The bad news:
More disturbingly, such attacks are also the aim of what the threat assessment refers to as homegrown violent extremists, or HVE’s. These are US citizens inspired by Al Qaeda, who show “continued interest in improvised explosive devices” and US military targets.
The good news:
Despite the threat of homegrown terrorists, intelligence officials estimate that they “will continue to be involved in fewer than 10 domestic plots per year.”
The original Al Qaeda once headed by Osama bin Laden suffered a number of senior personnel deaths in 2012, according to the assessment – many courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret drone strike program – “amplifying [Al Qaeda’s] losses and setbacks since 2008.”
As a result, US intelligence operatives “have degraded core Al Qaeda to a point that the group is probably unable to carry out complex, large-scale attacks in the West.”