News / USA

Study on Terrorism Predicts Smaller, More Attacks

Multimedia

A new study indicates terrorist threats against the United States have changed since the September 11, 2001 attacks, becoming smaller in scale and often originating from domestic sources. The report was issued Friday by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

The 19 hijackers who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, were all Arabs. None was a U.S. citizen.

In the nine years since, much has changed.

The study by the Bipartisan Policy Center says the threat has shifted to Americans aligned with al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, and the United States has been slow to prevent it.  Stephen Flynn, a security analyst, took part in the study.

"Much smaller scale attacks, particularly if drawn from domestic recruits, are almost impossible for our national security intelligence community, as it's currently constructed, to detect and intercept. As a practical matter, it means we will almost certainly have successful terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and we need to start coming to grips with that," he said.

An example is the foiled Times Square bombing.  The Pakistani-American who pleaded guilty to terrorism was drawn to the cause and trained overseas.  The study ties at least 43 American citizens or U.S. residents to terrorism crimes last year. That is the most in any year since the 2001 attacks.

Bruce Hoffman, a specialist on terrorism, co-authored the study. "Individuals looking to receive terrorist training, unfortunately today have more destinations they can select to go to. We've had incidents just in the past month of individuals attempting for instance to go to Somalia, rather than Pakistan," he said.

Recent public outcry over plans to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site, and a Florida religious group's threats to burn copies of the Quran, play into the hands of al-Qaida, says Thomas Kean. He helped to lead the study.

"These kind of debates do not help when we are trying to prevent people from being recruited.  And, they do not help I don't think, in the war on ideas," he said.

Another study leader, Lee Hamilton, says the United States must reach out to the world's Muslims. "1.3or 1.4 -whatever it is - billion Muslims from London to Jakarta.  An enormously important force in the world.  We have to understand it much, much better than we do and how to address it," he said.

Kean and Hamilton say one way to do that is to recommend U.S. policy changes.  Which they promise to do, in a later report.


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid