Changing Face of Home-Grown Terrorism

June 27, 2011  |  

(Christian Science Monitor) — The arrest of terror suspects in Seattle this week presents a good example of what US law-enforcement agencies are facing today:

• One or two potential attackers not affiliated with any broader group.

• Emotional, psychological, and perhaps personal economic difficulties driving a plot to attack Americans.

• “Soft targets” picked for maximum damage to innocent victims.

• The importance of paid informants and sting operations.

“Our review of attempted attacks during the past two years suggests that lone offenders currently present the greatest threat,” according to a recent assessment by federal agencies, marked “for official use only” and obtained by The Associated Press. “Unlike hardened facilities such as active duty military bases and installations, soft targets such as recruiting stations are more likely to be deemed a feasible target due to their easy, open access to the public.”

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