The Fort Hood killings were no isolated incident, but part of al-Qaeda’s “third wave.”
Just a few days ago, reports of a terrorist threat at FORT BENNING as a follow up to the massacre at Fort Hood were reported but received less than extensive coverage by the media.
By GORDON CUCULLU–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, apotential 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 highjackers, 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.
Alleged terrorists are emerging across the social spectrum. Some are white wannabes who revere the likes of turncoats like American Taliban John Walker Lindh. Others are Somalis, Moroccans, Palestinians and others who were born or reside in America and have been radicalized here.
Then there are former criminals (primarily African-Americans) radicalized in prison by fundamentalist imams (mostly trained in Saudi Arabia). Abdullah was among this group. Christian Science Monitor reporter Michael Farrell notes that Muslim prison conversions occur at the rate of 35,000 a year.
The “third wave” strategy doesn’t focus on recruiting “inside the tent” members but on street operatives whose missions can support the terrorist agenda.
The terror masters hope to create compartmentalized, grass-roots cells that will act independently to carry out attacks. The network will have enough lines of communication through mosques and charities to coordinate efforts if required or to funnel weapons, explosives, training and funding to those cells showing promise.
And, as a “fringe benefit,” they get radicals like Maj. Hasan. As this third wave strengthens, we should expect many more attacks — and rising discontent among Americans persuaded to sympathize with our enemies. NY POST
Gordon Cucullu, a former Army lieutenant colonel, is author of “Inside Gitmo: The True Story Behind the Myths of Guantanamo Bay.”