The Homegrown Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland (ARI)
ARI 171/2009 – 18/12/2009
EXTRACT 1: All these plots are very diverse in their origin, degree of sophistication and characteristics of the individuals involved. Yet they all contribute to paint the picture of the complex and rapidly changing reality of terrorism of Islamist inspiration in the US. Moreover, they smash or, at least, severely undermine an assumption that has been widely held by policymakers and analysts over the last 15 years. The common wisdom, in fact, has traditionally been that American Muslims, unlike their European counterparts, were virtually immune to radicalisation.
EXTRACT 2: The wave of arrests of the last months of 2009 has contributed to shedding light on a reality that is significantly more nuanced, showing that radicalisation affects some small segments of the American Muslim population exactly like it affects some fringe pockets of the Muslim population of each European country. Evidence supporting this view has been available for a long time, as the cases of American Muslims joining radical Islamist groups date back to the 1970s. According to data collected by the NYU Center on Law and Security, for example, more than 500 individuals have been convicted by the American authorities for terrorism-related charges since 9/11. Most of them are US citizens or long-time US residents who underwent radicalisation inside the US.
Phi Beta Iota: Recommended by Contributing Editor Berto Jongman.