Homegrown terror: Revisiting the path to domestic radicalization

Last month marked the nine-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks against the United States. As we reflect upon the strikes that took nearly 3,000 lives, recent events remind us of the ongoing struggle to protect the American homeland from further acts of terror. As every month seems to usher in the revelation of a new terror plot hatched within our nation’s borders, we are reminded of the vigilance necessary in understanding and combating the dangers posed by radical Islamist ideologies. 

Over the past fifteen months, 23 cases involving 56 individuals, both citizens of the United States and foreign nationals of legal residency, have been uncovered while in various stages of development, as they attempted to commit acts of terror against the United States or targets abroad. The groups and individuals captured over the past year and a half derived their inspiration, and often direction, from al-Qaeda, its affiliates, or the broader Islamist fundamentalist movement. 

These individuals were not radicalized on foreign soil or in a Madrasa located far from American shores. These individuals began their journey on the path to jihad while living within the inclusive and tolerant communities of the United States. As incidents of domestic radicalization appear to be on the rise, it is incumbent upon the broader intelligence community to fully understand the process of domestic radicalization. Recognizing the signs of radicalization can assist our nation’s law enforcement agencies, as well as the private sector, in preventing the manifestation of future terrorist acts. 

Full article at The Daily Caller