In Similar "Fragging" Incident in 1991, Muslim Perpetrator Not Punished

WSJ Opinion

March 24, 2003

In November, the Seattle Times reported on a fragging similar incident, which occurred in the 84h Engineering Company during the Gulf War in 1991:

In the first months of that year, the unit was in the Middle East preparing for the ground-attack phase of the Gulf War.

The story, according to [retired sergeant Kip] Berentson and at least two other former members of the 84th, was that [John Allen] Muhammad threw a thermite grenade into a tent housing 16 of his fellow soldiers. . . .

Berentson was in the tent. He says the grenade went off near him and near a staff sergeant with whom Muhammad had fought earlier that day. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division, Berentson says, concluded Muhammad (then named Williams) was the lead suspect.

Muhammad was led away in handcuffs and eventually transferred to another company pending charges. He had been court-martialed twice before for lesser incidents while serving in the Louisiana National Guard. But an indictment over the grenade incident never materialized, and Muhammad's Army file has no record of it.

John Allen Muhammad, in case you've forgotten, is the elder of the two Washington sniper suspects. Lest we perpetuate stereotypes, we won't mention his religion either.