Today, a gunman identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who reportedly was born in Kuwait, killed four Marines at a Naval facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A few minutes earlier, Abdulazeez had opened fire at a nearby Armed Forces Career Center, but failed to kill anyone there. Abdulazeez died during the second attack. According to the Washington Post, it’s not yet clear whether he took his own life or was gunned down during the shoot-out.
Authorities say they are investigating the shootings as a possible terror attacks, as obviously they should do. Shooting servicemen at military facilities is more than mere criminal activity; it carries national security implications. Moreover, there is no indication that Adbulazeez had a private beef with any of this victims.
A senior FBI official said the shooting did not initially appear to be related to any international terrorist group. Fox News reported that at, or shortly before, the time the first attack began, ISIS sent out a tweet about it. However, it remains to be seen whether the tweet actually preceded the attack. This report from NRO’s Corner indicates that it did not.
Meanwhile, Charles Jacobs and Ilya Feoktistova of Americans for Peace and Tolerance have issued a press release claiming that the government ignored warnings about an Islamist threat to recruiting centers in Tennessee. I take no position on the merits of this claim but, without vouching for the contents of the press release, will reprint it:
In 2011, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) released a documentary film – Losing Our Sons — about the 2009 murder of Private Andy Long at an Army-Navy recruitment center in Little Rock, Arkansas by a Tennessee man, Carlos Bledsoe, who converted to Islam and was radicalized in Tennessee. The documentary investigated and warned about an extremist network of mosques and imams in Tennessee that had indoctrinated Carlos and sent him for training with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
This network remains in place in Tennessee. Despite multiple Congressional hearings on the Little Rock recruitment center attack, the safeguards that could have prevented the Chattanooga terrorist attack on the Navy recruitment centers were not put in place.
“Losing Our Sons” explicitly warned that such attacks will happen again and again. We have been warning for four years about the threat to the men and women in uniform in the Volunteer State from the Tennessee Islamist network we’ve uncovered during the course of producing “Losing Our Sons.” These warnings went unheeded by the Obama administration and the local and national media.
A trailer for “Losing Our Sons” – www.losingoursons.com — contains scenes eerily similar to today’s news coverage in Chattanooga.
Six years is a long time between attacks on military recruitment facilities in the Arkansas-Tennessee area. However, if there were credible warnings of an “extremist network of mosques and imams” that encourages this sort of attack, then claims that the government should have been more vigilant must be taken seriously.
Finally, I will note that security at some key sites in France, especially near military-related buildings like Ecole Militaire and Les Invalides but also at the great cathedral in Reims, was conspicuous during my recently completed visit. On a number of occasions, I saw groups of three servicemen carrying serious weaponry (I took the weapons to be sub-machine guns, but confess to having no expertise in this area).
I think we’re at the point where we should follow the French example. Let Rand Paul howl if he wants to.