Fort Hood's terror attack is inscribed in the wider ideological war, generated by radicalization and inciting individuals to perform such acts.
I warned about the rise of the domestic jihadist at least a decade ago and outlined it in my book, “Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America.” Based on my monitoring of jihadist narrative and moves over the past year I have specifically warned from targeting U.S. military at home.
I have lectured to the military and national security and briefed legislators about it.
Some commentators are saying it’s difficult to know what happened to Maj. Hasan. We’ve heard commentary about the so-called need to be careful in our analysis. Undoubtedly what made Hasan tick is ideology. What made him attack that day at that hour is to be investigated.
If our analysts can’t figure out what makes a jihadist tick, we have a problem.
The U.S. government and many in the media are confused by the fact that he adhered to an ideology and used the narrative of that ideology for years, yet he was able to conceal it for so long.
If the attack had taken place in Pakistan, Egypt, or even Saudi Arabia, with the same statements made by the perpetrator, neither authorities nor citizens would ask the question.
The “caution” we are told to follow here in the U.S. is political. It is not based on reason or any scientific logic.
U.S. leaders must be precise in identifying the ideology, explain it to the public, and at the same time warn citizens. I am not sure decision-makers are getting the best advice.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said DHS officials are working with various groups around the country to thwart any possible anti-Muslim backlash following the shootings at Fort Hood.
This is the same rhetoric we had after 9/11. Apologists for jihadism were trying to advance the theme that a mass backlash was happening and that this should be America’s top priority, shifting the debate from going after the jihadists to fearing backlashes on the streets.
The backlashes, as they were portrayed, never happened, because the American public by-and-large is mature, reasonable, and desires peace and civility.
The more officials talk about backlashes, as if they are imminent, the greater the risk of creating an environment which could make them happen.
U.S. officials should instead be talking about Muslim resistance to the jihadists. American leaders must call on all Americans, and especially Muslim-Americans to stand by their government as it uproots the jihadi terror networks, and work on de-radicalization.
Some media in the U.S. and the U.K. are linking the Fort Hood terrorist to the Sept. 11 terrorists. Does that surprise us? It shouldn’t.
If the investigation reveals more physical links to terrorism, they should be examined thoroughly. In my analysis, any mass murder with jihadi commitment is terrorism by all international convention. The problem is, the administration is not likely to admit the ideological link yet.
It is unfortunate that many in the blogosphere are not focusing on ideology, but on religion. This is actually helping the apologists — and behind them Islamist lobbies.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, announced a Senate investigation into the Fort Hood attack. He says there were “strong warning signs” that Hasan was an “Islamist extremist.”
In fact his call for an investigation of homegrown jihadism is the only statement from the U.S. government that has made any sense so far. While the administration is in denial and its opposition is in chaos, Lieberman’s clear statement is where the response to this terrorist attack must begin.
It’s been reported that Hasan snapped because of his imminent deployment overseas. Others have said he was angered by racist slurs. No matter; there is no justification for Hasan’s behavior.
Jihadists use any prevalent politically charged issue to build on and incite for hatred.
Hasan was cold-blooded and very focused. I was given a document that shows Hasan applied to attend a Homeland Security conference set at the George Washington University this year under the title, “Thinking Anew—Security Priorities for the Next Administration — Proceedings Report on the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force (Apr. 2008-Jan. 2009).” He signed on as being affiliated with the Uniformed Services University of Health Services.
Any analyst will tell you that his drive was far more complex than his bloody act. All the arguments about anger, tension, and foreign policy not only do not hold water. A man who participates in a high-level conference on Homeland Security of this kind, who has been active in the jihadi ideological realm, and who massacres scores of American military personnel, is a jihadi terrorist.
The statements by jihadists on Facebook and other sites in support of Hasan are evidence to the nature of his mission. There will be more of this with time. But going beyond this, the real questions to address are the following:
Who was he in contact with – in terms of these activities – over the past years?
Who indoctrinated him? This is inescapable and has to be discovered.
Are there other similar cases like Hasan’s that we need to be aware of?
I hope Sen. Lieberman’s initiative to investigate the matter in the Senate will be a first step. I hope we do it expeditiously before we are surprised again, dramatically by future jihadi terrorists on U.S. soil.
Dr. Walid Phares is the author of “Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad” and the Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (www.walidphares.com).
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