Homeland Security Secretary: 'Homegrown Terrorist Activity' Connected With Al-Qaeda 'Increasing'

By Nicholas Ballasy | December 9, 2010 | 2:16 PM EST

Homeland Security Secretary of Janet Napolitano speaks to the National Governors Association's Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety in Washington on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 as former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge looks on. (P Photo/Cliff Owen)

(CNSNews.com) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said “homegrown terrorist activity” associated with the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda is “increasing” in the United States.

Her comments came as a Baltimore-area man was arrested for plotting to bomb a military recruitment center. Napolitano declined to comment on this incident specifically, deferring questions to the FBI but provided her assessment of the threats currently facing the homeland.

“My assessment is that the threat environment now is increasingly active and that it is not restricted to plots that are hatched overseas and then flown into the United States but that it also now includes an increasing amount of hometown or homegrown terrorist activity particularly by individuals who have become radicalized and associated with Al Qaeda or Islamist terrorism beliefs and techniques and tactics,” she said during a press conference announcing DHS’ partnership with the General Services Administration and Federal Protective Service on the DHS' “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign.

“So one of the reasons that we are doing all of the many things that we are doing is to make sure that people are aware; that businesses are aware, that members of the community are aware and that we know that there’s a shared responsibility here in terms of our own security.”

DHS has partnered with Wal-Mart in the “If You See Something, Say Something” as well as the Washington, D.C. metro system. Napolitano says her voice can be heard on D.C. metro trains speaking about the campaign.

“We’re taking this effort even a bit further by expanding the ‘if you see something, say something’ campaign to the more than 9,000 federal facilities across our country that are owned or leased by the general services administration and protected by our own federal protective service,” she said.