Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Minimizing the Threat, Ignoring the Facts

In the latest study from the New America Foundation(1) on the threat of homegrown terrorism the researchers pose the question,
“Just how real is the “homegrown” Islamist terrorist threat?”
And according to their findings, its no big thing.  If fact
you have a greater chance of being murdered by your neighbor than being killed by a radical Islamic jihadist. 
Comforting, isn’t it ?

Just how the analysts came to these conclusions is as fascinating as the data they used to support their claims.
The panel looked at 188 terrorist related cases from the period
2001 (post 9/11) till 2011, examining such variables as, citizenship, ethnicity, education, target choice, weapons acquisition, number of deaths caused, the role of informants, and if there was cooperation from the Muslim community that lead
to the arrest of the subjects.
The experts than used that data to compare it against 114 cases of domestic terrorism for the same period committed by individuals or groups “motivated by political ideologies other than the violent Islamism advocated by bin Laden.”  In other words, neo-nazis, Christian militants, anarchists, or environmental wackos like the Earth Liberation Front.
Here is where the wheels come off the bus.
The researchers minimized, or in some cases deliberately overlooked, significant data. No mention was made of overseas travel, training or funding. In comparing apples and oranges, it's important to appreciate that they grow in different environments. The same is true for ideological extremists bent on violence. READ MORE...