The Railway station
The railway station after jihad (52 killed, 100 injured)
The jihadis recently busted in Chicago for the plot to bomb the Danish cartoon publisher are being investigated for ties to the worst Muslim attack in India's history - Mumbai. This is jihad. Transnational, without borders -- the quran is the tie that binds.
This is part of the third wave.
Indian officials cite possible connection to last year's deadly assaults
Authorities in Chicago are looking into allegations that two local men
accused of plotting an assault on a Danish newspaper that published
controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad may be linked to other
plots, including a terrorist assault in Mumbai last year that left more than 170 dead, sources said.
David Coleman Headley, who has cooperated with authorities, is being investigated as a scout for the Mumbai attack, which targeted multiple sites, including two hotels, a train station, a cafe and a Jewish community center.
A source familiar with the probe said Headley's co-defendant in the newspaper case, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, is suspected to have paid for Headley's India missions.
Neither man has been charged in connection with the Mumbai planning, though officials in India were outspoken last week about their possible connection to the attacks. The militant Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba, linked to Rana and Headley in court documents here, has been blamed for the Mumbai attacks.
The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago has declined to say whether charges against the men here could be upgraded to account for their suspected roles in the Mumbai operation. U.S. citizens lost their lives in the coordinated attacks.
So far, Headley, a Pakistani American, is charged with conspiring to commit a terror act outside the U.S., and Rana, a Pakistani native with Canadian citizenship, has been charged with providing material support to terrorism. Those charges relate only to the plan in Denmark, where Headley is alleged to have staked out the Copenhagen offices of the newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
Prosecutors here also have said Rana discussed other targets with Headley.
Both men are to appear in court in Chicago next week, Rana on Dec. 2 and Headley on Dec. 4. Both remain in custody. Rana's lawyer, Patrick Blegen, has denied the allegations. Headley's attorney, John Theis, declined to comment Monday.
Even before Fort Hood, authorities in New York, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and other states recently had broken a rash of cases, arresting potential terrorists and disclosing their plots. Every time law enforcement kicks over one of these anthills, it uncovers an intricate underground network with paths leading into major cities, rural areas and even prisons.
Consider the 12 people tied to Detroit's Masjid Al-Haqq mosque charged with felonies in their leader's fatal Oct. 28 firefight with FBI agents. This apparently isolated Dearborn case turned out to have direct links to '60s radical H. Rap Brown -- who converted to Islam while serving time in Attica, changing his name to Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. He's allegedly running a network from a prison cell in Florence Max, Colo. (where he's serving a life sentence for murdering a police officer).
In 1993, the infamous Blind Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman was found to be under orders from Ramzi Binalshibh, coordinator between KSM and the 9/11 highjackers, with a network extending to closed Muslim communities both inside New York City and in remote upstate Hancock, NY.
A convenience-store front operation in North Carolina, broken up in advance of terrorist activities, allegedly was found to be a stolen-car ring that funneled cash to al Qaeda. Seven men were indicted in July.
As law-enforcement agents dig, each case leads to spreading networks. Plainly, the fundamentalist ideology has sunk serious roots in America.
Alleged terrorists are emerging across the social spectrum. Some are white wannabes who revere the likes of turncoats like American Taliban John Walker Lindh. Others are Somalis, Moroccans, Palestinians and others who were born or reside in America and have been radicalized here.
Then there are former criminals (primarily African-Americans) radicalized in prison by fundamentalist imams (mostly trained in Saudi Arabia). Abdullah was among this group. Christian Science Monitor reporter Michael Farrell notes that Muslim prison conversions occur at the rate of 35,000 a year. Most won't become violent extremists -- but that still leaves a large number of potential terrorists on our streets and an even larger number who might form a sympathetic support group.
We must get past our preoccupation with individuals' "membership" in terror groups. The "third wave" strategy doesn't focus on recruiting "inside the tent" members but on street operatives whose missions can support the terrorist agenda.
The terror masters hope to create compartmentalized, grass-roots cells that will act independently to carry out attacks. The network will have enough lines of communication through mosques and charities to coordinate efforts if required or to funnel weapons, explosives, training and funding to those cells showing promise.
And, as a "fringe benefit," they get radicals like Maj. Hasan.
As this third wave strengthens, we should expect many more attacks -- and rising discontent among Americans persuaded to sympathize with our enemies.