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Opening Arguments

Exception to the rule

All I know about Jihad Jane, the American recruit of Islamic radicals who is scary because she is blonde and blue-eyed and could be living right next door to any one of us, is what I learned from watching "Good Morning America" before coming to work today. Richard Clarke, the network's "national security expert consultant," was especially helpful. First he says (at about the 2:19 mark of the video) that the case shows us that profiling -- just looking for our stereotypical idea of a terrorist -- has "no value." But then he says:

LaRose's case is rare, Clark said, but it shows the capability of international dissident groups to reach out to Americans via the Internet.

"This is a very rare case of a disturbed woman," he said, but it signifies how "the Internet not only allows them to communicate, it allows them to recruit."

Got that? We must stop assuming that terrorists are likely to be from a certain group because of this one "rare case of a disturbed woman" who doesn't fit the profile. With expert advice like that, how can we go wrong?

The most interesting revelation was the fact that her live-in boyfriend of two years didn't have a clue about what she was up to. Don't want to do any profiling, but that's no big surprise, is it?

Posted in: Current Affairs