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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid