Muslim-American terrorism study: Not many incidents, but it only takes one
Since 9/11, the number of Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators has averaged about 16 a year. Last year was slightly higher, but way down from 2009.
In the years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the number of Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators has averaged about 16 per year. In 2010, according to a new report, the total was 20.
That was a sharp drop from 2009, when 47 Muslim-Americans committed or were arrested for terrorist crimes, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in Durham, N.C., a consortium among Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and RTI International.
But 2009 likely was an aberration – the year when a group of 17 Somali-Americans joined Al Shabab, the Islamist insurgent movement linked to Al Qaeda. The number of individual Muslim-Americans plotting against targets in the United States also dropped by half, from 18 in 2009 to 10 in 2010.
“Of course, even a single terrorist plot is too many,” says Charles Kurzman, professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the report’s author. “But this trend offers a challenge for the American public: If we ratchet up our security concerns when the rate of terrorism rises, should we ratchet down our concerns when it falls?”
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