• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Violent Extremism Continues to Plague Homeland Security

    A recent analysis of data accumulated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland reveals a disturbing depth to the level of extremism and violence perpetrated within the United States over the past decade.

    In sum, START’s Global Terrorism Database, an open-source database comprising “information on over 87,000 domestic and international terrorist events around the world since 1970,” identified over 200 acts of terrorism having occurred in the United States since 2000. Of those acts, 17 resulted in fatalities.

    While the motivating factors underlying these acts varied considerably, ranging from Islamist-inspired “lone wolves” to actors within the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front, the implications of such violence on America’s strategic effort to protect the homeland is profound.

    Looking at the numbers more closely, START noted that since 9/11, 32 people have lost their lives due to terrorist acts committed in the United States. The single most lethal incident was the 2009 Fort Hood shooting by Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, in which 13 people were killed.

    Recently, much of the focus within America’s broader national security apparatus has rightly been given to the emergent threat of homegrown Islamist radicalization. A look at START’s data substantiates that focus.

    START identified 211 individuals who were radicalized in North America “to the point of supporting violence” between 1989 and 2011. Of the individuals identified, each was either indicted for violent crimes, was killed while supporting Islamist activities, or had publicly aligned themselves with known Islamist organizations.

    While much attention has been given to more recent examples of domestic radicalization, such as the 2010 arrest of Faisal Shahzad or the 2009 arrest of Najibullah Zazi, the START study on Islamist radicalization in North America shows it to be a protracted phenomenon having long affected our nation’s homeland security.

    The START data underscores the need for the United States to maintain vigilance in what amounts to a multifaceted effort to inhibit and contain the ill effects of Islamist radicalization and any outgrowth of violence that may result.

    Our collective national security infrastructure should emphasize both counter-radicalization efforts and robust and integrated counter-terrorism programs emphasizing the active participation and cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement. The START analysis is a stark reminder that the threat of violent extremism is neither new nor diminishing.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Violent Extremism Continues to Plague Homeland Security

    1. Slick says:

      Perhaps no labeling our enemies for what they are is part of the problem! Is lamic terrorism became man-made disasters, and any time our current administration doesn't seem to like the truth, they exert their power to re-brand what is happening in our country!

      How long were our elected officials not referring to terrorist acts as such? So I say, you have to call it what it is and then define how to deal with it . . . in EXACT terms and with severe penalties. Otherwise it is like spitting in the ocean!

    2. betty says:

      You people should to do some real research on who the terrorists are. It is sheer ignorance to put out endless streams of government propaganda. YOU are considered problems children under their own definitions. If you did your homework, you'd already know this. Do you care. I wonder who funds the Heritage Foundation. Google the MIAC report. Have fun.

    3. Hank says:

      The omission of radical Judaism buoyed by Israeli rabbi's who advocate murder of non-Jewish whites, and the extreme censorship of our media that filters and disguises numerous acts of terrorism committed by
      Israel but often made to look like the 'enemy' was responsible represents a far greater threat to America.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×