by Max Brantley
The New York Times today examines the case of Abdulhakim Muhammad, accused of killing one soldier and wounding another at a Little Rock military center.
The story touches on a failure of intelligence agencies to watch Muhammad despite clues of his activities in Yemen and FBI interviews with him. It also describes his father's desire to learn how his son was radicalized. Further, the case points up the difficulty of dealing with home-grown extremists. Prosecutor Larry Jegley told the Times he still believes Muhanmmad acted alone.
Despite Mr. Muhammad’s claim to be a Qaeda soldier, Mr. Jegley said “it looks to me like he was acting alone,” a view supported by some law enforcement experts. Those experts, and Mr. Bledsoe, also say there is no evidence that Mr. Muhammad was ever in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni-American cleric who exchanged e-mail messages with the accused Fort Hood gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
Why Mr. Muhammad might fabricate links to Al Qaeda is a subject of debate. Mr. Bledsoe suggests that his son may be trying to fulfill a sense of martyrdom; some experts say it may be a form of self-aggrandizement.