Wednesday, September 08, 2010
China's People's Liberation Army is the largest military force in the world, with approximately 3 million members. The armed forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) comprise approximately 1.42 million members. That said, numbers don't mean much because the radical Islamists, however many there are, do not engage in conventional warfare. I'm only giving those statistics to provide comparisons so that readers can get their heads around the concept of 16 million people in some concrete way, and give some idea of how big organizations that most would describe as "mighty" are.
Now we have Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (of Ground Zero Mosque fame) saying on CNN that if said mosque is not built at the proposed site, national security could be at risk due to an explosion of anger in the Muslim world. That sounds like a veiled threat to me.
According to the CIA Factbook, the Muslim population of the United States in 2009 was approximately 1,843,ooo. Assuming the one percent is an accurate estimate of the fraction of Muslims that are radicalized and assuming further that the radicalized element is evenly distributed throughout the Muslim community (the latter assumption admittedly being pretty iffy), the number of radicalized Muslims in the United States would therefore be in the vicinity of 18,440 persons. By comparison, it is estimated that there are 8,000 to 10,000 members of the notorious MS13 gang in the United States (presumably including those incarcerated). If even ten percent of the estimated radicalized Islamists in the US are "sleepers" who are waiting for orders from elsewhere to commit acts of terrorism, that means there are approximately 2,000 individuals ready, willing and able to wreak vengeance on the US for any real or imagined slight of Islam, whether it takes the form of Koran burning or blocking the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque.
I hope the FBI and other law enforcement organizations are on their toes, as I fear they'll be busy in the near future.