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Brian Jenkins, L.A. Terror Expert, Says Tolerance Will Go A Long Way In Preventing U.S. Attacks

Los Angeles has long been on the short list of possible U.S. terror targets (crazies actually gunned for LAX a couple times).

When shit happens there's always plenty of blame to go around. But once in a while we should stop and thank our lucky stars -- and the counterterror experts at the LAPD and FBI -- for being successful so far for making terrorism in L.A. a difficult proposition.

And maybe we should also thank Brian Jenkins, a top adviser at the Santa Monica think tank RAND.

The author of 2008's Will Terrorists Go Nuclear and a former Green Beret, Jenkins has extremely sober and wise things to say about the state of America's Islamic discourse as it relates to extremism.

In a Q&A in the latest Los Angeles magazine, Jenkins says:

There's a dark streak in America, a continuing current that has a xenophobic, racist component, and I think we are seeing a bit of it emerge in the current Islamophobia ... Look at the controversy over the proposed New York mosque. On that issue, frankly, I'm more conservative than most conservatives. Where one builds a mosque is simply not the government's business. We also have some damn fools who wanted to burn the Koran -- and look at the media attention. We're going to pay for that. We're going to pick up two or three would-be terrorists a year from now who will trace their radicalization back to what we are seeing now.

Our strength derives from our fundamental American values: courage, self-reliance, tolerance, a sense of community, pulling together in danger.

Sound reasonable to you?


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