Report: The Radicalization of Muslim-Americans: The Committee On Homeland Security’s Investigation of The Continuing Threat

June 20, 2012 4:00 AM

The Radicalization of Muslim-Americans: The Committee On Homeland Security’s Investigation of The Continuing Threat

Executive Summary and Key Findings

America before September 11, 2001 failed to recognize the enormity of the threat posed by the foreign terror group Al Qaeda or adequately confront it head on, despite warnings including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 by those who ideologically and tactically aligned themselves with Osama Bin Laden. Even eight years after Bin Laden’s attacks on innocents in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, our government failed again to realize that Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Pakistan were capable of – and almost succeeded in carrying out – strikes on U.S. soil. We cannot ever assume our government is all knowing or always right; scrutiny of counterterrorism priorities is a core duty of the Committee on Homeland Security’s constitutional oversight duties. To that end, the Committee held four investigative hearings since 2011 to examine the threat of violent radicalization emanating from within the Muslim-American community, where a small but potentially lethal percentage of that population has plotted severe mass casualty attacks against our homeland.

This is no phantom threat. It shares no equivalency with threats posed by other domestic terrorists who have no foreign ties or any demonstrated capability of organizing themselves for spectacular attacks inside the homeland. In late 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder said there had been 126 homegrown plots, threats and attacks since 2009 – the year homegrown radicalized] jihadis attacked military heroes at Fort Hood and in Little Rock. Since we began our investigation into the radicalization threat from within the Muslim-American community, many more violent

Islamist extremists have been intercepted attempting to kill their fellow Americans.

Homegrown radicalization is now the vanguard of Al Qaeda’s strategy to continue attacking the United States and its allies. The evidence comes from core Al Qaeda’s tapes released from

Pakistan, its Yemen affiliate’s online Inspire homegrown terror how-to publication created by two American jihadis, and from Somalia’s Al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab Mujahideen, who\ released a tape last fall by a suicide bomber from Minneapolis who urged: “My brothers and sisters, do jihad in America … anywhere you find [infidels], fight them and be firm against them.”

Each investigative hearing by the Committee’s Majority uncovered significant findings that illuminated an uncomfortable reality: radicalization inside the Muslim-American community has often been ignored by many of that community’s leaders, who have not always reported suspicious activity and have even obstructed law enforcement. In cities such as San Diego and Minneapolis, some imams participated in or facilitated recruiting and fundraising inside mosques.

Facts collected by the Committee from open and classified government briefings, terror experts and confidential sources, and from witnesses called to testify by the Majority – including four former senior law enforcement officials, four Muslim community activists, three relatives of terrorists or terror victims, two senior Administration officials and one former Special Operations commander who is a terrorism expert – offer Congress, the Executive Branch and the public irrefutable proof of the extent of the radicalization threat.

The Committee’s investigative efforts have forced a long overdue open debate about the growing issue of radicalization leading to violent Islamist extremism – which is the number one terrorist threat to this nation. Additionally, the Committee’s hearings have liberated and empowered Muslim-Americans who had been intimidated by leaders in their own communities and who are now able to come forward and address this issue.

Committee Findings

Hearing # 1: “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.”

  • Finding #1: The Radicalization of Muslim-Americans Constitutes a Real and Serious Homeland Security Threat
  • Finding #2: There is Not Enough Muslim-American Community Cooperation with Law Enforcement
  • Finding #3: There is a Need to Confront the Islamist Ideology Driving Radicalization

Hearing # 2: “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.”

  • Finding #4: The Radicalization of Prison Inmates to an Extremist Form of Islam is a Significant Problem, which Can Often Manifest Once Radicalized Prisoners Are Released
  • Finding #5: The Radicalization of Prison Inmates is Often Precipitated By the Presence of Radical Clergy or Extremist Materials Within the Prison

Hearing # 3: “Al-Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland.”

  • Finding #6: There are Direct Ties Between Al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda and its Affiliates, and Al-Shabaab Recruits are Often Indoctrinated into Al Qaeda’s Ideology and Network
  • Finding #7: More Than 40 Muslim-Americans Radicalized and Recruited By Al-Shabaab May Pose a Direct Threat to the National Security of the United States and its Allies
  • Finding #8: The Committee’s Hearings on the Radicalization of Muslim-Americans Have Empowered Muslims to Effectively Address this Issue.

Hearing #4: “Homegrown Terrorism: The Threat to Military Communities Inside the United States.”

  • Finding #9: The Terrorist Threat to Military Communities is Severe and on the Rise
  • Finding #10: The “Insider” Threat to Military Communities is a Significant and Potentially Devastating Development
  • Finding #11: Political Correctness Continues to Stifle the Military’s Ability to Effectively Understand and Counter the Threat
  • Finding #12: The Administration Chose Political Correctness Over Accurately Labeling and Identifying Certain Terrorist Attacks Appropriately, Thereby Denying Purple Hearts Medals to Killed and Wounded Troops in Domestic Terror Attacks

Click here to read the full investigative report.

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