So it turns out that the worst Islamist terrorist strike since 9/11 — an attack that killed twice as many Americans as were slain in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — was not a terrorist attack at all. Just ask the FBI.
The initial hurried reports of thirteen people (including twelve U.S. soldiers) murdered, and dozens of others wounded, were just coming in. A pained Diane Sawyer was wishing aloud that Nidal Malik Hasan were named “Smith.” Her colleagues in what now passes for mainstream journalism were risibly theorizing that post-traumatic stress disorder must have snapped this non-combat Army psychiatrist — one who’d screamed “Allahu akbar!” while mowing down U.S. soldiers about to deploy to a Muslim country for a war he’d made no secret of deploring; one whose only battlefield experience was the massacre he’d just committed against unarmed men and women in a Fort Hood training center.
Then, like the cavalry, the FBI came riding to the PC rescue. The Federal Bureau of Let’s Skip the Investigation pronounced that the killing was not terrorism. Forget about Islamic (or at least Islamist) terrorism. This mass murder wasn’t even terrorism.
The FBI and the rest of our Islamophilic government have their story, and they’re sticking to it. The terrorists’ siege on our nation has nothing to do with Islam. It is the work of al-Qaeda, and al-Qaeda terrorists — so the catechism goes — are not true Muslims. Sure, Osama bin Laden & Co. accurately quote Islamic scriptural injunctions to wage jihad against non-Muslims. But never mind that: Islam is an irenic, unmitigated good; in fact, it is one of our best weapons against terrorism.
Come again? If all the terrorists are Muslims and all the terrorists say scriptures that plainly command killing are inspiring them to kill, how could Islam be an asset? Don’t go spoiling a feel-good theory by asking a lot of questions — that would be almost like an investigation, and when it comes to Islam, the FBI doesn’t do investigation.
If it did, it might stumble onto all sorts of things we’d just as soon not know. We’d have to start acknowledging that Salafist ideology (the strain of Islam endorsed by the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni terrorist organizations) is prevalent in American mosques. We’d have to concede that beliefs we optimistically call “radical” are actually quite mainstream among American Muslims and predominant among Muslims overseas — including the beliefs that sharia (the law of Islam) should govern the United States, that Muslims must resist American military and law-enforcement operations against other Muslims, that the U.S. military presence in Islamic countries renders American soldiers and those who support them legitimate targets of jihadist terror, and that Israel, America’s democratic ally in the Middle East, should not exist.
Obviously, this reality of Islam defies the government’s wishful fiction. So the FBI doesn’t do Islam. It does politics. And if you’re going to do politics, you can’t do preventive counterterrorism of the kind the FBI, the Justice Department, the Homeland Security Department, the intelligence community, and the rest of Leviathan promised to do right after 9/11.
If we’re going to pretend that there is no war and that attacks by Muslim terrorists are mere crimes committed by random nutcases, then who really needs the FBI, anyway? Any competent police agency can investigate atrocities after they happen. No matter how heinous the crime, that’s standard gumshoe work: Cordon off the crime scene, draw the chalk outlines (you will need a lot of chalk), gather up the bullet casings (or the bomb fragments), interview the witnesses, etc. Within a few days or weeks or months, you’ll have enough for an arrest warrant. Sure, the culprits may be dead or comatose — or gone, if they were ever here in the first place — but at least you can tell everyone you’re honoring the “rule of law,” as President Obama and his attorney general are fond of putting it. Thanks to that approach, bin Laden and his sidekick, Ayman al-Zawahiri, have been under indictment, but free to kill, for eleven years now. Several thousand deaths later, we can rest assured the FBI should be wrapping up those cases any day now.
It turns out that Nidal Hasan had been on the FBI’s radar screen for six months before he paraded about the base in his martyr suit, spent a few days passing out Korans and most of his belongings, exclaimed the obligatory “Allahu Akbars,” and opened fire on our troops. Federal law-enforcement sources have told the British press (which is where one has to go to get news about Islamist terrorism in America) that Hasan came to the FBI’s attention early this year when a blogger identifying himself as “Nidal Hasan” — a name bearing a striking resemblance to “Nidal Hasan” – posted odes to suicide bombers on the Internet.
No investigation was opened at the time, so the Bureau did not interview the legion of active and retired military officials who’ve now come out of the woodwork to report that Hasan appeared to be a Muslim militant. Before Hasan’s rampage, those officials shrank from speaking, none wanting to become the next Stephen Coughlin. (Coughlin, you may recall, is the former Pentagon terrorism expert cashiered by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England because he refused to soften his impeccably reasoned conclusion that sharia is incompatible with Western liberalism and American democracy.) As a result, the FBI did not learn, for example, that Hasan had praised Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who murdered Pvt. William Long and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula in June at an Arkansas recruiting station — another jihadist shooting spree targeting our troops that the government decided was not a terrorist attack.
Would opening an investigation have made a difference? I doubt it. After all, the Bureau actually had opened an investigation on Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad in the months before the attack — months during which Muhammad returned from a mysterious trip to the jihadist hothouse of Yemen, researched recruiting stations, plotted his attack, and finally struck.
To stop bad things from happening, you have to come to grips with what causes them. We won’t. So even with its eyes on Muhammad, the FBI couldn’t see a problem, because there were no obvious ties to known terrorists — officially defined as the teeny-tiny fringe of faux Muslims from al-Qaeda who’ve hijacked the religion of peace. Muhammad’s ideology — shared by tens of millions of Muslims — was simply not our concern. And with Hasan, the biggest challenge was not whether to investigate an infiltrator wearing a neon “Islamist” sign, but how to promote him up the ladder and burnish our diversity cred while intimidating the suspicious into silence.