Although the news we’ve been getting about the shootings implies that this was a discrete incident involving a “disgruntled” soldier, this tragedy could be part of a larger, sonn to emerge, pattern.
I hope I’m wrong about this, but consider the following from an analysis by Stratfor dated November 4, i.e., the day before the shootings:
In the 11th edition of the online magazine Sada al-Malahim (The Echo of Battle), which was released to jihadist Web sites last week, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasir al-Wahayshi wrote an article that called for jihadists to conduct simple attacks against a variety of targets. The targets included “any tyrant, intelligence den, prince” or “minister” (referring to the governments in the Muslim world like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen), and “any crusaders whenever you find one of them, like at the airports of the crusader Western countries that participate in the wars against Islam, or their living compounds, trains etc.,” (an obvious reference to the United States and Europe and Westerners living in Muslim countries).
The analysis continues:
…with al Qaeda’s structure under continual attack and no regional al Qaeda franchise groups in the Western Hemisphere, the most pressing jihadist threat to the U.S. homeland at present stems from grassroots jihadists, not the al Qaeda core. This trend has been borne out by the large number of plots and arrests over the past several years, to include several so far in 2009.
The full analysis is here
IWe know that the shooter was a participant on jihadist message boards, and that he was in a position to carry out an attack in response to such calls.
There are also reports that the authorities knew about his particpation on jihadist boards for at least six months.
It’s a safe bet that he wasn’t the only person with the motivation and means to perpetrate these horrors.
While the investigation of Hasan continues, I hope that those who are tasked with the protection of the homeland are also busy rolling up any other potential actors of whom they are aware.
The last thing I want to hear in the wake of another attack is: “Oh yeah, we’ve known about this guy for months.”
Oh, and while we’re at it, perhaps AG Holder could find something better to do than prosecute people who are trying to keep us from harm. Heck, maybe he could employ some of his vast resources to investigating and stopping our actual enemies.