Are we Prepared for the Threat of ISIS to the Homeland?

Are we Prepared for the Threat of ISIS to the Homeland?

Breitbart News recently reported that the FBI did not include Islamist terrorism in its report, “National Threat Assessment for Domestic Extremism.”  As Bill Gertz originally wrote, “the internal FBI intelligence report concluded in its 2013 assessment published this month that the threat to U.S. internal security from extremists is limited to attacks and activities by eight types of domestic extremist movements–none motivated by radical Islam.”  

Breitbart News has investigated the story further and found that this simple fact obscures much of the FBI’s work against Islamist terrorism, but does not tackle the actual issue. The FBI has separate reports for what it calls Domestic Terrorism (DT) and International Terrorism (IT). But there is still a serious problem with how the FBI looks at the terrorist threat.

The Bureau’s “Domestic Terrorism” report identifies threats as white supremacists, black separatists, pro- and anti-abortion extremists, and anarchists. The “International Terrorism” report is the one that covers matters jihadi, in spite of the fact that, since 2001, an estimated 246 U.S. citizens and residents have been indicted or charged with a jihad-inspired crime, according to the New America Foundation.  

Such a fact clearly exposes jihadist terrorism as a “domestic” terrorism issue as well as an “international” one.

According to a source at the Department of Justice, is that the FBI has twelve times as many units working Jihadi terrorism than non-Jihadi but has to call it “International Terrorism”–not Domestic Terrorism, and especially not Islamic Terrorism.  

The FBI continues to maintain an ostensible ban on words such as “jihad,” “Islam,” “Islamic terrorism,” which began with the autumn 2011 purge of counter-terrorism trainers and training.  Moreover, the counter-terrorism trainers who did survive the purge are still subjected to an anonymous review process of all slides used in training with the explicit goal of censoring any material that could be considered offensive to Muslims.

With the rise of ISIS/The Islamic State, and particularly following the recent beheading of the two U.S. journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, many have expressed a growing concern over potential threats to America and the West.  On August 29th, the United Kingdom raised its threat level from substantial to severe and implemented concrete steps to enhance security. U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement: “The first and most important duty of government is the protection of the British people. We have already taken steps to amend our powers and increase our capabilities for dealing with the developing terrorist threats we face.” 

The U.S. national security leadership, on the other hand, from President Obama on down, is sending mixed messages on the threat level, and have not indicated they will take any additional steps to enhance U.S. security. Indeed, the opposite is true: one of the greatest threats is the porousness of the U.S. border, and yet nothing has been done to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.  

Judicial Watch issued a report on August 29th citing evidence that “Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED).”  A number of agencies have been placed on high alert as a result of the threat.  Specifically, government sources confirmed to Judicial Watch that ISIS was operating in Juarez, Mexico, which shares a border with El Paso, Texas.  

At the same time, reports have surfaced out of Libya that the Jihadist forces there have captured 11 airliners at Tripoli airport, planes that could be used in a 9/11 style attack– just days before the anniversary of the original 2001 attacks. Even if the jihadist group could not fly these captured planes to the US, the “domestic” threat of American jihadist, like US Army Major Nidal Hasan, is very much real. Just how real can be seen in the investigative TV documentary The Project, which chronicles the network of jihadist groups working in the US.

Perhaps, as we prepare for another possible attack as 9/11 approaches, we should do away with the artificial distinction between “Domestic Terrorism” and “International Terrorism,” facing the reality that self-proclaimed Holy Warriors engaged in Jihad are the greatest threat to American national security, not black nationalists, white supremacists, or anti-abortion extremists.


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