A new one from James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, whose “Bin Laden crosses the Rio Grande” video a few weeks ago got the Texas Department of Public Safety to perk up. This time he’s on the northern border, noting that ISIS fighters with British passports can enter Canada without a visa. True, but they can enter the U.S. without a visa too. The only reason for a jihadi to take the long route via Lake Erie would be if he thought he’d have a better shot at infiltrating North America through a Canadian point of entry than an American one. Given that Canada’s joining the fight against ISIS in Iraq, they have every reason to be as diligent lately in screening visitors from the UK as we are. (Which is not to suggest they weren’t being diligent already.) Although none of that undermines O’Keefe’s basic point: If a terrorist were to make it safely into Canada, heading south into the U.S. wouldn’t be difficult.
The idea of using Ebola in a terror plot is clever too. As a weapon of mass casualties, it’d probably be a dud in a first-world country. A few people would be directly infected by the terrorist somehow, local hospitals would soon recognize the disease in the patients, and then anyone in the area suffering from an illness resembling flu would be immediately quarantined. You might kill a few people that way but for the effort involved — securing infected fluid in Africa, smuggling it into the U.S. or Canada, then somehow bringing the fluid into direct contact with unsuspecting passersby — an enterprising jihadi would probably be better off just buying a gun and heading to the mall. As a weapon of mass terror, though, it’d be amazing. Even if “only” five people died and a dozen or so were infected, given the public’s jitters about bringing Kent Brantly to Emory from Africa for treatment, you’d have mass panic over biowarfare. It’d be an economic blow if not an especially bloody one.
Exit question: Why would ISIS use British jihadis to hit America? If they’re intent on attacking the U.S., they’ve got American jihadis in the field in Iraq and Syria they could train and deploy instead.