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Monday, November 23, 2009     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Threat of jihad infiltration did not factor into
U.S. Army's screening process

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army, fearing political repercussions, refused to consider the prospect of infiltration by Al Qaida supporters.   

A former senior army official told Congress that the military service drafted guidelines on a range of scenarios, including racism. But the army, despite the recruitment of thousands of Muslims, many of them converts, failed to examine prospects of infiltration by Al Qaida and other Islamists.

"Clearly we don't have specific guidelines in dealing with jihadist extremists," [Ret.] Gen. John Keane, former army vice chief of staff, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.


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In testimony on Nov. 19, Keane acknowledged that the army refused to draft guidelines on how to deal with Islamist recruits who preached war against the West, Middle East Newsline reported. He said this failure, fostered by the fear of political and legal repercussions, enabled a Muslim officer to plan an attack in Fort Hood, Texas, the largest army base in the world, in which 13 people were killed.

"There is no doubt in my mind that was operating here," Keane, who retired in 2003, said.

Hours after Keane's testimony, the Defense Department said it would launch an investigation into Al Qaida influence in the military. Officials acknowledged that the military had failed to track Islamist recruitment or even determine the number of Muslims in the armed forces.

"The shootings at Fort Hood raise a number of troubling questions that demand complete but prompt answers," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. "It is prudent to determine immediately whether there are internal weaknesses or procedural shortcomings in the department that could make us vulnerable in the future."

The Senate committee was told by former military commanders and officials of a reluctance to investigate the alleged shooter at Fort Hood, Maj. Nidal Hassan. They said without clear military policy any investigation of Hassan or other Al Qaida supporters in the military could have been regarded as discrimination of Muslims.

"You take some of this burden away from people by having those guidelines," Keane said.

President Barack Obama has warned against identifying Hassan as an Islamist.

On Nov. 17, Democratic leaders met with the National Security Council and agreed to delay any congressional response to the Fort Hood shooting.

But Lieberman, an independent senator from Connecticut, said his investigation of the Hassan shooting would continue. He said this would not interfere with the current FBI probe.

At the hearing, Hassan was said to have given a presentation at Walter Reed Hospital on Islam. He was quoted as saying that the Koran demanded the establishment of Islamic rule by force.

Later, the FBI was reported to have found evidence that Hassan was in contact with an Al Qaida-aligned cleric in Yemen to finance attacks against the United States. In one e-mail, Hassan was said to have asked for $10,000 for an undisclosed operation.

"There are some who are reluctant to call it terrorism, but there is significant evidence that is," Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin said. "I'm not at all uneasy saying it sure looks like that."




Comments


For the U.S. Army to not even consider the possibility of enemy infiltration is, well, stupidity in the extreme. Is this what political correctness and multiculturalism has wrought? When will people realize that things have gone way too far?

Spirit Wolf      6:33 p.m. / Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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