Al Qaeda and its allies also have established the beginnings of a terrorist recruitment, radicalization, and operational infrastructure in the US, according to “Assessing the Terrorist Threat” by the Bipartisan Policy Center. (The center is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell – two Republicans and two Democrats.)
“Last year was a watershed in terrorist attacks and plots in the United States, with a record total of 11 jihadist attacks, jihadist-inspired plots, or efforts by Americans to travel overseas to obtain terrorist training,” the report states. “They included two actual attacks (at Fort Hood, Texas, which claimed the lives of 13 people, and the shooting of two US military recruiters in Little Rock, Arkansas), five serious but disrupted plots, and four incidents involving groups of Americans conspiring to travel abroad to receive terrorist training.”
Two things in particular are worth noting, say the report’s authors: The increasing role of US citizens in planning and attempting to carry out terrorist attacks. And the increasing diversification of US-based jihadists, who do not fit any ethnic, economic, educational, or social profile.