Friday, November 20, 2009

The Domestic Terror Threat

It is still too early to tell what exactly motivated Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan to open fire on fellow American soldiers earlier this month, but the massacre came on the heels of a series of foiled terrorist plots involving Americans. In light of revelations that Anwar al-Awlaki, an extremist American cleric based in Yemen, had e-mailed with Hasan, it is worth asking whether America faces a growing threat from domestic terrorism, and to what degree those involved in terrorism are becoming radicalized not in some far-flung locale, but right here in the United States.

In the years after 9/11, Muslims in the United States were widely assumed to be less sympathetic to Islamist radicalism than their European counterparts. This has been attributed to the high skill level of many Muslim immigrants, their relative economic success, the peaceful form of Islam being preached in nearly all American mosques, the American principles of free speech and religious pluralism, and the melting-pot culture of the United States. And, indeed, the danger from homegrown terrorism in the years after 9/11 was less acute in the U.S. than in Europe, where many more serious plots were disrupted.

But recent events suggest that things may be changing. As Mitchell D. Silber, the director of intelligence analysis for the New York City Police Department, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday, "U.S. authorities have uncovered a significant and increasing number of radicalized clusters or individuals intent on committing violent jihad either in the U.S. or abroad," and that arrests during the last 12 months and intelligence gained by the U.S. government "indicate that radicalization to violence is taking place in the United States."



Search This Blog

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.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP