The FBI has tracked some 100 people within the US military suspected of being Islamic extremists, with a dozen of the cases considered "serious," reports NPR. These involve individuals who appear to have demonstrated a "strong intent" to attack military targets. The "insider threats" include both active and reserve military members, but also people who have access to military facilities such as contractors or relatives with special ID cards. The information was revealed in a closed-door House-Senate committee hearing late last year, according to three sources.
"I was surprised and struck by the numbers; they were larger than I expected," said Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, who declined to confirm the numbers. Just last year an AWOL Muslim soldier was charged with plotting an attack on Fort Hood soldiers—intended to exact "justice" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. People within the military "aren't just your run-of-the-mill jihadis," a Georgetown University counterterrorism expert warns. "These are people who have access to guns and to bases and are supposed to have security clearances. This is not the community you want to be radicalizing." (Read more terrorism stories.)