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New Terror Attack Continues Troubling Pattern

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On Monday morning Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad drove his black SUV up to the front of a military recruiting center in Little Rock and opened fire with an SKS assault rifle, killing one recruiter and seriously injuring another before driving off. Like the conspirators in the recent planned attacks in New York and Florida and other terrorists plots like the Virginia Jihad Network case in 2003, Muhammad was an African-American convert to Islam with a history of attempting to contact terrorist groups in the middle east. Unlike the conspirators in other recent cases he is believed to have acted alone.

Muhammad, who legally changed his name just over a month ago from Carlos Bledsoe, was arraigned Tuesday on one count of first-degree murder and 15 counts of engaging in a terrorist act. He entered a plea of not guilty.

Like the terrorists in the other two recent cases, Muhammad was under investigation by the FBI, but in this case they were unable to intervene to prevent the attack. Covert intervention was made more difficult because Muhammad was acting alone rather than as part of a group. Muhammad drew the attention of the FBI when he traveled to Yemen and was arrested by local authorities for using a forged Somali passport. His possession of the forged documents suggests some contact with terrorist groups in the region. While in Yemen he may have been studying with radical Salafi scholar Yahya Hajoori who is part of a group which has trained other Americans involved in jihadist activity.

Like other recent domestic Muslim terrorists, Muhammad specifically targeted the military because of anger over the deaths of Muslims at the hands of the US military in the middle east. After the arraignment prosecutor Larry Jegley observed: “It’s my understanding that after his conversion to Islam he decided that he had a bone to pick with the military officers because of what he perceived to be mistreatment of Muslims around the world.” The arrest report states that at the time of his arrest he commented that “he would have killed more soldiers if they had been on the parking lot.”

Walid Phares of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies observed that “The real common denominator is the ideological commitment (present) in every single case I’ve seen over the past few months and over the past few years.” Noting that most converts to Islam are peaceful, but there is a clearly defined element with common background characteristics who are attracted to extremist ideology.

In an interview with FOX News terrorism expert Niall Livingstone said “Most of these guys…are misfits, they believe they’ve suffered injustice…they basically are striking back at society.” He went on to explain that this is why so many seem to come from criminal backgrounds or to have been converted to Islam in prison.

Although police stated that Muhammad is believed to have been acting alone, files discovered on his home computer suggest that he may have been in contact with other potential terrorists and had a plan to attack additional targets, including other military recruiting centers, schools and Jewish synagogues.

Although there have been very few successful terrorist attacks within the United States since the attack on the World Trade Center, the number of American converts traveling to Islamic nations for training is significant, and the number of plots which have been uncovered and the suggestion of networks tying them to international terror activity raises serious concerns.

The FBI has been very successful at uncovering plots and deporting suspects who are not United States citizens, but although that may disrupt some activity by these groups, many of the potential terrorists are US citizens like Muhammad, and when they act alone and give off few obvious signs of involvement with radical groups they are very hard to track.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • I know they are slightly deranged so there’s no sense looking for sense in their actions, by why don’t we hear about Muslims’ anger over the deaths of Muslims at the hands of other Muslims in the Middle East?

  • Because then they’d have to engage in self-examination and question the tenets of their faith and no one likes to do that. So much easier to blame the outsider and the faceless enemy infidel.


  • zingzing

    does anyone know this guy’s background? the four in nyc all came out of prison, where they were indoctrinated by radical islamic prisoners. it’s no surprise that prisoners would hate their country, or at least it’s no surprise that radical islam would take on this form in prison.

    of course, that’s not to say that because it’s a black guy who shot two people after converting to islam, he had to have been in prison… but i’m wondering if that is part of the “pattern.”

  • Because then they’d have to engage in self-examination and question the tenets of their faith and no one likes to do that. So much easier to blame the outsider and the faceless enemy…

    Something truthful I think Dave has here…whether one applies it to Muslims or just everyone.

  • Zing, he’s only 23 and apparently converted to Islam when he was 17. Juvenile records are sealed and they aren’t saying anything about it in the news — initial reports didn’t even mention that he was a muslim — but I bet he was in Juvie when he converted.


  • The backstory on Muhammed is guilding up. He was arrested on drug and weapon charges in Knoxville in 2004 but the charges were dropped. There’s some suspicion he has a juvenile record which was expunged. I’m giving the press about 24 hours before that becomes part of the story.


  • Fawnstock

    Also troubling is the act of terror carried out on Dr. Tiller.

  • Fawn, we have several other threads for that. The subjects are really unreleated.


  • Jordan Richardson

    why don’t we hear about Muslims’ anger over the deaths of Muslims at the hands of other Muslims in the Middle East?

    Because the MSM (both “sides” of it) is helping fight a propaganda war against Muslim countries. It’s easier to develop hatred and mistrust when you don’t hear about the humanity of your “enemies.”