America's enemies within: The plot to kill Barack Obama
Has the U.S. military been infiltrated by homegrown terrorist groups? Does a fifth column truly exist within its ranks? If so, how far does it go?
Recently, some very disturbing news surfaced concerning U.S. Army soldiers with ties to militia groups. Several soldiers stationed at Ft. Stewart, Ga., were arrested and charged in connection to an alleged plot to kill the president. Authorities also allege that the plan consisted of taking control of the base and its armaments. As if this isn't disturbing enough, officials say that the conspirators killed a fellow soldier and his 17-year-old girlfriend to prevent them from revealing the plan.
This is where the story takes a decidedly ominous turn. At first, one may dismiss the first part of this story as possibly the ravings of a few disgruntled service members. The fact that Michael Roark and his girlfriend were murdered gives this an entirely different view.
There have been other plots uncovered to assassinate Obama but this plot by far seems to be the most credible threat to date.
According to an AP report, civilian authorities were unsure of the size of the group but military officials declined to say how many are involved in the plot.
"We remain confident there are no unknown subjects," said Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson, according to the report.
When pressed about the additional indictments handed down for the other men, Larson gave this vague response:
"The five individuals indicted today ... were known to the investigation and were not publicly identified previously to preserve the integrity of the investigation and ongoing civilian legal proceedings."
This answer brings up a very important question. If these men were known but not named, then how many more could there be involved in the plot? After all, the fact that there are "no unknown subjects," although implied, in no way means that everyone involved has been apprehended.
Now before anyone writes this off as some shadowy conspiracy theory, let me point out that this was an actual conspiracy uncovered by the authorities. According to prosecutor Isabel Pauley, $87,000 worth of guns and bomb-making materials were purchased. These were to be used to take over the base and hit targets in Savannah, Ga., and Washington state and also to assassinate Obama.
They stockpiled weapons
Although the report does not detail how much was spent to purchase weapons, that amount is enough to buy far more guns than 10 men can carry. Who else were they going to arm with those weapons?
They planned to take the base.
How can a few men could take an entire base? There is evidence there may be more involved, based on official statements. Since these men were stationed there, it's likely they were privy to certain information about base operations. Investigators did not give details on how the men planned to take the base.
They planned to hit multiple targets.
Remember these are trained combat soldiers who are fully aware that in order to successfully complete an operation, you need a workable plan. Of all the individuals allegedly involved, Sgt. Anthony Peden, who was a non-commissioned officer should have known this better than any. This lends credence to an organized plan. If there were not more involved, then how could they launch attacks in multiple locations so far apart?
Their willingness to kill
The conspirators allegedly murdered a fellow soldier and his girlfriend to prevent their plan from being revealed. More disturbing, the purported leader of the group, Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, may have also killed his pregnant wife for the $500,000 insurance payout he allegedly used to finance the operation, according to authorities.
Previously reported gang activity in the military
While Ft. Stewart spokesman, Kevin Larson denied there was a gang problem at the base, a 2007 report disagrees with Larson's statement.
In fact, as late as 2011, the FBI issued a report that stated the following (emphasis added):
"Gang recruitment of active duty military personnel constitutes a significant criminal threat to the US military. Members of nearly every major street gang, as well as some prison gangs and OMGs, have been reported on both domestic and international military installations, according to NGIC analysis and multiple law enforcement reporting. Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime."
The FBI report also states, "Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members."
With all the information assembled it now becomes apparent that this particular plot possibly represents by far the most credible threat to presidential security than any other to date.
The question that remains is whether everyone involved in the plot have been identified or are there others out there poised for another opportunity to strike.