Already angered by the government's treatment of Yusuf Islam, the American Muslim community is likely to become further enraged when the Bush administration launches a new pre-election antiterrorism campaign this week that will include the likely arrests of hundreds of aliens from Middle Eastern and other countries known to be havens for terrorists. Homeland Security has targeted for possible detention as many as 2,000 foreigners who are believed to be in violation of their visas and about whom there is "soft intelligence" suggesting possible terror connections. Some security and intel officials acknowledged, however, that intel on Yusuf Islam might be so soft that the U.S. authorities may have to apologize to the singer.
This is almost certainly less about "terrorism" than it is about looking like they are doing something to make their base and undecideds feel safer, while actually doing nothing. The rights of those rounded-up be damned. I might feel different if there was a scintilla of evidence that the Bush Administration has had any major domestic arrests that have panned out. Time after time Ashcroft has trotted out to announce this or that, and virtually every time, especially in the recent Hamdi case it has turned out he was 100% wrong.