Sunday, March 18, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: "Foreign extremists sign up to drive school buses"

I was just sitting at my computer, contemplating a subject for the Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day, when I looked up at my TV tuned to CNN, and read the text rolling across the bottom of the screen-and I was off. Actually “set off” more accurately describes the steady stream of rather inventive curse words coming from my red face. Two issues can cause this immediate reaction in me like nothing else can— scum of the earth who prey on children, and moronic behavior by the FBI. This story is about both.

The CNN headlines:

FBI: Foreign extremists sign up to drive school buses
"Parents and children have nothing to fear," FBI says

CNN reports that a routine FBI and Homeland Security Department advisory sent to local law enforcement agencies says, “Foreigners under recent investigation include ‘some with ties to extremist groups’ who have been able to ‘purchase buses and acquire licenses.” FBI spokesperson Richard Kolko said, "parents and children have nothing to fear.” He went on to say “there are no threats, no plots, and no history leading us to believe there is any reason for concern," although law enforcement agencies around the country were asked to watch out for kids' safety. The bulletin also notes, "Most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus licenses to drive them are legitimate." No further information was provided to the press or the public as to which law enforcement agencies received the alert, or where the buses were purchased and the licenses to drive them were obtained. Kolko said the bulletin was sent merely as an educational tool to help local police identify and respond to any suspicious activity.

I confess my great personal struggle to retain my professionalism and view the policies, procedures, and actions of the FBI with objectivity. I have good reason. Perhaps I will post here some of that story soon. However, no matter how I look at it, I can’t help but find several things very wrong with the FBI‘s statements about the school bus alert.

The FBI’s apparent lack of concern toward foreigners with ties to extremist groups getting licenses to drive school buses, presumably filled with schoolchildren, is appalling. How does anyone under investigation by the FBI get a license to do anything that would put him or her in contact with children? Furthermore, it seems suspect for these persons to purchase school buses in the first place. Yes, it is true that many good, hard working resident aliens in the U.S. obtain licenses to drive school buses and hold legitimate jobs doing so. Most of us would not be American citizens today if our ancestors were not welcome to come to this country to work and build a life. Moronic FBI statement number 1 is inferring those decent persons trying to make a living and a new life for themselves and their families are in any way associated with the persons referred to in the security alert. Moronic FBI statement number 2 is the logic that parents and children have nothing to fear based on the FBI being unaware of threats, plots, and there being no history to give them reason for concern. This is meant to inspire confidence? I wonder if this reasoning was applied when the FBI learned that foreign nationals under investigation for their terrorist ties were attending flight schools, getting pilots licenses, and attempting to purchase aircraft. After all, why worry just because similar individuals had hijacked aircraft in the past- there was no history of them ever flying planes into buildings and killing thousands of innocent people. I would like to point out that there is plenty of history in many other countries of terrorists blowing up buses filled with people. Currently, it is one of the horrors suffered almost daily in Iraq.

The persons suspected of having terrorist ties need their school bus licenses revoked immediately. To be fair, it must be determined as quickly as possible if they are a threat or not, and if so, there is no good reason for them to remain in this country. The American public deserves to be informed of what communities are included in the advisory. I am very grateful for the efforts of the law enforcement agencies that were asked to “watch out for kids' safety”, but when police join forces with parents and the rest of the community it is the best way to keep our children safe under any circumstances.

There is nothing, or no one, on earth that could make me gamble with my own children’s safety, and I sure as hell refuse to let the FBI gamble with it. Would you?

Donna Weaver


Levi said...

Levi standing & applauding!!!

You have hit the nail on the head Donna.
Is this anything like extremists learning to pilot aircrafts? They didn't post a danger either did they?

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

So right you are, Levi! What is odd is the inability of some in security to assess likely motive in certain behaviors of people with ties to questionable organizations. It would seem sensible to think that a pedophile who gets a job as a school sports coach might have more of an interest in the kids than the game of basketball. A vegetarian who has a subscription to PETA and wants a job at a slaughterhouse is probably a spy with a camera hidden under the butcher apron. So why wouldn't we be concerned about people with ties to radical Islamic organization wanting to get pilot's licenses or drive school buses? Like those Imams that got booted off the airplane in Minneapolis and who are now suing the airlines for discrimination...if you are walking a talking like a duck, expect to be treated like a duck.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

Thank you Levi. Yes, apparently the FBI decided there was no cause for concern then either, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There were no public announcements, and no advisories issued to local law enforcement. The recent reforms regarding inter-agency cooperation are barely worth the paper they are written on, evidenced in this additional statement from the same CNN article: "Kolko said the bulletin was sent merely as an educational tool to help local police identify and respond to any suspicious activity." How's that for irresponsible, condescending arrogance? I’m quite sure it’s the local police who could teach the FBI a few things. Personally, I couldn't care less how ridiculous the collective FBI behavior and attitude is, if it weren’t for the fact that too often it endangers and costs lives. DOJ employees are just as guilty as anyone else committing the same crime, and equally accountable under the law. To ignore the facts does not change the facts.

Ronni said...

Most school districts, and the bus companies that serve them, are so desperate for bus drivers that they will take anybody who can show them the appropriate licence.

Investigator Donna Weaver said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if someday the U.S. Government had to hold bake sales to fund the billions of dollars spent on low priority appropriations, and there were plentiful resources available to our nation's schools for the care, safety, and education of children?

Levi said...

Pat, Yes you are right. in the next few months, cities & school districts all over the U.S. will find themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits
the terrorists will have another way to hang us by our own laws in our playing field.