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A Problem We Can’t Ignore: Threat of Armed Terrorist Assault

Posted By Maura Cremin On June 27, 2012 @ 6:30 pm In Security | Comments Disabled


An April 4 bombing attack on a Somali movie theater [2] by a female member of the terrorist organization al-Shabaab has demonstrated such groups’ interest in targeting public venues in armed assaults. Equally disquieting, a leaked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo suggests there is a chance that similar attacks could take place in the United States. This memo has understandably caused alarm for many who fear a Mumbai-style attack [3] within our borders.

While the 2008 Mumbai attacks, with a tragic death toll of 174 people, represented one of the most high-profile examples of an armed assault, the U.S. itself has not been immune to this same type of threat. In 2009, for instance, Nadal Hassan killed 13 people in a shooting spree at Ft. Hood [4], and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad [5] opened fire at a Little Rock military recruiting office, leaving one soldier dead and another wounded. Likewise, of the at least 51 Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks [6] against the United States thwarted since 9/11, more than a dozen have involved planned assault-style tactics.

While public concern has often centered on the threat of large-scale attacks like those that occurred on 9/11, smaller-scale attacks by individuals like Hassan and Muhammad also present a significant threat [7] that cannot be ignored.

Maura Cremin is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm [8]

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/06/27/a-problem-we-cant-ignore-threat-of-armed-terrorist-assault/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/al-shabab300.jpg

[2] Somali movie theater: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/al-shabaab-strikes-again-two-somali-olympics-chiefs-slain/

[3] Mumbai-style attack: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/01/08/mumbai-aftermath-update/

[4] Ft. Hood: http://articles.cnn.com/2009-11-05/us/texas.fort.hood.shootings_1_gen-robert-cone-nidal-malik-hasan-fort-hood?_s=PM:US

[5] Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/after-oslo-attacks-lessons-for-the-united-states

[6] 51 Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/fifty-terror-plots-foiled-since-9-11-the-homegrown-threat-and-the-long-war-on-terrorism

[7] threat: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/12/lessons-from-mumbai-assessing-armed-assault-threats-to-the-united-states?query=Lessons+from+Mumbai:+Assessing+Armed+Assault+Threats+to+the+United+States

[8] http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

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