Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, June 23, 2006


A man identified as a member of the "Seas of David" religious group told CNN on Thursday that five of his fellow members were among those arrested and that they had no connection to terrorists.
I typed "Seas of David" into Google at 7:30 this morning and got no hits. Talk about a group being under the radar.

The blogs, of course, do offer up some "Seas of Davids" hits -- 23 on Google's blog browser, 51 on Ask's -- but there are precious few facts and lots of mostly meaningless speculation running around the blogsophere. Are they just a bible study group? Are they Davidians? Who are these guys?

A solid roundup that shows just how powerful the blogosphere can be is available at Blogs of War. Solid, non-hysterical, informative.

Four big points of information: They were largely resident-type black Muslims who didn't have to cover up to get into the States; they got some guidance from Islamists; there are more of them out there; they were caught.

While I've never posted on it, I've worried for some time about a hook-up between al Qaeda and the more radical branches of the black Muslim movement. I thought about it during the riots in France and I think about it whenever I remember the Black Panthers who were about during my college years. There's a lot of angry, self-appointed victims of the white man in Black America, and while it's still speculation at this point, the arrest of the Seas of David indicates that they can be turned into wannabe jihadists.

Look at their names: Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin and Rotschild Augustine. Not a Mohammed among them. Here's more on the matter, from ABC, lifted by Blogs of War:
The group has been under surveillance for some time and was infilitrated by a government informant who allegedly led them to believe he was an Islamic radical. The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean descent.
That means our intelligence guys were being smart, wary and capable. They sniffed the group out and infiltrated it, possibly with someone of Arabic descent. And the ACLU can rest easy: The feds weren't racially profiling Arabs all the time.

When all is said and done, the Sons of David will probably turn out to be not unlike the Branch Davidians: isolated, extreme and a bit whacked out. They are not remotely as potent a threat as bin Laden, who is connected, extreme and highly strategic.

But they are busted. And I, for one, hope that NSA-style listening was a part of the process of identifying and nailing these guys.

The threat -- however capable this particular group may or may not turn out to be -- is on our shores and we must be diligent; we must have the tools or war and intelligence to use against them; we must succeed in squelching them every single time, because the cost of even one mistake is too high.

hat-tip: Blogs of War
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