As the news flows in, the Texas incident might be another example of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” (SJS), a term coined by Daniel Pipes. This is the second (or 3rd) publicly-known such incident in the US military. Is this another crack in the structure of the US military, as predicted by the Decline of the State theory?
- Definition and examples of SJS
- Previous incidents in the US military
- Significance of SJS
- For more information and an Afterword
(1) Definition and examples of SJS
From Conservapedia (information has not been verified, go to their site for links):
Sudden Jihad Syndrome is a term coined by Daniel Pipes to describe Muslims that suddenly or unexpectedly turn against civilized, Western society and engage in acts of terror. Pipes has argued that due to this phenomenon all Muslims must be considered potential terrorists.
- John Allen Muhammad and Lee Malvo, the so-called Washington snipers. John Allen Muhammad was a Muslim convert, but some people allege that his motivations may not have been religious.
- Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian school teacher who engaged in a shooting rampage on top of the Empire State Building. He killed one and wounded six before taking his own life.
- Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, an American Muslim born in Tehran who ran over students at the University of North Carolina to punish the United States. Taheri-azar was the first terrorist to be explicitly called an example of Sudden Jihad Syndrome by Daniel Pipes.
- Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar who shot up a movie theater in Baltimore. Rashid Baz, a Lebanese can driver living in New York City who shot at a van full of Orthodox Jews. . In a burst of political correctness, the FBI initially refused to label this act a terrorist act.
- Sulejman Talovic, a Bosnian Muslim, opened fire in a Salt Lake City mall, killing 5 people before being shot dead by police.
In another example of Bias in Wikipedia, Wikipedia has refused to allow any article on this topic and even refused to let an editor work on a draft for a rewrite of the article.
(2) Previous incidents in the US military
“[Hasan Akbar and] Murder in the 101st Airborne“, Daniel Pipes, New York Post, 25 March 2003 — Excerpt (red emphasis added):
“How did the enemy get into our camp?”
That’s what Bart Womack, a command sergeant major of the elite 101st Airborne Division, asked himself as a grenade rolled past him after 1 a.m. on Sunday at an American camp in Kuwait.
The attacker worked methodically, destroying an electricity generator, throwing grenades into Womack’s tent and the two other command tents, then shooting tents. One soldier died and 15 sustained injuries.
The enemy in this case appears to be not what one might expect – an Iraqi soldier or a Kuwaiti Islamist. The only suspect in custody is Hasan Karim Akbar, 31, a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division.
If Akbar were responsible for the rampage, what might be his motivation? First reports suggest that, as a devout African-American convert to Islam, he identifies with the Iraqi enemy against his fellow soldiers.
The Los Angeles Times quotes him stating, after he was apprehended, “You guys are coming into our countries, and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children.” NBC found that he “was opposed to the killing of Muslims and opposed to the war in Iraq.” Reuters quotes one source saying, “He’s a Muslim, and it seems he was just against the war,” while another told the news agency that the violence was “politically motivated.”
… Second, the Akbar incident points to the suspect allegiance of some Muslims in government. The case of Gamal Abdel-Hafiz recently surfaced: an FBI agent whose colleagues say he twice refused to record conversations with suspected financiers of militant Islamic terrorism (“A Muslim does not record another Muslim”). [The Seattle Times reports 3 witnesses recalling that John Allen Muhammad, the man accused of the Washington, D.C.-area sniper murders last fall, had thrown a grenade into a tent during the 1991 war against Iraq.] Other cases are under investigation.
(3) Significance of SJS
A central element in the theory of 4th generation war is the decline of the state, as originally conceived by Martin van Creveld — and developed by many others (e.g., John Robb). This forecasts that the loyalty to the State will fade over time, replaced by loyalty to entities larger (e.g., Islam) or smaller (ethnic groups, clans, gangs). If true, we will see increasing number of incidents like this, as well as increased criminality (e.g., increased number of gang members in the military, see here for links)
This splintering of loyalties would create mistrust within the military, weakening the cohesion which is the foundation of its power.
While too early to evaluate the significance of this phenomenon, it clearly is example of rising individual violence in the military, another crack in an Army near the breaking point. See the FM reference page of that name for links to information about these problems — and what DoD is doing about them.
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