Five Muslim Soldiers Under Terror Investigation at Fort Jackson
Erick Stakelbeck at CBN News broke a story last night about five Muslim soldiers under investigation by the U.S. Army for allegedly trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson. The soldiers were arrested some time before Christmas. The five are part of a team of Arabic translators at the base located in South Carolina.
Fort Jackson is home to the Army's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. The program is for Arabic, Dari, and Pashto speaking individuals who wish to become translators for the US Army.
An Army spokesman confirmed the story to Fox News, adding that the five were part of the "09 Lima program." The "09 Lima program" recruits Muslims willing to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, offering them an expedited path to citizenship. It is not clear whether the five men accused in the poisoning plot are U.S. citizens or not.
Were the five part of the military's effort to reach out to Muslims, offering them citizenship in return for much-needed translation skills?
Reached by phone, Erick Stakelbeck of CBN, who broke the initial story, said, "In light of Fort Hood, this raises a lot of questions and a lot of concerns. Is this a trend here emerging? Are there more Muslims in the military with jihad sympathies?"
In both of those cases the terrorist worked alone. Anwar al-Awlaki encouraged Hasan, but he didn't plot with him. And Akbar was motivated by the ideology of the Nation of Islam, not al-Qaeda.
But if this pans out -- the Army says they have "no credible information to support the allegations" -- that would mean that we had an active cell, a plot by would-be jihadists, within the ranks of the U.S. Army. The number five may be small in the big scheme of things, but to have five Muslim soldiers plotting together? That is a scary, scary thought.
But those under suspicion in the plot may also have had contacts with other accused would-be terrorists. A source told Stakelbeck that the five at Fort Jackson may have been in contact with a group of five Washington, D.C., area Muslims currently being held in Pakistan. The five are alleged to have traveled to Pakistan in order to join a radical Islamist group and wage violent jihad against U.S. forces in the theater.