Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ideology As Motivation

There is a good article over on STRATFOR about Lone Wolf militants and the threat they pose. This article was prompted by Mondays shooting outside an Arkansas US Army Recruiting center that left one soldier dead and one wounded.
At a press conference, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas identified the suspect as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a 21-year-old African-American man who had changed his name from Carlos Leon Bledsoe after converting to Islam. In Arabic, the word mujahid is the singular form of mujahideen, and it literally means one who engages in jihad. Although Mujahid is not an uncommon Muslim name, it is quite telling that a convert to Islam would choose such a name — one who engages in jihad — to define his new identity. Muhammad was originally from Memphis, Tenn., but according to news reports was living and working in Little Rock.

Chief Thomas said Muhammad admitted to the shootings and told police that he specifically targeted soldiers. During an interrogation with a Little Rock homicide detective, Muhammad reportedly said that he was angry at the U.S. Army because of their attacks against Muslims overseas, that he opened fire intending to kill the two soldiers and that he would have killed more if they had been in the parking lot. These statements are likely what Chief Thomas was referring to when he noted in his press conference that Muhammad appears to have had political and religious motives for the attack and that it was conducted in response to U.S. military operations. Source: STRATFOR.com

This shooting comes on the heels of Sunday's shooting of an abortion doctor by an actor known for his violent anti-abortion rhetoric. In a nation where free speech is protected by law, even if that speech is distasteful, there are plenty of people with a radical axe to grind.

Law enforcement is much more likely to encounter a lone wolf militant than a full blown Al Qaeda terrorist cell. In fact, as the economy melts down and more and more people become disenfranchised we are only more likely to see this type of events occur. Are you ready to respond to an incident such as this?

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