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Kurzman Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9 11

Kurzman Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9 11

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Published by Andrea Stone

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Andrea Stone on Feb 08, 2012
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05/27/2012

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Muslim-AmericanTerrorism in theDecade Since 9/11
C
HARLES
K
URZMAN
 
D
EPARTMENT OF
S
OCIOLOGY
 U
NIVERSITY OF
N
ORTH
C
AROLINA
,
 
C
HAPEL
H
ILL
 F
EBRUARY
8,
 
2012
 
 
Muslim-American Terrorism Down in 2011
Twenty Muslim-Americans were indicted forviolent terrorist plots in 2011, down from 26the year before, bringing the total since 9/11to 193, or just under 20 per year (see Figure1). This number is not negligible -- smallnumbers of Muslim-Americans continue toradicalize each year and plot violence.However, the rate of radicalization is far lessthan many feared in the aftermath of 9/11. Inearly 2003, for example, Robert Mueller,director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,told Congress that “FBI investigations haverevealed militant Islamics [sic] in the US. Westrongly suspect that several hundred of theseextremists are linked to al-Qaeda.”
1
 Fortunately, we have not seen violence on thisscale.The scale of homegrown Muslim-Americanterrorism in 2011 does not appear to havecorroborated the warnings issued bygovernment officials early in the year. InMarch 2011, Mueller testified to Congress thatthis threat had become even more complexand difficult to combat, as “we are seeing an 
This
 
is
 
the
 
third
 
annual
 
report
 
on
 
Muslim
American
 
terrorism
 
suspects
 
and
 
perpetrators
 
published
 
by
 
the
 
Triangle
 
Center
 
on
 
Terrorism
 
and
 
Homeland
 
Security.
 
The
 
first
 
report,
 
co
authored
 
by
 
David
 
Schanzer,
 
Charles
 
Kurzman,
 
and
 
Ebrahim
 
Moosa
 
in
 
early
 
2010,
 
also
 
examined
 
efforts
 
by
 
Muslim
Americans
 
to
 
prevent
 
radicalization.
 
The
 
second
 
report,
 
authored
 
by
 
Charles
 
Kurzman
 
and
 
issued
 
in
 
early
 
2011,
 
also
 
examined
 
the
 
source
 
of 
 
the
 
initial
 
tips
 
that
 
brought
 
these
 
cases
 
to
 
the
 
attention
 
of 
 
law
enforcement
 
authorities.
 
This
 
third
 
report,
 
authored
 
by
 
Charles
 
Kurzman
 
and
 
issued
 
in
 
early
 
2012,
 
focuses
 
on
 
cases
 
of 
 
support
 
for
 
terrorism,
 
in
 
addition
 
to
 
violent
 
plots.
 
These
 
reports,
 
and
 
the
 
data
 
on
 
which
 
they
 
are
 
based,
 
are
 
available
 
at
 
http://kurzman.unc.edu/muslim
american
terrorism.
 
 
 
Figure 2. Muslim-American Terrorism Suspects and Perpetrators, Violent Plots, 2011
Name Location Plot or alleged plot Disrupted Status of case
Emerson BegollyMayport, PA Arrested for biting 2 FBI agents Early Trial pendingRoger StockhamSan Diego, CA Plot to attack Shia mosque in Michigan Late Trial pendingAlwar PouryanPhoenix, AZ Selling weapons to Taliban in Romania Early Trial pendingKhalid Ali-M AldawsariLubbock, TX Buying chemicals for weapon Early Trial pendingAhmed FerhaniNew York, NYPlot to bomb synagogues, churches, and EmpireState BuildingEarly Trial pending
 
Mohamed MamdouhNew York, NYJoseph Jeffrey BriceClarkston, WA Testing explosives Late Trial pendingJesse Curtis MortonNew York, NY Threatening "South Park" creators Early Trial pendingWaad Ramadan AlwanBowling Green,Plot to send weapons and money to IraqiinsurgentsEarly Trial pending
 
Shareef HammadiBowling Green,Yonathan Melaku Washington, DCShooting at military buildings in Virginia No Trial pendingAbu Khalid Abdul-Latif Seattle, WAPlot to attack military office in SeattleEarly Trial pending
 
Walli Mujahidh Los Angeles, CAMohammad Hassan KhalidBaltimore, MD “Jihad Jane” plot on Swedish cartoonist Early Trial pendingNasser Jason AbdoKilleen, TX Buying gunpowder for attack on Fort Hood Late Trial pendingAgron HasbajramiNew York, NY Travel to Pakistan to join terrorist group Early Trial pendingRezwan FerdausAshland, MA Plot to attack D.C. with remote-control aircraft Early Trial pendingMansour Arbabsiar Austin, TX Plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador in D.C. Early Trial pendingJose PimentelNew York, NY Building pipe bomb to attack mailboxes, banks, Early Trial pendingCraig Baxam Laurel, MDTravel to Kenya to join al-Shabaab in Somalia Early Trial pending
 increase in the sources of terrorism, a widerarray of terrorist targets, and an evolution interrorist tactics and means ofcommunication.”
2
Janet Napolitano, secretaryof the Department of Homeland Security,echoed Mueller’s concern in her 2011 “Stateof America’s Homeland Security Address”:“the terrorist threat facing our country hasevolved significantly in the last ten years – and continues to evolve – so that, in someways, the threat facing us is at its mostheightened state since those attacks.”
3
 Congressman Peter King, chairman of theCommittee on Homeland Security in the U.S.House of Representatives, held four hearingsin 2011 to alert Americans to the “the extent ofMuslim-American radicalization by al-Qaedain their communities today and how terrible itis, the impact it has on families, how extensiveit is, and also that the main victims of this areMuslim-Americans themselves.”
4
 These and similar warnings have bracedAmericans for a possible upsurge in Muslim-American terrorism, which has not occurred.Instead, terrorist plots have decreased in eachof the past two years, since the spike of casesin 2009. Threats remain: violent plots have notdwindled to zero, and revolutionary Islamistorganizations overseas continue to call forMuslim-Americans to engage in violence.However, the number of Muslim-Americanswho have responded to these calls continuesto be tiny, when compared with the populationof more than 2 million Muslims in the UnitedStates
5
and when compared with the totallevel of violence in the United States, whichwas on track to register 14,000 murders in2011.
6
 Of the 20 Muslim-Americans accused ofviolent terrorist plots in 2011 (Figure 2), onlyone, Yonathan Melaku, was charged withcarrying out an attack, firing shots at militarybuildings in northern Virginia (Figure 3).

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