Dr. Ian Lustick, associate director of the University of Pennsylvania's Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict and professor of political science.
Author of "Trapped in the War on Terror"
Consultant on Middle East affairs and national security for every administration since President Carter's
"The most important element in the news about this plot is the photo-op for a phalanx of FBI agents, prosecutors and War on Terror managers able to play this story to the max to ramp up their careers in the War on Terror and the budgets allocated to it. The biggest lesson is that here and there we have wackos in this country, most of them not Muslim, as we saw recently in Virginia, and that an out-of-control War on Terror, especially in Iraq, that fills the airwaves with images of Americans killing Muslims, turns the heat up under them. This increases the likelihood that they will act out their overheated fantasies of revenge and 'jihad,' however ineptly. The proper response is quiet, disciplined and effective law enforcement; a public discourse which encourages clear thinking about the objectively minor threat posed by terrorism; and foreign policies that turn down the heat under the wackos."