When I heard an FBI spokesman try to dismiss the Fourth of July attack on El Al passengers at Los Angeles International Airport by Egyptian Muslim Hesham Mohamed Hadayet as “an isolated incident,” something about those words troubled me.

I had heard them before.

As a matter of fact, it was more than 10 years ago the FBI characterized the arrest of Sayyid Nosair, another Egyptian-American, as “an isolated incident.” Nosair was arrested for the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York City.

When the FBI picked up Nosair in 1990, it found a treasure trove of evidence linking him with Islamic terrorists and plans to destroy skyscrapers in New York. There were extensive instructions for making bombs. There were pictures of New York City landmarks, including the World Trade Center. There were pages and pages of material in Arabic making it clear that Nosair was part of a network of people determined to kill large numbers of Americans.

But none of it was translated until after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in which six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured because the assassination of Kahane was considered just “an isolated incident.”

Oh, by the way, Nosair was trained in urban guerrilla warfare techniques by Ali Mohammed, another Egyptian-American who became a top aide to Osama bin Laden. In other words, the assassination of Kahane may, indeed, have been the first shot in the terror war in which we find ourselves engaged today. Too bad it was initially perceived as just “an isolated incident.”

In 1995, when Ramzi Yousef was convicted of terrorism charges in the World Trade Center bombing, investigators learned of his plans to hijack multiple airliners and crash them into key U.S. buildings such as the Pentagon and CIA headquarters. What did the FBI think of the audacious plan? The agency characterized it as “farfetched.”

There’s now evidence to suggest the FBI was warned of an Iraqi-sponsored terrorist plot to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. It was apparently ignored as well, even though the warning came from Saudi intelligence. The FBI systematically ignored all clues suggesting the destruction of the building was linked to Islamic terrorism. It was another “isolated incident.”

There’s overwhelming evidence to show the FBI intentionally ignored dozens and dozens of compelling accounts by eyewitnesses to the TWA Flight 800 disaster who saw a missile strike the plane near Long Island in 1996. The cause of the disaster, concluded the FBI, was a “freak accident” – another term for “isolated incident.”

The FBI also found no suggestion of terrorism in the crash of Egyptair Flight 990 Oct. 31, 1999. After the plane took off from Kennedy Airport headed for Cairo, it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean killing all 217 aboard. Despite the fact that co-pilot Gameel el-Batouty was at the controls of the plane and shouted in Arabic before it went into a dive, “I put my faith in Allah,” the FBI refuses to link the crash to Islamic terrorism. One agent suggested the co-pilot might have been praying.

Personally, I’m getting a little tired of such coincidences. When and how do a series of “isolated incidents” begin to show a pattern to the FBI? Why is it that the FBI is afraid to add two plus two?

Israeli officials were quick to identify the Hadayet shooting at LAX as a terrorist attack. That was even before we learned that Hadayet had arguments with his neighbors who flew American flags from his apartment building after Sept. 11. That was before we learned the Immigration and Naturalization Service had begun deportation proceedings against Hadayet in 1996 but called them off a year later when his wife won a State Department lottery for people from countries with low immigration rates, thus allowing her husband to stay. That was before we knew he had a sign on his door at home: “Read the Koran.”

Does common sense ever play a part in FBI investigations? Or have they become so tied to the nation’s foreign and domestic policies that they have lost all objectivity?

When law enforcement investigators find a body with a gunshot wound lying on the ground, the police homicide unit is called in. The assumption is made that this is a murder. It may later be found to be a suicide or a freak accident of some kind, but if it is not investigated as a murder, important clues will be lost.

The same logic must be applied when an Arabic-speaking Muslim, with hostile tendencies toward the United States and Israel, shoots up an El Al ticket counter at a major airport. This is not an “isolated incident.” It’s dangerous to think like that as the examples above illustrate. The latest incident is clearly part of a global pattern of attacks on Israeli, American and non-Muslim targets. It’s part of what I call the Global Jihad.

If the FBI can’t see that, the agency should be disbanded as a useless, anachronistic band of plainclothes Keystone Kops doing more harm than good for the security of the United States.

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