And 20% by neo-Nazis and the like. From the media coverage accorded to each threat, one would think those percentages would be reversed. “Counterterrorism Expert: Threat of Homegrown Terror Has Escalated,” by Ellison Barber for the Washington Free Beacon, August 16:
The threat of homegrown terrorism has escalated in recent years, a counterintelligence and counterterrorism official said on Wednesday.
“To give you a sense of how big this thing is, and I’m only tracking the people and plots when somebody is arrested and charges are made. … Turns out now we’re up to 148 plots and 398 people,” David Major, a counterintelligence adviser to President Ronald Reagan and founder of the CI Centre, said at the International Spy Museum.
Homegrown or domestic terrorism is not confined to radical Islamists, Major said. Aaron Greene and Morgan Gliedman, Operation Backfire, or the shooting at the Wisconsin Sikh temple show terrorists run the gamut of ideologies.
However, as a society we tend to focus on the acts perpetrated by Islamic extremists. Critics have questioned the practicality of this, but Major says it is a logical focus.
The majority of the 148 plots were motivated by Caliphate doctrine, a term for the ideology of Islamist groups such as al Qaeda, Major told theWashington Free Beacon.
Citing research from his institution, Major noted “114 plots or 77 percent of them are self-identified Caliphate plots,” and “about 20 percent” are groups such as “neo-Nazis, anarchists, the anti-government groups.”
A senior fellow at the Brookings Institute wrote al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists look at this period as “a model for what Islam should seek to revive, a caliphate that can unite the Islamic world or at least a large part of it, drive out the West, and be a player on the international political stage.”