November 7, 2009
By Paul Sperry
Why did the US military ignore the clear warning signs that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected Ft. Hood shooter, had embraced radical Islam -- and thus become a danger to all around him?
It wasn't an oversight, it was policy -- one the Pentagon has been doubling down on ever since 9/11.
This summer, Hasan was overheard cheering the shooting death of a Little Rock Army recruiter by a Muslim. His patients complained about him proselytizing about Islam. He gave his nationality as "Palestinian" even though he was born in America. He apparently blogged about the glory of suicide bombings.
His superiors put up blinders to all these red flags because Hasan -- who wore traditional Islamic robe and kufi and prayed five times a day -- practiced the "religion of peace." And they're not supposed to make a connection between that religion and terrorism, even as they prosecute a war on Islamic terrorism.
The Pentagon has made well-publicized moves to show the military does not equate Islam with terror, and is making efforts to accommodate more Muslims in the military, whose ranks now exceed 15,000. It recently dedicated a new Muslim prayer center at Quantico, commissioned the first Muslim chaplain at the Air Force Academy and inaugurated the first Muslim prayer room at West Point.
Good and decent Muslims certainly serve admirably. But how does the military know which Muslims will put allegiance to country ahead of allegiance to Allah as interpreted by radical Islam? A conflict obviously exists for soldiers like Hasan -- and for Sgt. Hasan Akbar, the Muslim convert who in 2003 fragged commanding officers at a military camp outside Iraq, killing two and wounding 15 others.
Akbar said at the time he did it out of loyalty to the ummah, the international community of Muslims. "You guys are coming into our countries," he said, "and you're going to rape our women and kill our children."
Within months of Akbar's traitorous 2003 attacks, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued an internal report warning that Muslim soldiers pose a possible security threat -- which the Pentagon by and large ignored.
Then, in 2005, after the FBI broke up a Muslim spy ring at Gitmo that involved Muslim military personnel, the Pentagon's counterspying unit, the Counterintelligence Field Activity, warned brass that Islamic legal doctrine was compromising devout Muslim soldiers' loyalty:
"Recent examples of a Muslim FBI agent and other Muslim law-enforcement personnel declining to investigate their fellow Muslims, the flawed translation process in Guantanamo and the controversy surrounding an Army Muslim chaplain and his relationship with Muslim detainees in Guantanamo are very probably concrete expressions of conscientious decisions rooted in a clearly articulated religious and legal doctrine," the declassified briefing states.
But higher-ups ignored that report,too.
They also balked at a subsequent Defense Department Inspector General warning to the Pentagon to review the backgrounds of Muslim chaplains who'd been sponsored by a group founded by a Muslim activist convicted of terrorism. Asked to make sure those chaplains weren't radicalizing soldiers, a Pentagon spokeswoman responded blithely, "These are all good chaplains who have represented their faith well."
A couple of years ago, it became known that 10 of the 14 Muslim chaplains in the US military had trained at an Islamic school that the FBI raided after 9/11, a school still run by an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator.
Members of Congress led by Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) last year asked the Pentagon to use the FBI to screen groups that certify chaplains. The Pentagon replied it would be "legally problematic" to do so -- even though some of these chaplains have been radicalizing soldiers.
As it stands now, the Pentagon won't remove or reject Muslim chaplains unless they've been charged or convicted of terrorism or if the religious organization endorsing them appears on the State Department's list of foreign terror organizations. The chaplain who set up the Quantico mosque graduated from the same FBI-raided radical school, now operating as Cordoba University.
Last year, Hassan Abujihaad, a Navy signalman, was convicted of tipping off al Qaeda about battlegroup movements in the Persian Gulf, including disclosing classified documents detailing the group's vulnerability to terror attack. "Father of Jihad," the name he chose when he converted to Islam, gave this traitor away -- yet the military was too drunk on political correctness to notice when it recruited him and put him on a destroyer.
Other terrorists are knocking on the recruiting-station door. One of the convicted Fort Dix terrorists said he wanted to join the Army so he could kill US soldiers from the "inside."
Meanwhile, the Army secretary says he's trying to "understand the effects of stress" that could have led a soldier at the Army's largest post to mow down so many of his fellow soldiers.
What stress could have caused him to calmly pass out Qurans to his neighbors just hours before the shooting, and then, as he opened fire, shout, "Allahu Akbar"?
Earth to Pentagon: The Muslim shooter didn't snap. His terrorism was well-planned. He'd carefully prepared for a martyrdom operation.
If officials would take off the PC blinders, they'd see that. Until they do, more soldiers will be vulnerable to attack -- along with the rest of us.
Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow, is co-author of the new book, "Muslim Mafia."