War On Terror: Though they've given material assistance to terrorists by fighting for the Islamic State, which is a federal crime, the FBI director says American jihadis are "entitled" to come home and move about freely.
In the aftermath of 9/11, and in the face of IS atrocities and threats, this is an appalling statement.
"Ultimately, an American citizen, unless their passport's revoked, is entitled to come back," Comey said. "So someone who's fought with ISIL, with an American passport, who wants to come back, we will track them very carefully."
Presumably we will do a better job than we did with the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon after Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent time in the terrorist-infested Russian republic of Dagestan.
It is not enough to track American jihadis whose passports should be revoked and who should upon their return be greeted with arrest warrants.
At a House hearing last week, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., expressed his amazement that "we can revoke a United States passport if ... an individual owes arrears of child support in excess of $25," but the State Department won't commit to revoking the passports of Americans fighting with IS.
We are reminded of the case of Abdirahmaan Muhumed. Before he went to Syria to fight and die for the Islamic State, he worked at Delta Global Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.
His job was to clean aircraft, and he had a security clearance that gave him unfettered access to the tarmac and passenger jets. Were we tracking him?
Combine that case with the unrelated recent incident involving a contract employee setting a fire at a Federal Aviation Administration traffic control facility in Aurora, Ill., which caused the cancellation of thousands of flights and played havoc with air travel, and you get an idea of what returning American jihadis might be able to do.
On Sept. 2, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki acknowledged to reporters, "The United States, including the State Department, has long had the authority to revoke passports" of individuals for a variety of reasons. So why not revoke those of American jihadis? Or are deadbeat dads considered more of a threat than those Americans fighting with the Islamic State?
We can't afford to have returning jihadis walking about freely. Neither should we allow them to.
Fox News analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says that while we can revoke their passports, their illegal activities should be enough to arrest them at the gate on their return.
"The issue is their freedom to move around in the United States of America after they have left training for some terrorist organization, which is in and of itself a federal crime," Napolitano told Fox News' Megyn Kelly. "That is more than enough to arrest them, charge them, indict them and keep them from traveling free around the United States, whether they have a passport or not."
Napolitano argues that Comey knows "he can arrest them at JFK or Dulles or anywhere they land first in the United States" and that there's more than enough evidence in these cases for the FBI to file applications for arrest warrants applications that any judge would grant immediately.
Yet the same minimalist administration response to Islamic State terror that threatens Kurdish lives in Kobani, Syria, also threatens American lives in every main street in America. The war on terror is not only not over, Mr. President, it is also here on our doorsteps.
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