Over the past decade, attacks and plots by homegrown terrorists in the United States have increased, according to analysis by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
The START research says that 40 percent of terrorist attacks in the United States since 2000 have involved individuals that had no affiliation to a known extremist group. The organization says attacks or attempts were carried out by individuals with a range of ideologies, including anti-abortion extremists, environmental extremists, white supremacists and Islamist extremists.
The research makes note of terrorist activities committed by far-right extremist groups, far-left extremist groups and al-Qaida-influenced groups. The results are as follows:
- More than 345 homicide incidents were committed by at least one far-rightist between 1990 and 2010.
- Far-rightists killed almost 50 law enforcement officials between 1990 and 2010.
- Far-right extremists committed more than 350 “financial schemes” since 1990.
- Almost 25 fatal incidents have been committed by al-Qaida-inspired extremists since 1990.
- Al-Qaida-inspired extremists committed close to 100 “financial schemes” since 1990.
The researchers also contend that 80 percent of extremists began their radicalization after the events of 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terrorism; about half of the identified homegrown Islamist extremists come from a middle class background, and most are well-embedded in their host society. According to researchers, only about a quarter of the extremists mentioned are converts to Islam and most attacks or attempts are carried out by “lone-wolf” suspects.
The report comes soon after the Senate voted to place domestic terror investigations and interrogations into the hands of the military, setting the stage for trial-free, indefinite detention of anyone, including American citizens, as long as the government deems them terrorists.