I was prowling the web looking for arguments, pro and con, on profiling terrorists and came across this Library of Congress study published in 1999. I’ve just skimmed it (it’s over 150 pages) but it’s unbelievable how prescient its authors were before 9/11, warning that religious fanatics were the most dangerous of terrorists, predicting that terrorists would start adopting suicide explosive belts and saying that Osama bin Laden would most assuredly seek massive revenge against the US for the bombing of his desert camp in Afghanistan. I’ll print it out for faster reading but I recommend it highly based just on what I’ve read so far.
Try this , p. 64 – remember, this study was completed in 1999 – we seem to have completely ignored it for the past ten years.
For example, a case could be made that U.S. Customs personnel should give extra scrutiny to the passports of young foreigners claiming to be “students” and meeting the following general description: physically fit males in their early twenties of Egyptian, Jordanian, Yemeni, Iraqi, Algerian, Syrian, or Sudanese nationality, or Arabs bearing valid British passports, in that order. These characteristics generally describe the core membership of Osama bin Laden’s Arab “Afghans” (see Glossary), also known as the Armed Islamic Movement(AIM), who are being trained to attack the United States with WMD.Or this, P. 7Al-Qaida’s expected retaliation for the U.S. cruise missile attack against al-Qaida’s training facilities in Afghanistan on August 20, 1998, could take several forms of terrorist attack in the nation’s capital. Al-Qaida could detonate a Chechen-type building-buster bomb at a federal building. Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaida’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House. Ramzi Yousef had planned to do this against the CIA headquarters. In addition, both al-Qaida and Yousef were linked to a plot to assassinate President Clinton during his visit to the Philippines in early 1995. Following the August 1998 cruise missile attack, at least one Islamic religious leader called for Clinton’s assassination, and another stated that “the time is not far off” for when the White House will be destroyed by a nuclear bomb. A horrendous scenario consonant with al-Qaida’s mindset would be its use of a nuclear suitcase bomb against any number of targets in the nation’s capital. …Whatever form an attack may take, bin Laden will most likely retaliate in a spectacular way for the cruise missile attack against his Afghan camp in August 1998.
Or even this, p.64.
To Western observers, the acts of suicide terrorism by adherents of Islam and Hinduism may be attributable to fanaticism or mental illness or both. From the perspective of the Islamic movement, however, such acts of self-destruction have a cultural and religious context, the historical origins of which can be seen in the behavior of religious sects associated with the Shi’ite movement, notably the Assassins (see Glossary). …Such attackswere suicidal because escape was not part of the attacker’s plan. According to scholars of Muslim culture, so-called suicide bombings, however, are seen by Islamists and Tamils alike as instances of martyrdom