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September 22, 2010 9:32 AM Subscribe
Assessing the Terrorist Threat
posted by warbaby (33 comments total)
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-- Bruce Hoffman
and Peter Bergen
describe how Al Qaida has evolved
since the attacks in 2001, including the development of domestic USA networks and the increasingly diverse
nature of terrorism. Homeland Security and local law enforcement are not keeping up with the changes
In a nutshell, AQ is less able to launch mass casualty attacks, but is instead developing a capability of recruiting domestic terrorists for numerous small attacks. The probability of success of any individual attack is low, but the payoff for a successful one is very high. AQ is being successfully attacked and is evolving as a result.
The trajectory is similar to the change in domestic white supremacist terrorism over the last thirty years to the point where most of the threat is from isolated "lone wolf" attacks. Similarly, AQ is becoming more of a leaderless resistance
organization and less of an elite paramilitary. This trajectory is typical of failing terrorist movements.
The major force multiplier for AQ in the US is the strategic cooperation of domestic extremists and Islamophobes. Terrorism is mostly about appearances, so the appearance of the US in Moslem eyes as a nation of haters is a major asset to jihadists.