Monday, November 23, 2009

Fort Hood: The 'Third Wave' of Terror

It's a shame we ignored all the warning signs. For years we've seen a number of budding terrorists arrested but the media usually ignored the obvious: That we have terrorists living among us. We've had the Fort Dix plot, the synagogue plot in New York, the shoe bomber Richard Reid, Megahed and Mohammed in North Carolina and, more recently, plots in Chicago and Dallas.

Yet they've all been dismissed, especially by the sneering television types who instead would rather rant about the "threats" posed by Dick Cheney.

So now eight years after 9/11 some people are finally waking up about the homegrown threats we face although many are still desperate to avoid the obvious.
The Fort Hood killings were no isolated incident, but part of al Qaeda's "third wave."

The 9/11 terrorists were the first wave: Their attacks culminated years of direct attacks on America and the West by al Qaeda operators -- a core group of Saudi, Yemeni and other identifiably Arab men. But Osama bin Laden and his key assistants had long realized we'd take measures to guard against such foreigners -- that future attacks would have to draw on a new "talent" pool.

"Zacarias Moussaoui was designated to be part of the second wave of attacks," terror mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad testified in a deposition for Moussaoui's trial. Al Qaeda's leaders knew that, post-9/11, US security authorities would look at men from Arab countries as a potential threat. To circumvent expected security measures, they recruited terrorists with French, British and other countries' passports.

Witness shoe bomber Richard Reid, flying from Paris with a UK passport, and Jose Padilla, a potential dirty bomber who trained in al Qaeda's Afghanistan terror camps. Those attempts failed, but the second wave, to a certain extent, continues.

Yet the third wave was visible well before Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan hit the headlines. It consists of US citizens and residents (legal or otherwise) plotting attacks who can pass under the radar of measures designed to thwart first- and second-wave operatives.

Hasan may have acted alone, but his alleged actions prompt the question: How many are out there? There's excellent reason to think the answer is many, many more.

Even before Fort Hood, authorities in New York, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and other states recently had broken a rash of cases, arresting potential terrorists and disclosing their plots. Every time law enforcement kicks over one of these anthills, it uncovers an intricate underground network with paths leading into major cities, rural areas and even prisons.

Consider the 12 people tied to Detroit's Masjid Al-Haqq mosque charged with felonies in their leader's fatal Oct. 28 firefight with FBI agents. This apparently isolated Dearborn case turned out to have direct links to '60s radical H. Rap Brown -- who converted to Islam while serving time in Attica, changing his name to Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. He's allegedly running a network from a prison cell in Florence Max, Colo. (where he's serving a life sentence for murdering a police officer).

In 1993, the infamous Blind Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman was found to be under orders from Ramzi Binalshibh, coordinator between KSM and the 9/11 hijackers, with a network extending to closed Muslim communities both inside New York City and in remote upstate Hancock, NY.

A convenience-store front operation in North Carolina, broken up in advance of terrorist activities, allegedly was found to be a stolen-car ring that funneled cash to al Qaeda. Seven men were indicted in July.

As law-enforcement agents dig, each case leads to spreading networks. Plainly, the fundamentalist ideology has sunk serious roots in America.
Rather than attack the problem we wait until plots nearly come to fruition and then we allow those who would annihilate us all the rights accorded your average jaywalker.

Then we're put on trial while still burying our head int he sand. It'll be the demise of us all.

Despite all this, who does the Obama administration designate as a danger?

Why, Sarah Palin, of course.

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