Update: Members of the joint Congressional committee “blasted” the Department of Defense for downplaying talk of terrorism and referring to the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” The DoD was accused of being “politically correct” in avoiding association of the terrorist attacks with Islam — the same thing it was found at fault for in the months leading up to the Fort Hood shooting.
US Representative Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is holding another hearing on “homegrown terrorism.” While he was criticized for his earlier hearings on the subject for the implied negativity toward American Muslims, these new hearings are a joint meeting between the House and Senate committees, showing “threat is legitimate,” according to King.
King and Senator Joe Lieberman, his Senate counterpart from Connecticut, both agreed that US military soft targets are “increasingly in the terrorists’ scope.”
There is growing evidence that homegrown terrorists see military personnel and bases as legitimate, high-value targets, lawmakers Read more
PFC Naser Abdo pled not guilty to charges he planned to kill American Soldiers at Fort Hood by blowing up a local restaurant and shooting any survivors.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo answered “sure do” Thursday when U.S. Magistrate Jeff Manske asked if he understood the charges, and said “sure do have none” when asked if he had questions about the charges.
Prosecutors reportedly plan to try him first on the charges which carry the longest sentences. He faces life in prison if convicted.
A few websites have noted Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick’s statement to ThinkProgress interviewers that Muslims should be removed from the US military. The video is available on YouTube.
It’s worth noting Womick’s political position has been somewhat inflated in a few reports. For example, ThinkProgress suffixed his name with (R-TN), as did some others, which is inaccurate. The “party-state” designation is used for members of the US House; it is redundant to say “Tennessee state rep (R-TN).” The more accurate description is (R-34) or R-Rockvale, as Womick represents District 34 in the Tennessee State House. As a state representative, Womick has no influence over the US military. (As an aside, Rep Womick was an F-15 fighter pilot during Operation Desert Storm.)
That said, his comments were widely reported and not well received (with one exception). He’s been described as un-American and said to be “defaming all members of the military.”
Womick uses US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan and PFC Naser Abdo (though he forgets his name) as support for his position, saying they are examples of the Islamic inconsistency with military service.
Ironically, it seems Rep Womick agrees with religious freedom critic Michael Read more
US Army PFC Naser Abdo has been indicted on additional charges related to his planned attack on Fort Hood a few months ago. (His effort is one of 10 revealed planned or attempted attacks on the US military by those claiming or somehow motivated by their Islamic faith.) He now faces a possible life sentence:
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo was indicted on Read more
Arid Uka, accused in the murder of two members of the US Air Force at the Frankfurt airport in Germany, now says he does not believe Islam permits violence beyond self-defense.
While Arid Uka still prays and considers himself a Muslim, he said Wednesday he was duped by extremist propaganda and no longer believes his religion permits violence, except in self-defense. He added that shooting the airmen was not permitted by his religion.
This change of heart is somewhat unique, as some other recent Read more
Last week Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said “lone wolf” attacks were “on the rise” in the face of the massive defenses in place in response to organized terrorist plots.
“What we see now is smaller plots,” she said. “We are also seeing a rise of activities by individuals who are actually in the country, and they are acting by themselves and that kind of attack is the most difficult to prevent because there is nothing to intercept.”
In addition to using the example of Anders Brevik, a six-page bulletin from the FBI and DHS also included US Army Soldier Naser Abdo: Read more
A federal judge referred the case of US Army PFC Naser Abdo to a grand jury, and indicated Abdo may face additional charges in the foiled “terror plot” in which he stands accused.
Given the testimony, Abdo seems to have largely confessed to the public characterization of the attempted attack:
After Abdo was arrested at the motel, with some items found in his backpack, he told authorities he was planning “a massive attack in the Killeen and Fort Hood area,” [FBI special agent Michael] Brogan testified. Abdo said he planned to make two bombs and detonate them in a restaurant where Fort Hood soldiers eat, according to documents filed in the case.
The Army Times article notes US Army Maj Nidal Malik Hasan is also in jail not far away, awaiting his capital trial.
Previously it was noted the foiled attack on Fort Hood by US Army PFC Naser Abdo made 8 recent attacks or attempted attacks on the US military by people apparently somehow motivated by their Islamic beliefs. That was in error; it is actually 9.
The Air Force Times notes the case of Antonio Martinez, Read more