in American Life: The Role of Race, Religion and National Origins, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964). Hereafter referred to as Gordon 1964.

72 Gordon 1964: 70-71.

73 That was the conclusion of Peter Skerry and Hillel Fradkin at the Nixon Immigration and National Security Forum on February 25, 2004; material presented by Steven Emerson, Rita Katz and Steven Schwartz raises serious questions about such conclusions, at least regarding what Kepel calls "the devout middle class" who control major U.S. mosques and Muslim organizations. See Steven Schwartz, The Two Faces of Islam, (New York: Anchor, 2003): ch. 8; Steven Emerson American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, (New York: Free Press, 2002); Anonymous (Rita Katz), Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America, (New York: Harper Collins, 2003).

74 Leiken, Bearers: 57.

75 John Fonte, "Homeland Politics," National Review, June 2, 2003.

76 Thus, for example, British integration of Muslims seems to have discouraged British Muslims from fighting with British Hindus. This contrasts with less integrated German Turks and Kurds who tended to clash violently in homeland disputes in Germany. French migration policies, according to the study, avert Algerian involvement in homeland politics.

77 Peter Skerry, Mexican Americans: the Ambivalent Minority, (New York: Free Press, 1993); hereafter referred to as Skerry 1993.

78 Peter D. Salins, Assimilation, American Style, (New York: Basic Books, 1996); see also Philip Gleason, "American Identity and Americanization," in Stephan Thernstrom ed., (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980); Richard Alba, Ethnic Identity. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990); Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut, Immigrant America: A Portrait, (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1990).

79 Huntington 2004: 349-350.

80 Patrick Weil, Presentation to the Nixon Center, May 8, 2003.

81 See Robert S. Leiken, Enchilada Lite (Washington, DC: Center for Immigration Studies, 2003)

82 Robert S. Leiken, Testimony to the House International Relations Committee, subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human Rights, June 16 2004.

83 "We’re going to have an entry-exit system based on a machine-readable passport, so we’ll be able to verify and validate they are who they claim to be." DHS Secretary Tom Ridge on CNN, August 3 2003. Similarly, at a November 2003 meeting at the German Marshall Fund, Asa Hutcheson, Undersecretary of DHS for Border and Transportation Security, stated that the problem was dealt with by the new requirement that all visa waiver travelers have machine-readable passports with biometric data.

84 Susan Martin and Philip Martin, "International Migration and Terrorism: Prevention, Prosecution and Protection," The Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Winter 2004 (18:2).

85 The State Department estimates that if the VWP were suspended, the number of visa applicants would rise by about 14 million. GAO estimates initial costs to process the additional work load at somewhere between $739 million and $1.28 billion and yearly costs between $522 million and $810 million (depending on the percentage interviewed and other variables). Border Security: Implications of Eliminating the Visa Waiver Program, (Washington DC: United States General Accounting Office, November 2002): 25.

86 Sebastian Rotella, Josh Meyer and Greg Krikorian, "6 Flights Canceled as Signs of Terror Plot Point to L.A.; Investigators have an ‘informed belief’ that several men in France with ties to Al Qaeda, one a trained pilot, wanted to hijack a jet," The Los Angeles Times, December 25 2003.

87 Shaun Waterman, "U.S. Wants Passenger Names One Hour Before Take-Off." UPI, February 24, 2005. Philip Shenon, "Homeland Security Dept. Planning 7 Offices Overseas to Screen Visas," The New York Times, October 7 2003.

88 Andrew Silke, "The Devil You Know: Continuing Problems in Terrorism Research," Terrorism and Political Violence 13/4 (Winter 2001): 1.

89 Among the most comprehensive is the RAND- St. Andrews database,

90 Ariel Merari, "The Readiness to Kill and Die: Suicidal Terrorism in the Middle East," in Walter Reich, ed., "Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center Press, 1990: 192-207. Saad Eddin Ibrahim’s study of Egyptian militant groups (Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt’s Militant Islamic Groups: Methodological Note and Preliminary Findings, "International Journal of Middle East Studies, 12 (1980):423-453) was also useful. Other notable attempts to quantify research on terrorism, though they are less applicable to our research, include: Donatella della Porta, "Political Socialization in Left-Wing Underground Organizations: Biographies of Italian and German Militants," International Social Movement Research 4 (1992): 259-290. And Klaus Wasmund, "The Political Socialization of West German Terrorists," in Peter Merkl, ed., Political Violence and Terror: Motifs and Motivations, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986: 191-228. And Peter Merkl, "West German Left Wing Terrorism," in Martha Crenshaw, ed., Terrorism in Context, University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.

91 Steven Camarota, The Open Door: How Militant Islamist Terrorists Entered and Remained in the United States 1999-2001. (Washington, DC: Center for Immigration Studies, 2002).



Robert S. Leiken is Director of the Immigration and National Security Program at the Nixon Center and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; author of “Bearers of Global Jihad: Immigration and National Security after 9-11,” “Enchilada Lite: A Post-9/11 Mexican Migration Agreement,” and “The Melting Border: Mexico and Mexican Communities in the United States.”