February 18, 2010
BREAKING: Five US Muslim soldiers arrested for attempted poisoning of fellow troops at Fort Jackson Army base***Update: More questions than answers, but investigation is still open***
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Erick Stakelbeck at CBN News brings this exclusive:
CBN News has learned exclusively that five Muslim soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina were arrested just before Christmas and are in custody. The five men were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base.
The men are suspected of trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson.
A source with intimate knowledge of the investigation, which is ongoing, told CBN News investigators suspect the "Fort Jackson Five" may have been in contact with the group of five Washington, DC area Muslims that traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad against U.S. troops in December. That group was arrested by Pakistani authorities, also just before Christmas.
Coming as it does on the heels of November's Fort Hood jihadist massacre, this news has major implications.
Fox News is now reporting on it.
The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that soldiers were attempting to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
The ongoing probe began two months ago, Chris Grey, a spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, told Fox News.
The Army is taking the allegations “extremely seriously,” Grey said, but so far, "there is no credible information to support the allegations."
The suspects were part of a Arabic translation program called "09 Lima" and use Arabic as their first language, two sources told Fox News. Another military source said they were Muslim.
Grey would not confirm or deny the sources’ information.
This is a bunch of bulls**t. If there is no substance to the allegations, why are the guys in custody. And why did the DOD sit on this info until it broke in the media? [See my update at the bottom of this post. Both CBN and Fox were told the five were arrested, and they don't know if they are still in custody, but the AP says they weren't arrested at all.]
UPDATE by Rusty: Wow, just wow. I really hope this turns out to be untrue.
In both of those cases the would-be terrorist worked alone. Anwar al-Awlaki encouraged Hasan, but he didn't plot with him.
But if this pans out -- and, again, I hope it doesn't -- 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.
The five Muslims who went to Pakistan that they might have been in contact with would be these guys. All of whom protest that they were a) innocent b) tortured by the Pakistanis.
That the Pakistanis tortured them? Believable. Innocent? Not so much.
Clearly we need Muslims in the military as they are the group most likely to have the language skills that we need to win the war on Islamist aggression. And as I've remind readers over and over, there are a lot of Muslims who despise Islamism just as much as the next guy.
But given that it's also undoubtedly clear that Muslims are also far more likely to sympathize with terrorism and violent jihad, how do you balance that against the need for more Muslims to serve in our intelligence ranks?
The answer would be heightened security scrutiny -- the unspeakable and much hated profiling. Which might turn Muslims off from joining the ranks. A catch 22. Unsolvable?
Also, I'd really like this question resolved.
UPDATE: Fox News video via Snooper.
UPDATE: 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.
We also learn they 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.
So, these guys may have been foreigners.
Last update by RS before I hit the sack (other Jawas, feel free to update): Gays are the answer?
UPDATE (Barbarossa): The Army seems to be putting out two different stories. Both CBN and Fox, the first to the story, were told the five guys were arrested/detained. The AP states that they were not arrested. Both can't be true, and its unlikely that both CBN and Fox lied about what the Army said. Both CBN and Fox say they don't know if they're still being held. Have they been returned to their units while the investigation continues? What is their status?
I'm sure we'll find out the coming days exactly what happened. To both CBN and Fox's credit, they only reported on what they could confirm with the Army before breaking the story. There are more questions than answers at this point, and some caution on speculating about what happened seems warranted. But all reports indicate that SOME kind of investigation is STILL open in this case, which smacks against they Army's " no credible information" comment to Fox and the "nothing here to see" blow-off to the AP.
One question stands out though: Why did the DOD sit on this story for two months? If these guys were neo-Nazis, do you think we would only be hearing about it now?