Meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board yesterday, NYPD counterterrorism chief John Miller warned of a deadly invasion of ISIS terrorists returning home to New York City once they finally get tired of killing everyone in Iraq. "I would be hyper-concerned about the people over there from New York City on the presumption they’re going to return to New York City," Miller said, then punctuated a long, pregnant pause by yelling "BOO!"
Miller didn't say how many New Yorkers are fighting with ISIS (probably millions?!), but the News claims Miller has “a good idea who they are.” In so doing, he painted an apocalyptic view of American jihadists traveling to fight in Syria, becoming radicalized, and returning to New York to show those liberals on the Times Editorial Board what's up. Unburdened by specifics or facts, the Daily News was free to speculate wildly about the connections between a foreign conflict and domestic citizens: "They're the potential killers next door learning to become jihadists in a factory of terrorists whose ultimate target is New York City."
The obvious subtext here is that the ascendance of ISIS justifies spying on civilians in New York City. Remember when the NYPD kept us safe from terror by violating the Constitution, but then the NYCLU and the Associated Press made them hand the keys of our city to the terrorists? John Miller does.
So fact check: how many seditious American citizens are abroad in Syria? Probably only a few dozen over the last three years. Between six and twelve are back. Still a lot! But the high-profile nature of such stories, like the 15 Somali-Americans from Minnesota abroad in Syria (one of whom fights with ISIS), ensures the prominence of this narrative.
And so fears of potential terrorism further actual domestic civil rights abuses. Meanwhile, the amount of violent crime in America caused by radical Islam is staggeringly low.
“So far,” the News admits, “there has been no known successful terror attack on U.S. soil by an American who was radicalized overseas.” But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be afraid! The NYPD is here to protect you; all they need is access to all your email accounts, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.