More Terror at Fort Hood?

James Carafano /

Media reports claim that three soldiers at Fort Hood have been arrested in alleged terror plot.

The very first thing that ought to be said about this is that we ought to learn a lesson from the recent terrorist act in Oslo, Norway, and wait for the facts before pontificating. If it is an actual terror plot, that would make it (at least) the 41st plot aimed at the U.S. since 9/11 that was foiled before it came to fruition.

If indeed, U.S. soldiers were involved—well, that is not unprecedented. In addition to the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood perpetrated by Major Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army officer, there have been other acts of U.S. military personal against their brothers in arms as well.

In one noteworthy 2004 case, Shannen Rossmiller, posing as an al-Qaeda operative, grew suspicious when an individual calling himself Amir Abdul Rashid posted in English on an Arabic-language site seeking to link up with the mujahideen (“freedom fighters” a term most closely associated with the groups with the Taliban, a group ousted from Afghanistan by U.S.-led operations after 9/11). She tracked his IP address to Seattle, Washington. Then, through their exchanges, she decided he must be a member of the U.S. military. Rossmiller contacted the newly established Department of Homeland Security, which in turn put her in contact with the FBI. The FBI monitored the exchanges with Anderson. In February 2004, undercover investigators met with Anderson at a parking lot near the Space Needle in Seattle just days before he was to leave for Iraq with his unit. Anderson was arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of five counts of attempting to aid and provide intelligence to the enemy.

On the eve of the Iraq War in 2003, a U.S. soldier, Hasan Karim Akbar, killed two Army officers and wounded others at a U.S. base camp in Kuwait. Akbar wrote prior to the attack, “I may not have killed any Muslims, but being in the army is the same thing. I may have to make a choice very soon on who to kill.”

It is also worth remembering that there are millions of men and women in the armed forces of all creed, color, religion, and background. Overwhelmingly, they are the best of us, and our freedom and security rests on their shoulders. Protecting them and the rest of us from the scourge of terrorism is a 24/7/365 job that our government must take seriously—without compromise. That imperative will hold true regardless of what future facts come to light.