Sunday, May 26, 2013

Global Impact: Unprovoked Attacks on Military Personnel in US, UK a Call for Enhanced Strategies

According to Reuters, British counter-terrorism police on Saturday (May 25) arrested three persons suspected in the involvement of the intentional hitting of a British soldier with a motor vehicle and subsequent execution of the victim with meat cleavers and knives.

Before, during and following the attack on the soldier, two of the soldier's assailants were quoted as shouting Islamist slogans.

Eight people have now been detained in connection with the murder on Wednesday (May 22) of Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, who previously served with British Army coalition forces in Afghanistan. Rigby had served as a member of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are under armed guard in a local hospital after being shot and arrested by police on suspicion of murder on Wednesday. Adebolajo and Adebowale attacked outside Woolwich Barracks in southeast London, and then attacked him with bladed instruments, before being shot by police. The pair told bystanders they were acting in revenge for British wars in Muslim countries.

COMMENT: French police have also been investigating whether the stabbing of a soldier patrolling a business district west of Paris on Saturday (May 25) was a copycat crime. The soldier was injured and his assailant fled.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters earlier this week that both men suspected to have attacked the soldier were known to Britain's MI5 domestic security service. However, neither man was deemed to pose a serious threat. The question is...why were they not perceived to be a threat? In the interest of public safety, and protecting one citizen from another, why couldn't Adebolajo and  Adebowale have been put under surveillance?

At a minimum, countless physical attacks in a number of Western nations, many resulting in death, seems to represent a call for enhanced public safety strategies against radicalized Islamists, regardless of our preoccupation with political correctness.

The brutal attack by a radicalized Islamist, active-duty Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, at Ford Hood (Killeen, TX) on November 5, 2009, has conveniently been categorized as a "workplace violence incident" by the Obama Administration, rather than calling it what it is, an act of terrorism. It should also be noted that Hasan is a licensed psychiatrist and continues to paid his military salary, some four years after the attack, which resulted in the deaths of 13 and the injury to 30 others.
Days after the shooting, reports in the media revealed that a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) had been aware of e-mail communications between Hasan and the Yemen-based American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been monitored by the NSA as a security threat, and that Hasan's colleagues had been aware of his increasing radicalization for several years. The cleric was later killed by an armed drone.

What I personally find fascinating albeit alarming is that that there were so many precursor indicators of Hasan's growing radicalization as an extreme Muslim going back to the mid-to-late 1980s, not to mention his email exchanges with Anwar al-Awlaki. Sadly, Hasan's shooting rampage at Fort Hood might well have been prevented if the US Government's addiction to being political correct had focused more directly and appropriately on Hasan's loyalty to the US.

It seems reasonable to conclude that all Western nations have a lawful and appropriate responsibility to investigate any person, native-born or naturalized, if they pose a threat to another citizen and to take action in protecting the public.

As background on both Adebolajo and  Adebowale, see:

The public safety strategies of the US and British governments must quickly shift as terrorists modify their tactical options.

What is so similar in both the Boston Marathon attack and the attack on Drummer Rigby is that US and British authorities had previously interviewed the respective assailants and seemingly discounted them as being a clear and present danger.