With Anwar al-Awlaki being an American and the titular head of AQAP we are facing a whole new pyridine in touristic activity within the United States. The “grassroots terrorist” I believe is the threat that must be addressed and has been ignored by law enforcement. The Fort Hood shooting by Major Nidal Malik Hasan and the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad are perfect examples of Americans being self radicalized. The media made a big deal out of fact that Shahzad was a naturalised American citizen from Pakistan who was quoted as saying in court he "falsely swore allegiance to his country." It may take years for a loan wolf “Manchurian candidate” to emerge or several weeks or months depending on the type and severity of the radical stimuli IE Patty Hurst.
In the 1970s we understood radicalization as being brain washed. There have been many cases of religious cult brain washing in our past such as Heavens Gate, The Branch Davidians and The peoples Temple. The people belonging to these groups were convinced to do things that they would not normally do. Why?
Individuals acting alone have outside forces acting upon them such as work, family, Friends, shopping or what ever. Outside activities occupying the mind serve as a dilution resulting in a longer period of time before a candidate takes action. The Muslim religion is the perfect conduit for Radicalization or brain washing because of the strict parameters that are imposed on individuals. With the Mosque being the central focus in a candidates life and a imam preaching Sharia philosophy that concentrates ones thoughts to a narrow view hence Radicalization is accelerated. The examples will continue and will become more common. Case in point is the Fort Hood shooting inspiring Abu Khadir Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh to attack a Seattle recruiting center. Abdul-Latif’s wife was quoted as saying in reference to husband. “He is a good Muslim the best Muslim he prays 5 times a day.” The problem was he was prying to kill people! Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh converted to the Muslim religion in prison a technique used by the Nation of Islam for years. The Seattle plot was uncovered by the FBI one week after the congressional hearing on Islamic radicalization in prisons held by Repetitive Peter King of New York.
The Internet has given berth to all sorts of business and advertising opportunities and allows a person any wear in the world the freedom of expression to a wide variety of people globally. This includes radicals such as Anwar al-Awlaki to invade western nations with his vitriol. I believe that we can learn from al-Awlaki and use his own words against him for rebuttal. For example the online magazine Inspire a publication targeted to the radicalization of “grassroots tourists” hear in America. Inspire is a slick publication filled with articles titled “I'm proud to be a trader to America” By Samir Khan a self radicalized North Carolinian that escaped FBI surveillance, and “The ultimate mowing machine Tips for our brothers in the United Snakes of America” An excerpt of the article.
The idea is to use a pickup truck as a mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.You would need a 4WD pickup truck.The stronger the better. You would then need to weld on steel blades on the front end of the truck. These could be a set of butcher blades or thick sheets of steel. They do not need to be extra sharp because with the speed of the truck at the time of impact, even a blunter edge would slice through bone very easily. You may raise the level of the blades as high as the headlights. That would make the blades strike your targets at the torso level or higher. Pick your location and timing carefully. Go for the most crowed locations. Narrower spots are also better because it gives less chance for the people to run away. Avoid locations where other vehicles may intercept you. To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control of your vehicle in order to maximize your inertia and be able to strike as many people as possible in your first run. Keep in mind that as soon as people realize what you are up to, they would scatter and run in every direction looking for cover. They would look for areas where the vehicle cannot reach them. Therefore, it is important to study your path of operation beforehand. The ideal location is a place where there are a maximum number of pedestrians and the least number of vehicles. In fact if you can get through to “pedestrian only” locations that exist in some downtown (city center) areas, that would be fabulous. There are some places that are closed down for vehicles at certain times due to the swarms of people.If you have access to firearms, carry them with you so that you may use them to finish off your work if your vehicle gets grounded during the attack. After such an attack, we believe it would be very difficult to get away safely and without being recognized. Hence, it should be considered a martyrdom operation. It’s a one-way road. You keep on fighting until you achieve martyrdom. You start out your day in this world, and by the end of it, you are with Allah.
The general public needs to be aware of the thought process and activities of the “grassroots tarriest” for the sake of community safety. This is the problem the enemy from within exposes. Not every stolen pickup truck is going to be used for mowing down Americans. Not all stolen fireworks will be used to build a car bomb. On the contrary the serious threats will be attempted by individuals that are flying under the radar and they will not take the risk of being caught and finger printed for a theft charge. The FBI must infiltrate the Mosques develop assets within the congregation and evaluate the threat level of each congregation. Develop credible assets to counter the Internet speeches and articles that flood the Islamic websites. Most of all the FBI needs to analyze and publicly disseminate threat information in a timely manner. The proactive approach is the best way of thwarting plots as they are being hatched. This may not be a panacea and some plots may slip through but reacting to a plot is unacceptable in the eyes of the victims.
Cyber attacks on TSA by state sponsored actors in Iran or Yemen could compromise the secure flight system allowing a flood of undesirables in to the country in one day. The Arizona Department of Public Safety computer system was hacked by a drug cartel in Mexico. The attack compromised officer information and operational data including sensitive case files on active surveillance operations in Mexico. That is a real problem.
The Radical islamist hierarchy is adapting and morphing continuously. The security community needs to be nimble enough to keep up otherwise we will loose people and property in grotesque attacks. As I was writing this article Fox News reported that TSA has information that terrorism suspects are planing bomb attacks with the explosives surgically implanted within the body. This was a story that I outlined some weeks ago. It is an example of the adaptability that the AQAP is using to defeat our security procedures.