One of the Republicans' most favored congressional candidates -- a former commander at Fort Hood, Texas -- said Friday that the "enemy" had infiltrated the US military after a Muslim Army psychiatrist allegedly massacred at least 13 at the Texas military base.
According to the Hill, the comments were made by GOP candidate Allen West.
Allen West (R-Fla.), a retired military colonel who served as a commander at the Texas base, said in a release that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's attack may indicate a broader effort by Islamic extremists to recruit downtrodden members of the military.
"This enemy preys on downtrodden soldiers and teaches them extremism will lift them up," West said in a statement. "Our soldiers are being brainwashed."
The release added that West claims "the horrible tragedy at Fort Hood is proof the enemy is infiltrating our military."
The National Republican Congressional Committee in October selected West as one of 32 new members of its "Young Guns" program designed to promote challengers and open-seat candidates in the 2010 midterm elections. West formerly served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was the 2008 Republican nominee to unseat Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) in the state's 22nd district.
Added The Huffington Post:
"This enemy preys on downtrodden soldiers and teaches them extremism will lift them up," West said, in a statement titled "Terrorists Are infiltrating Military". "Our soldiers are being brainwashed."
While admitting that more information was needed about Thursday's tragedy, West nevertheless called for a renewed effort on the part of the military to prevent Islamic extremism from penetrating its ranks.
"The most importantly thing right now is that we objectively assess this situation," West said. "But it is imperative that we take steps to make sure this does not happen again."