Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Thoughts on the Ft. Hood Shootings

After reading the various accounts and speculation about this incident, I couldn't help thinking of the 2007 plot by six men to attack Fort Dix. There are no real similarities, and the Fort Dix plotters were arrested before they could carry out an attack. But at the time, there was considerable sneering at the notion that the plot could possibly be serious. Here's a prime example:
Ok. So, the plot was: six dudes from New Jersey buy some guns and storm Fort Dix. The Fort Dix that is full of lots and lots of Army reservists with way, way more guns. And, like, extensive military training and sh*t. Yes, thank god these terrorists have been caught and locked up before they could be killed within minutes of deciding to carry out the dumbest f*cking terrorist plot we’ve ever heard of.
The person who wrote that didn't have the slightest idea how vulnerable military bases might be to attack, or how much damage six terrorists could inflict. Unfortunately, today's incident demonstrates yet again -- as if anyone with a clue needed another reminder -- of just how much damage a single determined individual can cause, with nothing more than a couple of handguns: twelve dead, thirty-one wounded. From the latest reports, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the shooter, wasn't some hardened, highly-trained terrorist-commando. He was a psychiatrist. It's something to keep in mind the next time someone tries to laugh off a disrupted terrorist plot. It doesn't take training and experience, or sophisticated weaponry to gun down a bunch of unarmed people, even on a military base.

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