Home Grown Radicals–A Threat?

On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, the 9/11 Commission issued a report about the growing danger of home grown, 100% native born Americans who may have become radicals due to events in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Commission cited Somali-Americans who left the country to fight in Somalia with groups like the extremist al-Shabab. It emphasized “our long-held belief that homegrown terrorists couldn’t happen here has thus created a situation where we are today stumbling blidly through the legal, operational and organizational minefield of countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment occurring in the United States.” They argue even in al-Qaeda there are examples of American born individuals who are assuming leadership positions. Ironically, just as this report came out, our nation is dealing with nut case Terry Jones who wants to burn the Quran to show them Muslims we Americans contain as many radical terrorists as are found elsewhere in the world.

An issue raised by the Commission is whether there is need for a central organization to deal with native terrorism. The danger of such thinking is an attitude is created about a threat that is minor, if not insignificant, that demands vigorous action even if it means curtailing civil rights. Yes, there are native born terrorists. However, throughout our history there have been such folks. One does not burn down the house to get the varmints running around.