"It Could Happen Again"

Michelle Malkin
According to Michelle Malkin, the most startling thing about the sniper spree is that it could easily happen again:

"Welcome to the new war. You are not safe anywhere, at any time." From his jailhouse cell, accused sniper Lee Malvo leveled this threat against the White House and penned several other predictions of violence against the American people. It's clear from his artwork that Malvo remains committed to "jihad." Referring to the ten victims of the fall 2002 sniper attacks, Malvo scrawled: "they all died and they all deserved it." Malvo also warned: "Look out for phase 2."

"Simple enforcement of immigration laws could have stopped these fanatical killers in their tracks."

Could it happen again? Understanding the true motives of Malvo and his mentor, John Muhammad, is key to answering the question. While some believe Muhammad was merely a disgruntled drifter in a custody dispute with his ex-wife, the Islamofascist underpinnings of the sniper attacks cannot be ignored. Muhammad had used a synagogue for target practice and reportedly voiced anti-American sentiments after the September 11 terrorist attacks. He schooled Malvo in the rhetoric and regimen of Islamic extremism. They may not have been card-carrying members of al Qaeda, but Muhammad and Malvo were freelance terrorists in the same mold as Hesham Hadayet, the Egyptian national who gunned down two people at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport on July 4, 2002.

There's not much that could have been done to prevent Muhammad from hatching his plot. But the lesson of the sniper attacks is the lesson of the September 11 terrorist attacks: simple enforcement of immigration laws could have stopped these fanatical killers in their tracks.

For example, Muhammad generated cash through forging travel documents and birth certificates and engaging in Caribbean-based human smuggling schemes. Although his bogus papers came to the attention of airport authorities in Los Angeles and Miami, Muhammad was never prosecuted. The fake identity trade continues to thrive. Moreover, the same "catch-and-release" procedures that allowed Lee Malvo — an illegal alien from Jamaica — to be freed from federal custody pending deportation remain in place today. So do dangerous "sanctuary" policies that prevent local police officers from cooperating with immigration officials to identify and arrest illegal aliens. In addition, immigration and criminal databases have yet to be linked across the country — a move that would allow illegal alien fingerprints to be accessed immediately by local cops.

Until our borders are secure and our immigration loopholes tightened, Lee Malvo's boastful claim is correct: we are not safe from the imported purveyors of hate.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate.  Her wide-ranging and news-breaking — commentary has been honored by several national organizations.