Question: As you examine the terrorism paradigm, there are both domestic, international, and transnational elements, seeking to do harm to the United States and its citizenry. Identify which terroristic element who believe to be the most dangerous to the United States and why? There are no wrong answers per se and consider this an opportunity to use critical thinking to address an important homeland security issue.
Answer: I believe that there is a culmination of threat that are all taking place within our borders that are based on various ideological extremism. It appears that right-wing terrorism is a big concern in the US. According to the Anti-Defamation League pie chart, from 1993-2017 the terror incidents in the US were 43% white supremacy, 42% antigovernmental, 11% anti-abortion, with the remaining 3% being anti-Muslim/immigrant/other. We have a presence of white supremacy and likeminded ideologies that are still present in the US even though the numbers have gone down, they are still active according to the executive summary in our readings. The group has changed since its inception from one large organization to four smaller groups with just subtle differences in how they operate. According to Center for Strategic and International Study (CSIS) this is still the largest threat in the US. (Jones, 2020) Then you have the far-left extremists that support communism and environmentalism and actively target with violence. With the internet opening the world up to communication there is an increase in homegrown terrorists that convert to carry out attacks in support of ISIS right here within our soil like Zachary Clark. The internet allows for all these extremist ideologies to recruit, disseminate propaganda, pre-plan, and plan attacks and can be done on encrypted social media platforms and the dark web. These people can be highly organized like Clark who wrote and posted ‘how to’ manuals for bomb building and how to decide what the target should be, plan and carry out attacks. In the video with Farah Pandith, she talks about a soft power approach to the war on terrorism and I can understand that approach on global level and that would be a top-down approach but how do we combat the radicalized extreme ideologies that cultivate through the internet on our own soil? Clark was caught, like many of our citizens who fall into these extremist ideologies, by undercover agents from federal, state, and local level organization working together. This will be a constantly changing evolution on both sides. Technology seems to be a double edged sword and to combat terrorism we will need to continually adapt.
Brooklyn man sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 20 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to ISIS. (2021, May 12). U.S. Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/brooklyn-man-sentenced-manhattan-federal-court-20-years-prison-attempting-provide
Countering Violent Extremism: How We Win (2019): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saqbh13_WEE
Jones, S. G. (2020, October 22). The war comes home: The evolution of domestic terrorism in the United States. Center for Strategic and International Studies |. https://www.csis.org/analysis/war-comes-home-evolution-domestic-terrorism-united-states