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Friday, January 15, 2010
 

Fallout in the Military Over Nidal Hasan

It looks like there will changes in procedures and discipline for those who failed to spot problems that could have prevented the murder spree of Nidal Hasan, the Army major who shot and killed 13 people in November. The missed warning signs included Hasan's obsession with U.S. wars as "wars against Islam" and his contacts with radical Al Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar Awlaki.

Contrast that to the handling of Ali Mohamed, Al Qaeda's last big conquest within the military. Mohamed infiltrated the U.S. military on orders from Al Qaeda's No. 2 leader Ayman Al Zawahiri. Some of his commanding officers sent up alarm bells about Mohamed's radical leanings (including statements made on the video below which was distributed by the military to educate soldiers about the Middle East).

No one was disciplined and nothing was changed after Mohamed's spying on behalf of Al Qaeda was exposed, a failure that spanned both Republican and Democratic administrations. The Pentagon even stonewalled requests by the CIA for information about foreign nationals serving in the armed forces after Mohamed's duplicity was finally exposed in 1998.

Accountability is an important tool in dealing with terrorism, because accountability leads to adaptability, which is our enemy's greatest strength. It's a lesson that could be applied even more broadly in the U.S. government, but a good start is a good start.

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ABOUT

INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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