Some would undoubtedly scream ?profiling.? But it is precisely because of ?profiling? that authorities might be inclined to focus more on Arabs, meaning al Qaeda is more likely to prefer Muslims who are not Arabs.
As we witnessed with Asan Akbar, the Muslim Army Sergeant who killed two and wounded 14 of his fellow soldiers last year in Kuwait, it only takes one soldier to harm many innocents. And if he hadn?t been such a coward?he was found hiding in a bunker?he probably could have murdered many more Americans.
Questions of profiling aside, however, specific facts about Anderson should have prompted investigation long ago. The 26-year-old attended Washington State University, which the FBI believes has been a base of operations for people affiliated with al Qaeda.
Throughout 2002 and 2003, federal authorities probed a possible terror cell operating out Pullman, Washington (home of WSU) and the University of Idaho campus, which is just nine miles away in Moscow, Idaho. At least two current or former WSU students have been arrested.
Others were also arrested, including former Idaho football player Abdullah al-Kidd (born Lavoni T. Kidd), who was nabbed at Dulles International Airport, just outside of Washington, D.C., holding a first-class, one-way ticket to Saudi Arabia.
The man reportedly at the center of the investigation, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, allegedly helped design website for radical Islamic sheikhs who had direct ties to Osama bin Laden and he also allegedly had on his computer hard drive thousands of photos of the World Trade Center, both before and after 9/11.
According to court documents, al-Hussayen?s uncle traveled to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia and ?stayed in the same hotel in the Herndon, Va., area as three of the Sept. 11 hijackers of Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.?
Graduating in 2002, Anderson attended WSU?where he converted to Islam?as the alleged terror activity was ongoing. The question investigators must not be shy about asking is: how did Anderson?s Islamic experience at WSU help shape him?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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