Homegrown terrorism a growing concern for US intelligence
Homegrown terrorism is a growing threat, US intelligence chief Dennis Blair said this week. But the number of American Muslims engaged in extremist activity remain small and still largely focused overseas.
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Still, there have been several domestic terror plots in the past few years, points out Rick Nelson, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a
think tank in Washington, in an analysis. In the past year, these include:
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* Last September, Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan living legally in the US, was arrested on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Authorities claimed he traveled to Pakistan to receive training.
Why they radicalize
Poverty and social marginalization are some reasons why some individuals self-radicalize, Mr. Nelson writes in an analysis for CSIS. However, some of the alleged terrorists are from well-off families, including the five from Northern Virginia.
“The US needs to counteract this narrative,” Nelson said. US policymakers must build stronger partnerships with states threatened by extremist violence.
“Cooperation, rather than large-scale intervention, ultimately offers a surer path to mitigating terrorism,” he writes.
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