Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The threat of homegrown terrorism

The apprehension last week of Sudbury native Tarek Mehanna is the fifth terrorism-related arrest in the United States in as many months, putting homegrown radicalism back on the radar screen. But many question whether individuals like Mehanna are the “real deal.’’ Do they really pose a significant terrorist threat or are they acting out but lack the capability to inflict any real damage? How dangerous are homegrown radicals? Will the United States, like Europe, become more susceptible to native radicals rather than terrorist plots hatched abroad from organized groups like Al Qaeda?

Terrorism specialist Marc Sageman claims that we are facing a “leaderless jihad.’’ Al Qaeda central is not the driving force of terrorism as an operational machine but rather its ideology serves as an inspiration for self-organizing local groups to carry out their own attacks. But other experts, including Bruce Hoffman, maintain that it is established organizations like Al Qaeda that remain the dominant threat and that we must focus more on the organization and its capabilities rather than random, radicalized individuals.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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