On Friday, ABC News reported that as a result of an ABC news investigative report regarding the shootings at Fort Hood, Republicans in Congress are asking for more information on how the aftermath of the attack was handled. At issue is the Obama Administration’s decision to charge Major Nidal Hasan with ‘workplace violence’ instead of terrorism. That decision has a great deal of impact on those who were victims of the attack.
The decision that the shooting was ‘workplace violence’ prevents those shot by Major Hasan from being awarded purple hearts. It also gives the surviving victims lower priority when it comes to receiving medical care and a loss of benefits available to soldiers whose injuries are considered combat related. Because the shootings were considered workplace violence, they are not considered combat related.
The article reports:
Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the Nov. 5, 2009 rampage by the accused gunman, Maj. Nidal Hasan, at the Army base in Killeen, Texas. Hasan, who was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder. Al-Awlaki has since been killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, in what was termed a major victory in the U.S. efforts against al Qaeda.
It is bad enough that Major Hasan pretty much broadcast ahead of time that he had gone over the edge–some of his lectures, his business cards, etc. He was not reported because no one was willing to take the chance of being called a racist or anti-Muslim. Because no one came forward, thirteen soldiers died as Hasan shouted, “Allahu Akbar.” It seems to me that it should be rather obvious to even the most naive member of the Obama Administration that most people who commit workplace violence don’t shout, “Allahu Akbar,” and that shout might have something to do with a motive for the killings.
Meanwhile, American soldiers and their families pay a price because the Obama Administration does not want to admit that Major Hasan is an example of a domestic terrorists in our military.
The successful assassination of Adolph Hitler would have been seen as a blessing. It would have saved many lives–German, British, European and American. Adolph Hitler was leading Germany into war with all of its neighbors and had plans for an even larger war. He needed to be stopped.
Life is a little less black and white when you are dealing with terrorist leaders. The average terrorist leader is not the head of a country, although there are a few exceptions. The average terrorist leader has followers, but there are not necessarily all located in one place. The average terrorist leader may not even be acknowledged as a terrorist–he may be perceived as a moderate Islamic leader. It really is difficult in a war on terror to tell the bad guys from the bystanders. That is part of what makes President Obama’s drone program such a major concern.
NBC News has posted an article about three drone killings that occurred in September 2011. All those killed were American citizens. Americans would be up in arms if Americans were killed overseas by other countries without proper jurisprudence, so why are we doing it ourselves?
The article reports:
Anwar al-Awlaki posted anti-American sermons on the internet and encouraged terrorism by his followers. Major Nidal Hasan, who killed soldiers at Fort Hood while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” is said to be a follower of Anwar al-Awlaki.
The article reports on al-Awlaki and Khan:
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, he ( Anwar al-Awlaki) became a popular spokesman for moderate Islam, and was often used to juxtapose perceptions that Islam is a religion that spreads hate. But less than a decade later, he was hiding in Yemen as a name on the CIA’s kill list.
“I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim,” he said in an audio message in March 2010.
Conversely, Khan was never interested in the peaceful side of Islam. The New York Times reports that as a teen, Khan’s attraction grew exponentially to militant sites on the Internet after 9/11. Parental concerns and intervention from community leaders proved unsuccessful. Khan was 25 when he died in Yemen.
My point is this. These men were killed without a trial for words they posted on the internet. They were not leaders of countries. Would it not have been better to take them alive and put them in Guantanamo to end their internet postings?
Today’s Washington Post is reporting that four men have been arrested in California plotting to bomb military bases and government facilities in Afghanistan. The men had planned to join Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and wage violent jihad.
The article reports:
A federal complaint unsealed Monday says 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir of Pomona introduced two of the other men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased al-Qaida leader. Kabir served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001.
The other two — 23-year-old Ralph Deleon of Ontario and 21-year-old Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales of Upland — converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments.
They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali of Riverside.
The men had planned to depart for Afghanistan in mid-November. Their cover story stated that they were going to Afghanistan to attend Kabir’s wedding.
The article further reports:
Authorities allege that in Skype calls from Afghanistan, Kabir told the trio he would arrange their meetings with terrorists. Kabir added the would-be jihadists could sleep in mosques or the homes of fellow jihadists once they arrived in Afghanistan.
We need to be thankful that the FBI is doing its job very well.
Yesterday the New York Daily News posted a story about the arrest of a suspected terrorist. The terrorist, Jose Pimentel, was an American citizen, inspired and guided by the internet, and was a follower of Anwar al-Awlaki.
The article reports:
When the police arrested Mr. Pimentel, he was about an hour away from successfully finishing a powerful pipe bomb.
Mr. Pimentel is an American citizen who was born in the Dominican Republic.
The article reports:
“I don’t know anything,” said his uncle Luis Severino, adding that his nephew moved in with him about two years ago after getting a divorce. “The only change I noticed in him is that he started following the Muslim religion.”
Mr. Pimentel is described as a ‘lone wolf’ in terms of terrorism. A lone wolf is difficult to detect because theoretically he is the only person aware of the terrorist plot he is planning. However, in the age of the internet, I am not sure there really is any such thing as a lone wolf terrorist. At some point, Mr. Pimentel began reading the on-line Al Qaeda magazine INSPIRE. When he was caught, he was using a bomb-making recipe he found in the magazine. Without the inspiration and instruction found on the internet, I am not sure Mr. Pimentel would have been radicalized. The other question I have in this case is, “What mosque did Mr. Pimentel attend and what was taught at that mosque?”
We have always had violent people among us–the unibomber comes to mind–but we seem to be dealing with a different sort of danger here. If we have mosques in this country teaching violence, we need to know where they are and keep an eye on the people who lead them and the people who attend them. I sounds to me as if this was a man who went through a divorce and was searching for his purpose in society. He found it in the idea of blowing up his fellow Americans. We need to look at how he arrived at that point and see what can be done to prevent others from taking that journey.
Fox News reported this morning that two American-born terrorists were killed in a hellfire missile strike in Yemen early Friday morning. The two terrorists were Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan.
The article reports:
Al-Awlaki was a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the network’s most active branch. He was involved in several terror plots in the United States in recent years, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks. President Obama signed an order in early 2010 making him the first American to be placed on the “kill or capture” list.
…Kahn, in his 20s, was an American of Pakistani heritage from North Carolina. His magazine promoted attacks against U.S. targets, even running articles on how to put together explosives. In one issue, Khan wrote that he had moved to Yemen and joined Al Qaeda’s fighters, pledging to “wage jihad for the rest of our lives.”
CBN News posted an article this morning by Erick Stakelbeck analyzing the impact of the death of Al-Awlaki on Al Qaeda. Mr. Stakelbeck points out that because Al-Awlaki was born in the United States and lived a major part of his life there, he understood the American culture and language and was able to radicalize Americans in a way that Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri could not..
Mr. Stakelbeck points out:
–Unlike another American-born Al Qaeda propagandist, Adam Gadahn (a.k.a. “Azzam the American”), Awlaki, who was an imam at mosques in San Diego and northern Virginia before leaving the U.S. in 2002, had major religious street cred in the radical Islamic world.
Mr. Stakelbeck concludes:
One concern: as we continue to strike blows against Al Qaeda, let’s remember that AQ is just one cog in a much broader global jihad. To hear the Obama administration tell it, if we defeat Al Qaeda, we can basically just pack up our bags and go home because the War on Terror is over. Not by a longshot. Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Hizb ut-Tahrir, homegrown jihadis and of course, the Muslim Brotherhood, just to name a few, are not only alive and kicking but in many cases (Iran, Hezbollah,the Brotherhood, etc.) growing in strength thanks to this administration’s disastrous foreign policy decisions.
The killing of al-Awlaki and Samir Khan is good news. However, we need to understand that we should remain vigilant–unfortunately Al Qaeda is only one group that has put America in its cross hairs.