With the Patriot Act’s expiration looming this Friday, here are several numbers Congress should weigh while considering the reauthorization of this vital antiterrorism law:
‐Total number of individuals who Islamic fanatics murdered in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America: 2,977
‐Cash sum that Patriot Act Section 371 let Customs agents seize when terror-tied New Jersey imam Alaa al-Sadawi tried to smuggle funds into Egypt in his father’s airline luggage: $659,000.
‐Pounds of heroin that three al-Qaeda- and Taliban-linked San Diego weapons dealers offered undercover FBI agents as partial payment for four Stinger anti-aircraft missiles until Patriot Act Sections 218 and 504 helped authorities unravel their conspiracy: 1,320.
‐Total terror-related defendants captured with the help of Patriot Act provisions: 401.
‐Number of U.S House members who supported the Patriot Act on October 24, 2001: 357, while 66 demurred.
‐Total terror-related defendants who have pleaded guilty or been convicted with the aid of Patriot Act provisions: 212.
‐Total feet the Brooklyn Bridge would have plunged into New York City’s East River had the Patriot Act not helped authorities stop Iyman Faris’ plan to sever the span’s cables with acetylene torches: 119.
‐Tally of U.S. senators who backed the Patriot Act on October 25, 2001, including Massachusetts Democrats Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who voted for it before they filibustered against it: 98, with Wisconsin Democrat Russell Feingold as the sole dissenter.
‐According to federal prosecutor Ken Wainstein’s January 3 comments after meeting with President Bush, number of U.S. attorneys who use “the Patriot Act tools each and every day in his or her efforts:” 93.
‐As U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf notes, total years of prison time earned under the Patriot Act by Osama bin Laden’s self-proclaimed spiritual adviser, Mohammed al-Moayad, for trying to funnel $20 million to al Qaeda and Hamas: 75.
‐Number of scholars, former Cabinet members, and other prominent Americans–including Democratic ex-CIA directors James Schlesinger and R. James Woolsey–who I joined in signing a January 25 open letter advocating the Patriot Act’s reauthorization: 68
‐Years that David Wayne Hull, former Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, will spend behind bars after Patriot Act Section 201 helped convict him for plotting to blow up abortion clinics with hand grenades: 12.
‐Number of northern Virginia Islamofascists jailed after the Patriot Act’s information-sharing provisions let spies and cops jointly determine that they had trained in Afghan and Pakistani terror camps between 1999 and 2001: Eight.
‐Total al Qaeda associates in Lackawanna, New York who were jailed for seven to ten years after the Patriot Act finally let cops and intelligence officers sit in the same room to discuss each other’s investigations: Six.
‐According to the Associated Press, number of tickets for American Airlines Flight 77 that Pentagon-bound 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi purchased online, using William Patterson University’s library computers, that might have been detected were Patriot Act Section 215 in place: Two.
‐Number of Portland Seven extremists who escaped the Patriot Act by being killed by Pakistani troops on October 3, 2003: One.
‐Total number of individuals who Muslim terrorists have killed on American soil since adoption of the Patriot Act: Zero.
–Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Arlington, Va.