Eight people were killed and twelve injured on Tuesday, merely because they were on the wrong bike path in New York City. Blame two factors: Islamic extremism and political correctness.
Police say that a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant named Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov sped a rented truck 20 blocks down a lower-Manhattan bike trail, slamming cyclists and pedestrians. His deceased victims include a young Belgian mother of two, two fledgling American businessmen, and, perhaps most tragically, five of eight Argentines who visited Gotham to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high-school graduation.
“He did this in the name of ISIS,” said NYPD counterterror chief John Miller. An Arabic note in Saipov’s vehicle pledged allegiance to the terror network. His cell phone reportedly contains some 90 videos and 3,800 photos from ISIS, including images of beheadings and prisoners being crushed by a tank.
Saipov seems remorseless. He reportedly said he was “proud” of his killing spree and wished to hang an ISIS flag in his room at Bellevue Hospital. That’s where Saipov is recovering from the bullet wound that finally neutralized him, courtesy of the highly effective NYPD officer Ryan Nash.
But political correctness also helped enable Saipov’s carnage.
“The terrorist came into our country through what is called ‘The Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty,” President Donald J. Trump explained via Twitter. Referring to Schumer’s 1990 legislation, signed by big-government Republican president G. H. W. Bush, Trump said at the White House, “Diversity lottery. Sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good.”
America should not limit immigrants to those from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. But a relentless quest for “diversity” does not justify a passport Powerball program that, in 2016, granted visas to people from such terrorist hotbeds as Iran (2,788 immigrants), Libya (127), Somalia (104), Sudan (1,833), Syria (164), and Yemen (397). Don’t forget: The State Department officially recognizes Iran, Sudan, and Syria as “State Sponsors of Terrorism.” Also, according to these State Department data, 2,378 Uzbeks came to America last year as “diversity immigrants.”
“The applicants for these 50,000 ‘visa lottery’ immigration slots require few skills. Neither their qualifications nor identity can be properly vetted,” Center for Immigration Studies scholar Janice Kephart testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement in April 2011. “The program is a national-security vulnerability and has been used by terrorists and organized criminals not only to enter the United States but to bring others in as well.”
In fact, Saipov used “chain migration” to bring into the U.S., directly or indirectly, 23 others. Let’s hope they were Americanized better than he was.
“The Department of Homeland Security, terrorism experts, and federal law-enforcement officials familiar with immigration fraud believe that some individuals, including terrorists and criminals, could use fraudulent means to enter or remain in the United States,” the Government Accountability Office noted in September 2007. “State has taken steps to strengthen the DV program, but it does not have a strategy to address the pervasive fraud being reported by consular officers at some posts.”
This PC problem ran amok at the local level.
New York’s far-Left mayor, Bill de Blasio, last year scrubbed from the NYPD’s website a 2007 NYPD training manual that identified Muslim extremism as the ideology undergirding militant Islam. Cops studying how good Muslims go bad are forbidden to use a 92-page guide titled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.” This is like pretending that the Mafia sprang from Paraguay, not Italy. De Blasio did not want local Muslims to feel uncomfortable — never mind the discomfort of the twelve men and women whom Saipov wounded and the eight families now weeping over their loved ones’ caskets.
De Blasio further disconnected the dots in April 2014 when he scrapped an NYPD surveillance program designed to root out “budding terrorist conspiracies.” It scrutinized, among others, the Masjid Omar Mosque in Paterson, N.J. De Blasio claimed that junking this initiative would ease tensions, “so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys.” Too bad they could not go after a real bad guy among this mosque’s congregants: Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov.
Some political commenters now call for more bollards and other barricades near bike paths, to prevent similar attacks. This is like hiring more lung-cancer specialists rather than convincing people to stop smoking. Defensive measures are fine, although one cannot place concrete barriers on every American sidewalk, bike path, or hiking trail.
Instead, like snuffing out cigarettes, America must confront this mayhem’s root cause. Militant Islam must be extinguished, like Earth’s foulest cigar in the world’s largest ashtray. ISIS has lost 87 percent of its former territory, including its capital in Raqqa, Syria (largely thanks to President Trump’s tough military posture vs. Obama’s strategic insouciance). The Islamic State, as a Muslim-extremist “nation,” is nearly erased. Exterminating ISIS adherents over there, as well as their murderous pals in al-Qaeda, al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and the other blood-soaked purveyors of puritanical, hate-filled joylessness, makes it less likely that they will kill — or inspire killers — over here.
Information is vital here. Saipov may have loads of it. American officials should squeeze it out of him, like juice from a lemon.
“If you act like a terrorist, and you say you’re a terrorist, that’s enough for me,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) told journalists on Wednesday. “We ought to treat you as a terrorist.” Graham knows exactly how to handle Saipov.
America must confront this mayhem’s root cause. Militant Islam must be extinguished.
As soon as he is well enough to travel, Saipov should be jetted to Guantanamo and interrogated until he spills everything he knows about his terrorist training, contacts, and any mayhem that they are poised to unleash. After that, Saipov should receive a swift military trial. If convicted, he should be dispatched at once.
“Send him to Gitmo?” President Trump asked at the White House Wednesday. “I would consider that.”
Mr. President, please consider that. And then do it.