While concern grows about the potential for foreign terrorists carrying out attacks here in the U.S., homegrown terrorism continues to be a problem. Attacks like those at the Pulse nightclub prove that the threat of terrorism comes in many different shapes and sizes. Although making sure we prevent foreign terrorists from entering the country is vital, the fight against domestic terrorism is equally important.
One of the greatest challenges in defeating homegrown terrorism is it’s difficult to predict who might be radicalized. Typically, when we think of our military veterans, we think of people that protect the people of the United States. But for one Army veteran, the opposite was true. Instead of seeking to protect the people, he was arrested in connection with a disturbing plot.
Robert Hester’s time in the Army was short and tumultuous. He joined in 2012 and faced one disciplinary issue after another, court documents say. By 2013, after a general discharge, he was back home in Missouri, well below the government’s radar.