"We're dealing with something much more sophisticated than just finding ... a 'conspirator,' " says Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative policy institute in Washington. "Lone jihadists may really be alone as persons, but they are part of a production of jihadists with the same ideology, outlook, and engagement logic."
The Little Rock shooting touches on a number of security debates going on nationally.
This week in Los Angeles, FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the use of government informants in mosques to root out domestic terrorists, an important point since there are questions about whether Mohammed became "radicalized" in the United States or during visits to Yemen, including a stint in a Yemeni jail. On Tuesday, Mohammed told the Associated Press in a collect phone call from jail that he was not radicalized in Yemen.
Mohammed also carried a fake Somali passport at one point; US security officials are increasingly concerned about Al Qaeda's presence in the leaderless African state. Dozens of young Somali-Americans have disappeared from American cities in recent months.