A Young Illinois Reader Is Unsurprised By The Media's References To "Homegrown" Terrorism—Imported, As Always
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From: A Young Illinois Reader [Send Him Mail]

Whenever an act of Islamic terrorism is plotted or committed by legal residents or citizens of Western nations, I'm always darkly amused by the media's references to "homegrown" terrorism—see here for example: What MI5 Can Tell the FBI About Homegrown Terror, By Marc Champion, Bloomberg News,  April 22, 2013   (Even better are headlines emphasizing local identity. One might see a headline saying, "Two Kentucky men arrested on terrorism charges," the connotation being that Henry Clay and Colonel Sanders spontaneously decided to join the jihad.)

There is nothing "homegrown" about the Tsarnaev brothers. The law may say that Dzhokhar is a citizen of the US, and so he is—as a strictly legal matter.

But the state cannot confer membership in a nation—that happens by mutual recognition of common identity. Does Middle America see the likes of the Tsarnaev brothers as being of America in any meaningful sense? Surely not. And clearly the bombers themselves wanted nothing to do with Middle America.

I believe in the rule of law, so I'll pretend to care what color their passports are. But deep down, you know and I know that these guys never had an American bone in their bodies. Regardless of their citizenship, they are foreigners, and always were.


See previous letters from this reader.

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