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Posted: April 22, 2013
In an op-ed titled “Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad,” published Sunday in the Wall Street Journal, Mukasey explains that those who were concerned about the two suspects — Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — can rest easy knowing Tamerlan is dead and that Dzhokhar is in custody. He notes, however, that if one’s concern is who and what the Tsarnaev brother represent, “then worry—a lot.”
Mukasey, who served as attorney general under former President Bush from 2007 to 2009, points a finger at the Obama administration’s politically correct approach to terrorist threats as a reason for concern.
“At the behest of such Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups as the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, and other self-proclaimed spokesmen for American Muslims, the FBI has bowdlerized its training materials to exclude references to militant Islamism. Does this delicacy infect the FBI’s interrogation group as well?” Mukasey writes of the FBI’s High-Value Interrogation Group, which handled the 2009 Christmas Day underwear bomber.
Mukasey continues with another question.
“Will we see another performance like the Army’s after-action report following Maj. Nidal Hasan’s rampage at Fort Hood in November 2009, preceded by his shout ‘allahu akhbar’—a report that spoke nothing of militant Islam but referred to the incident as ‘workplace violence’? If tone is set at the top, recall that the Army chief of staff at the time said the most tragic result of Fort Hood would be if it interfered with the Army’s diversity program,” he wrote.
Mukasey advises that the investigation into the Tsarnaev brothers and the Boston bombing should include a “deep dive” into how the pair became radicalized.
He added that Tamerlan is the fifth person since 9/11 to engage in terrorism after FBI questioning — he named the preceding four as: Hasan, Anwar al Awlaki, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, and David Coleman Headley. He said the CIA also received warnings about the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Mukasey added that intelligence obtained during the FBI investigation into the bombing could be compromised by the trial, “as it almost certainly will be, in a civilian court” and that there should be concern around the fact that this was “obviously a suicide operation,” in a fashion of one holding out until “he is cut down in a blaze of what he believes is glory.”
“Until now, it has been widely accepted in law-enforcement circles that such an attack in the U.S. was less likely because of the difficulty that organizers would have in marshaling the spiritual support to keep the would-be suicide focused on the task,” he wrote. “That analysis went out the window when the Tsarnaevs followed up the bombing of the marathon by murdering a police officer in his car—an act certain to precipitate the violent confrontation that followed.”
He also pointed to President Obama’s hesitation to use the word terrorism to describe the attacks, as terrorism.
“There is also cause for concern in the president’s reluctance, soon after the Boston bombing, even to use the ‘t’ word—terrorism—and in his vague musing on Friday about some unspecified agenda of the perpetrators, when by then there was no mystery: the agenda was jihad,” he wrote.
“One of the Tsarnaev brothers is dead; the other might as well be. But if that is the limit of our concern, there will be others,” Mukasy concluded.