Yesterday Naser Abdo was arrested for what local Police Chief Dennis Baldwin suggested was likely a terror plot against soldiers at Fort Hood. Abdo's alleged actions highlight the threat of lone wolf and suicide militia attacks using conventional weapons such as the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Abdo's shopping list suggests he was likely planning a combination of shooting and bombing somewhat like the recent Norway attack. Since 2009, Al Qaeda has increasingly encouraged terrorists to ditch complicated hijacking and bombing plots instead use easily obtainable firearms and explosives.
The National Counterterrorism Center's 2009 report on terrorism noted, that Mumbai style attacks have been on the up swing around the globe:
Most attacks in 2009 were perpetrated by terrorists applying conventional fighting methods such as armed attacks, bombings, and kidnappings. Drawing on the lessons learned from the Mumbai attack in 2008, Sunni extremist elements used suicidal militia style attacks in numerous large scale attacks in 2009.
Last month Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn instructed would be terrorists in the United States to visit gun shows where they can bypass the usual background check for individuals buying a gun. Being on the terrorist watch list doesn't disqualify individuals from purchasing a gun and at gun shows private sellers can bypass conventional background checks.
Fortunately Abdo's suspicious behavior led vigilant Fort Hood area gun store clerk Greg Ebert to contact the police. Unfortunately not every gun seller has shown the responsibility that Ebert displayed, some of the worst have even been caught selling to buyers that said they couldn't pass a background check.