It’s too early to say who was responsible for the attack at Fort Hood. But the fact that the Army is reporting multiple shooters indicates an organized group.
Before we automatically blame Al Qaeda, it’s important to remember that the Oklahoma City bombings were the work of white Christian fundamentalists. Nonetheless, when suspected terrorists are arrested by the FBI, U.S. military bases inevitably are listed as targets that the groups were planning to strike.
The North Carolina ring that was arrested in September had maps of a Marine Corps in Virginia in preparation for an attack, according to the FBI. In March, a California man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for plotting attacks against military bases and Jewish targets in California. Note that the latter case involved African-American Muslims who had formed a terror group in prison, so even if the Fort Hood attackers are Muslim, it could very well be a case of domestic terrorism.
Whoever attacked Fort Hood, it is inevitable that U.S. military bases will be attacked. It’s not a question of it, but when. Bases are symbols of what Muslim extremists say they are fighting against, not to mention high-prestige targets that will show that no place is safe from attack. I’ve been on military installation since 9/11. They have security, but it’s not that hard to spray a line of cars at the gate. Just like the rest of us didn’t dare leave our cars unattended at an airport in the weeks after 9/11, the Pentagon will be revamping base security.
Update: The Army now indicates that the attack was by an Army major who is Muslim. Two other suspects were arrested, though they may or may not have been involved. Regardless of whether the attack was made by a lone gunman, though, sooner or later there will be an attack against a military base in the United States, whether by foreign or domestic terrorists.It is just too tempting a target.