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Terror Threats Reassessed as Enemies Rejigger
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September 13, 2010, 07:55 AM
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On September 10, the day before the 9/11 terror anniversary, the two chairmen of the 9/11 Commission appeared at a press conference to discuss the state of national preparedness against our enemies. (Watch on C-Span.) Former Delaware Governor Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton were accompanied by other terrorism experts to discuss successes and failures of the last nine years. They are concerned that the top security officials have not adequately adjusted to the change in strategy of the jihadists.
U.S. Has �No Strategy’ to Confront Homegrown Terror, Security Group Warns, Fox News, September 10, 2010

The United States has failed to anticipate the danger from homegrown terrorists and now faces the most complex set of threats since the Sept. 11 attacks, analysts on an organization headed by the two 9/11 Commission co-chairmen warned Friday.

Unveiling a new report a day before the nation marks nine years since the 2001 attacks, members of the National Security Preparedness Group said Al Qaeda and other terror groups are increasingly turning to U.S. citizens to carry out attacks on the United States. Though the U.S. at one time may have thought its cultural �melting pot� would provide a �firewall� against radicalization from within, group member Bruce Hoffman said that assumption turned out to be false.

�The United States has failed to fundamentally understand and prepare for these threats,� Hoffman said. �Terrorists may have found our Achilles’ heel. We have no strategy to deal with this growing problem and emerging threat.�

The report said U.S. authorities failed to realize that Somali-American youths traveling from Minnesota to Somalia in 2008 to join extremist Muslim groups was not an isolated event. Instead, the movement was one among several instances of a broader, more diverse threat that has surfaced across the country.

As a result, there remains no federal agency specifically charged with identifying radicalization or working to prevent terrorist recruitment of U.S. citizens and residents, said the report.

This is a disturbing report, if accurate. Top cops didn’t think two dozen young Somali men with US passports getting full jihad warfare instruction was a problem? The Senate held a hearing in 2009 about Al Shebab recruiting among Somalis residing here, so the danger was discussed. And even without the call of the tribal homeland, the internet never sleeps and has been quite effective in luring young Muslims into its clutches.

Americans understand that allowing hostile Muslims to immigrate en masse into this country is a security threat; that’s one reason why mosque construction is coming under more scrutiny, particularly when the edifice is far larger than the local Muslim congregation requires.

I have a problem with the loosy-goosey way the phrase �homegrown terrorist� is thrown around by the dinosaur media and in the new report. You can accurately call the Fort Hood assassin �homegrown� since Nidal Hasan was born here (of Jordanian immigrant parents), although the philosophy which guided him is certainly alien.

On the other hand, Faisal Shazad, the Times Square bomber, arrived in the US in 1999 on a college visa, yet he is discussed in the study.

The fuzzy way that �homegrown� is used is confusing, and tends to blur the immigration cause lurking in the background. Even national security elites don’t want the doors shut to our enemies, it appears. One reason is that now we are fighting wars in Islamo-holes like Afghanistan, and the military needs native speakers of the enemy language. And so it goes.

Here’s an interview with Gov. Kean:

You can read the report Assessing the Terrorist Threat, by Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman, posted on BipartisanPolicy.org.