At the close of 2009, this year took the appearance as one of the most dangerous since 2001 for terrorist activity. Consider what is known as a result of media reporting:
- Young Somali-Americans missing by the dozen from their suburban communities only to be found either in terrorist training camps in Africa, or dead as a result of their extremist activities.
- A purported Al-Qaeda cell planning attacks against the New York City subway system. Investigators found up to 12 backpacks that could have been used to transport the explosives, and this would indicate plans were for potentially 12 homicide bombers hitting the transit system in a coordinated attack.
- American, caucasian, citizens apprehended while they were within the planning stage of a terrorist attack on military installations state-side. It was revealed that the seemingly normal "average Joes" had been involved in militant activities for at least a decade, if not more, and had received terrorist training overseas.
- Government facilities in Houston and Chicago were targeted for Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices and fortunately, the bombers were set up for interdiction by the Joint Terrorism Task Force before carrying out their plans.
- A U.S. Army recruiter shot and killed outside of his recruiting office by a Muslim American with known extremist views.
- Another American citizen, Chicago resident, recently discovered by foreign law enforcement assets, who fore-knew of the 2008 Mumbai, India, terrorist attack which killed hundreds. Only time will tell to what extent this person contributed to the event, but media reports suggest his knowledge of the attack plans were extensive.
- Last, but not least, the doctor who took several oaths (one to treat the ill and the other to the President of The United States as a field grade officer in the U.S. Army), but instead of serving his nation honorably, he killed his nations soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas.
What do these incidents have in common? Islamic Extremism - plain and simple.
Since 2001, there have been roughly 30 known planned terrorist attacks against the U.S. with 10 of those being discovered in 2009 alone. This more than 30% increase, within one year, is explosive growth and is a duly noted concern being echoed throughout all levels of the federal government. The real factor accounting for this alarming growth is the acceptance of Islamic extremist ideology by immigrants and others susceptible to that belief system. The U.S. has entered a phase of battle, concerning the overall Global War on Terror, that Western Europe has been confronted with for years, as referenced in a December 12th, 2009, article by The Wall Street Journal, titled, "Arrest Raise Fears of American Jihad".
Watch What You Say
When the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, took place U.S. Army knew, or should have known, exactly what they were dealing with: a Lone-Wolf Terrorist within their rank-and-file. However, the command elements immediately denied the shootings were an act of terror, but rather chalked up the event as the unfortunate act of a deranged gunman. Before taking this approach, those military commanders should have read their own Army regulation that defines what terrorism actually is. According to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terminology, they define terrorism as:
The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. (Army Regulation 525-13)
Does the incident that Nidal Hassan is alleged to have committed fit this definition? I believe it does, and evidently so does Senator John McCain who stated in a hearing he hoped political correctness was not a contributing factor to the catastrophe. Why would the military deny the incident as a terrorist attack? Consider the following: