On Monday it came to light that the FBI and the U.S. military were on the hunt for a Muslim Army recruit who was, according to an alert, plotting a “Fort Hood-inspired jihad against U.S. soldiers.”
On Tuesday the FBI insisted that there was no manhunt and that this man was not a threat–even as the man’s purported Facebook page revealed posts indicating his intention to “wage jihad.” That was not the only way that this incident pointed up yet again the inadequacy and wrongheadedness of government and law enforcement officials’ response to jihad terror.
The alert, according to Fox News, states that “a man identified as Booker had told friends of his ‘intention to commit jihad,'” and that Booker “is also known as Muhammad Abdullah Hassan.” He was John Thomas Booker, 19, who was “recruited by the U.S. Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for basic training on April 7. But he was discharged last week, apparently after law enforcement authorities learned of his alleged plan.” It apparently wasn’t difficult for authorities to find out about this plan, since he “publicly stated his intention to commit jihad, bidding farewell to his friends and making comments indicating his jihad was imminent.”
Left unclear is whether this man was known as Booker or as Muhammad Abdullah Hassan when he was recruited into the Army, but it wouldn’t have made any difference. Army officials stated that he never said anything anti-American while he was being recruited, and that was apparently enough for them. For years now, the U.S. military has been avid to recruit Muslim soldiers, so as to give substance to the repeated claims by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama that the United States is not at war with Islam, and to show that Muslims are welcome to participate in all strata of American society.
Indeed, so avid have they been that there are absolutely no procedures in place for questioning potential Muslim recruits in order to try to discover their views on jihad and learn more about their loyalties. Such procedures would be roundly condemned as “Islamophobic” and subject military brass to a media firestorm orchestrated by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization whose ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are abundantly documented but seldom get mentioned in mainstream media reports that uniformly refer to them as a “civil rights” group.
The military’s anxiousness to find and showcase Muslim personnel is best illustrated by the career of the Fort Hood jihad mass murderer himself, Nidal Malik Hasan. As I detail in my book Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In, Hasan rose through Army ranks even as he justified suicide bombing and spouted hatred for America, and he did so with extraordinarily positive recommendations. In an evaluation dated March 13, 2009, just short of eight months before his jihad attack, Hasan’s superiors said that he should be put into a position “that allows others to learn from his perspectives” and declared that his “unique insights into the dimensions of Islam” and his “moral reasoning” could be of “great potential interest and strategic importance to the U.S. Army.”
A July 1, 2009 report went even farther, saying that Hasan had “a keen interest in Islamic culture and faith and has shown capacity to contribute to our psychological understanding of Islamic nationalism and how it may relate to events of national security and Army interest in the Middle East and Asia.”
And ultimately Hasan did indeed “contribute to our psychological understanding of Islamic nationalism and how it may relate to events of national security,” but not in the way the author of this fulsome evaluation expected, and not even in a way that military and intelligence officials are able to capitalize upon. They can’t capitalize upon it because they are hamstrung by a politically correct willful ignorance about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat–a willful ignorance that, as I show in Arab Winter Comes to America, became official Obama Administration policy in 2010, at the behest of leftist and Islamic supremacist groups.
Not long after the Fort Hood massacre, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared: “This was an individual who does not represent the Muslim faith”–despite the fact that Hasan’s repeated explanations and justifications of his murders were based wholly and solely on Islamic teaching. Army Chief of Staff George Casey even went so far as to say that barring Muslims from the military or subjecting them to additional scrutiny would be worse than the massacre itself: “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
Diversity did not become a casualty of the Fort Hood massacre. And so in July 2011, another Muslim soldier, Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, was arrested for plotting to explode a bomb at a restaurant near Fort Hood frequented by military personnel. As he was led out of a federal courtroom a day after his arrest, Abdo shouted out the name of his hero and role model: “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009!”
Apparently Booker, aka Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, has the same hero. A March 15 post on what appears to be his Facebook page states: “Oh those of the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad(S). I will soon be leaving you forever so goodbye! I am going to wage jihad and hopes [sic] that i die.” He is now in a mental health facility, according to Fox News, as apparently the U.S. government thinks that any Muslim who wants to wage jihad as directed by the Qur’an and Sunnah must be insane.
The initial Fox report about this recruit’s jihad also states: “Law enforcement sources familiar with the alert said it appeared to suggest that there may be others in addition to Booker who also might have expressed similar intentions to commit jihad against U.S. military installations.” Of course. But is anything being done about it? Or would effective action be “Islamophobic”?
Fundamental change is needed in the stance of the U.S. government toward the jihad threat. If it doesn’t come, and it is not on the horizon, the one certainty is that there will be more Muslim soldiers who idolize Nidal Hasan, and more Fort Hood-style jihad massacres.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.