“Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.”
–Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki
You probably can’t believe what you’re hearing, seeing, and reading. I can’t. That the media is reporting on the Fort Hood massacre with such an even tone of political correctness is incredible. The reporting is spineless. A New York Times editorial says, “In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East.” Would the media please wake up? The fact is that 13 Americans are dead, 29 Americans are wounded, and the lives of all 42 families will never be the same again. Ever. The longer terrorists can hide behind our respect for diversity and fairness, paralyzing political correctness, and fear of racial profiling, the easier targets we all become.
The facts behind this tragedy add up to much more than one person’s struggle with life. “One of the key questions for investigators, who are now looking into potential links between radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and the accused perpetrator of the massacre at Ft. Hood, Maj. Malik Nidal Hasan, is understanding to what degree al-Awlaki’s extreme sermons may have infuenced Hasan’s actions,” writes Evan Kohlman of Counterterrorism Blog.
Cleric Al-Awlaki’s sermon “Constants on the Path of Jihad” is the bible for lone-wolf Muslim extremists. It is the English interpretation of the Arabic version written by the founder of Al-Qaeda’s network in Saudi Arabia, Yousef al-Ayyiri. As reported by Kohlmann, Al-Awlaki argues, “Jihad does not end with the disappearance of a person. Jihad must continue regardless because it does not depend on any particular leader or individual … Jihad does not depend on any particular land. It is global. When the Muslim is in his land, he performs jihad … No borders or barriers stop it.”
Jarret Brachman, author of Global Jihadism and consultant to the United States government about terrorism, says, “For years now Al Qaeda has been calling their movement to arms-sowing seeds across the global movement. What is clear, however, is that the seeds are now starting to sprout.”
U.S. citizen David Coleman Headley, 49, of Chicago is the principal defendant accused of planning an attack on a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the prophet Mohammad. He went to Pakistan and was trained by al Qaeda affiliate Ilyas Kashmir. A former Pakistani army trainer of Afghan mujahideen, Kashmir is one of the most dangerous Islamic militants operating in Pakistan’s restive tribal areas. Headley planned to attack a newspaper over a cartoon. As an American, does he know that freedom of speech is a constitutional right? Most likely, he’s not what you and I consider “American”-he just lives here. And why did the U.S. let Headley back into the country after he trained with Kashmir in Pakistan? The land of the free and home of the brave should not be a place that allows citizens to travel to the Middle East for terror training tactics and return home as if they’ve been away on a Mediterranean cruise or for a semester abroad. And he’s not the only one.
Najibullah Zazi, 24, a legal resident of the United States and a Colorado shuttle bus driver, received direct training in Pakistan from high-ranking al Qaeda operative Mustafa Abu al-Yazid. His case is the most advanced U.S. plot since 9/11. Growing up in America, Zazi worshipped at an Afghan mosque in Flushing, Queens, New York and attended Flushing High School. After 9/11, members of his mosque became divided over their support for the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. And all along I thought the Taliban and bin Laden were enemies of America. Do terrorists like Zazi and members of his childhood mosque believe in our Constitution, or the constitution that governs countries like Saudi Arabia-the Koran and their intolerant Wahhabi faith?
In Sudbury, Massachusetts, an affluent suburb of Boston not far from where I went to school at Babson College, Tarek Mehanna, 27, was arrested for participating in conspiracies to attack a U.S. shopping mall and assassinate federal officials. He was out on bail awaiting trial for allegedly lying to the FBI about the whereabouts of Daniel Malnado. They used to watch jihadi videotapes together in Mr. Mehann’s living room and “talked about the glory of dying for the sake of Allah,” reports The WSJ. Malnado, of New Hampshire, is serving 10 years in jail for training with terrorists to overthrow the Somali government. I have two questions: one, why was Mehanna free on bail while plotting to kill Americans at a mall? And two, why is Malnado in jail for only 10 years?
Money flowing from charities to mosques of the intolerant radical Wahhabi or Salafist Muslim faiths must be tracked and followed. Let’s cut the red tape between U.S. agencies and get on the same page. If there is evidence showing money flowing between terrorists and charities, then those charities should be put out of business in America. Funding terrorism is illegal, plain and simple. The number of Americans with extremist views who are free to roam untouched is increasing. Radical Wahabbi or Salafist beliefs stand against everything America stands for, most importantly freedom. Never mind the billions we’ve spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. How long are we going to allow ourselves to be a target at home?
E.J. Smith is Managing Director of Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. an investment advisory firm managing portfolios for investors with over $1,000,000 in investable assets