Scrutiny of Foreigners Could Prevent More Terrorism

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, November 16, 2001

Scrutiny of Foreigners Could Prevent More Terrorism

The Justice Department wants to question 5,000 foreigners to see if they are in the United States for the purpose of doing America harm. Federal prosecutors around the country have been given a list of names of young men, ages 18 to 33, who entered the United States on non-immigrant visas after Jan. 1, 2000. These would be men from a country in which a terrorist might be likely to plot additional attacks.

Those on the list do not have to be questioned. Only those willing to submit to questioning will be interrogated. I think they should be required to answer questions. But if they don't, authorities should monitor them and if they break the slightest law, they should be deported.

Dangerous times demand an aggressive response. I strongly suspect that the 19 hijackers of planes on Sept. 11 were only a vanguard of many other terrorists already in this country. Self-defense requires extraordinary means if we are to protect ourselves from another murderous assault.