Terrorism Growing in U.S.

Monday, December 12, 2011 @ 06:12 PM gHale

Over the past decade, attacks and plots by homegrown U.S. terrorists have increased, the work of extremists from across the political spectrum — roughly 40 percent of it by “lone wolf,” non-aligned actors, a new report said.

This analysis underscore the threat addressed in a White House plan released last week: Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States – a blueprint for “building community resilience against violent extremism.”

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“There have been more than 200 terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11, but what has really increased is the total number of foiled terrorist plots,” said Gary LaFree a University of Maryland researcher and director of National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). LaFree developed the largest and most comprehensive unclassified terrorism database in the world with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Our researchers have tracked over 100 foiled plots in the past decade,” LaFree said. “Most of these would be classified as homegrown terrorism.”

The new White House plan follows up on a strategy first laid out last August, and discussed at UMD by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in October.

“The facts make it clear — homegrown, violent extremism is not just a problem for other countries,” LaFree said. “The administration plan confronts this reality by providing a strategy that draws heavily on local communities as the key to prevention.”

The following is a breakdown in some of the domestic terror statistics from the Global Terrorism Database:
• Between 2000 and 2010 there were 213 terrorist attacks in the United States. Seventeen of these, including the four 9/11 attacks, were fatal.
• Since Sept. 11, 2001, 32 people have died in terrorist attacks in the United States. The most lethal attack was the 2009 shooting at Ft. Hood in Texas, in which 13 people died.
• Forty percent of terrorist attacks in the United States since 2000 have involved individuals with no apparent affiliation to a known extremist group. These individuals included adherents of a range of ideologies, including anti-abortion extremists, environmental extremists, White supremacists, and Islamist extremists.
• Of the attacks in the United States for which officials know perpetrator information, 73 percent, the groups most frequently launching completed attacks were the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). High-profile attacks by individuals affiliated with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) ended up foiled.

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