Saturday, June 13, 2009

A report on the Little Rock Muslim terrorist

The NEFA Foundation, a private non-profit that researches terrorism issues, has released A NEFA report on the Little Rock, Arkansas Recruiting Station Shooting dated June, 2009.

The parts about Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammed, who has admitted himself and through his attorney to the murder last week of an Army recruiter, Pvt. William Long, don't seem to contain much new that I haven't already seen in news reports. But for politically motivated crimes, the political context is important to understand and the report is helpful in that regard.

One new biographical detail that I hadn't caught before:

ABC News reported that "it is believed that Muhammed attended the Damaj Institute, an Islamic institute attended by a number of radicalized U.S. converts, which was once attended by John Walker Lindh." The U.S. Department of Defense has alleged that the Damaj Institute "was often used for indoctrination and recruiting grounds for foreign extremists/terrorists seeking entry into paramilitary or jihad organizations."
The report summarizes information on a variety of terrorist cases - ones that were tried in US courts without torturing the suspects - that involved plotting to attack soldiers at military bases in the US or at recruiting offices, which is what Muhammad did.

In a Chicago case involving defendants Derrick Shareef and Hassan Abujihaad, the report says:

According to Shareef, "in or about 2003,"” Shareef and Abujihaad talked about attacking a U.S. military recruiting station in a Phoenix mall. At Abujihaad’s direction, Shareef visited the recruiting station, where he took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. Sharing his observations with Abujihaad, Shareef noted that recruiters from all four branches of the armed services were present, and that they "were very relaxed and…appeared to be unarmed." The men then pointed out that a recruiting station was an appealing target because “you could go in with a gun or a grenade and get them all at once."
With conservatives eager to dissociate themselves from violent rightwing terrorists, some of them were quick to blame the Little Rock murder on critics of the Iraq War. And the killer clearly said that the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq affected his thinking and choice of targets.

But was he "liberal" or particularly influenced by "leftwingers"? I'm going to venture a guess that his studies at the Damaj Institute in Yemen didn't involved indoctrination in radical feminism or LGBT rights or Keynesian economics.

The level of leftwing terrorism in the US right now is pretty low. And what there is of it is likely to be more focused on attacks on property or computer systems by animal-rights or eco-extremists. But that's not the primary terrorist problem in the US right now. Sara Robinson has a (to me) surprising rundown of the deadly terrorist incidents in the US since Obama's inauguration at Tragedy at the Holocaust Museum: Stand Up To Terror Orcinus blog 06/11/09.

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