Tuesday, May 15, 2007

U.S. Taliban Trainees?

The Counterterrorism Blog has a brief item about an interview conducted with Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah the day before he died.

Dadullah claims the Taliban is training U.S. and British citizens for future attacks here.

If the claim is true - and it's best to assume it is, since other Americans have been trained in terrorist camps before, and al Qaeda hasn't lost its determination to fight the West - then it's worth remembering that if these jihadists successfully slip back into the U.S., the people in the best position to find them will be local police or other authorities. As William Bratton and George Kelling have pointed out:

The presence of police in our communities sensitizes them to anomalies and yields counterterrorist data valuable to other agencies.

"Only an effective local police establishment that has the confidence of citizens," former CIA director James Woolsey testified to Congress in 2004, "is going to be likely to hear from, say, a local merchant in a part of town containing a number of new immigrants that a group of young men from abroad have recently moved into a nearby apartment and are acting suspiciously."
Building a local network is critical.

Cross-posted in IPS Blogs at the Institute for Preventive Strategies.

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