Friday, November 16, 2007

SUVs and Terrorism

Environmentalists sometimes like to claim that SUVs fund terrorism, because of the amount of gas that they consume, putting money into nations where some of the population has its turbans wound too tight. There's some truth to that, but when environmentalists retire their private jets, or in John Travolta's case, his fleet of private jets, and as Instapundit pointed out a while ago:
I'll buy it when they stop jetting off for global-warming conferences in Bali. As I've said before, I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who keep telling me it's a crisis start acting as if it's a crisis.
Well, let's just call me a bit skeptical. However, here's a connection between SUVs and terrorism that completely surprised me, in a posting by Eric over at Classical Values. This started out as a posting about a carjacking victim who took the gun away from the bad guys, and as often happens, ended in tragedy--for the bad guys, who are African immigrants. Eric links to articles in the November 16, 2007 Philadelphia Daily News and October 2, 2005 Boston Globe that indicate there is a significant amount of SUV theft going on in America for export--and that terrorists in the Middle East are some of the customers:
WASHINGTON -- The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering that some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials.

Inspector John E. Lewis, deputy assistant director of the FBI for counterterrorism, told the Globe that the investigation hasn't yielded any evidence that the vehicles were stolen specifically for car bombings. But there is evidence, he said, that the cars were smuggled from the United States as part of a widespread criminal network that includes terrorists and insurgents.
Cracking the car theft rings and tracing the cars could help identify the leaders of insurgent forces in Iraq and shut down at least one of the means they use to attack the US-led coalition and the Iraqi government, the officials said.
The inquiry began after coalition troops raided a bomb-making factory in Fallujah last November and found a sport utility vehicle registered in Texas that was being prepared for a bombing mission.
Investigators said they are comparing several other cases where vehicles evidently stolen in the United States wound up in Syria or other Middle East countries and ultimately into the hands of Iraqi insurgent groups -- including Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

Terrorism specialists think Iraqi insurgents prefer American stolen cars because they tend to be larger, blend in more easily with the convoys of US government and private contractors, and are harder to identify as stolen.
The new disclosures are part of a pattern, according to government officials. US law enforcement and intelligence agencies are increasingly finding links between violent Islamic extremists groups and vast criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, and car theft.
So the next time that you read of a carjacking victim shooting a carjacker--like all of these carjacking incidents on the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog--you are perhaps reading of another vict0ry in the Global War on Terrorism.

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