Washington (AP) - The U.S. was slow to take seriously the threat posed by homegrown radicals and the government has failed to put systems in place to deal with the growing phenomenon, according to a new report compiled by the former heads of the Sept. 11 Commission.
The report says
"Our long-held belief that homegrown terrorism couldn't happen here has thus created a situation where we are today stumbling blindly through the legal, operational and organizational minefield of countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment occurring in the
As a result, there is still no federal agency specifically charged with identifying radicalization or working to prevent terrorist recruitment of U.S. citizens and residents, said the report, slated to be released Friday by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group.
The group, headed by former 9-11 commission leaders Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, laid out a detailed description of domestic terror incidents ranging from the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting spree and the attempted Christmas Day airliner attack in late 2009 to last May's botched truck bombing in New York's Times Square.
Over the past year, terrorism experts and government officials have warned of the threat posed by homegrown radicals, saying terror recruits who go abroad could return to the
The terrorists, said the report, may have discovered
The FBI, meanwhile, has worked to reach out to the Somali communities, in an effort to counter the radicalization of the youth.
The report also points to an "Americanization" of the leadership of al-Qaida and its allied groups, noting that radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who had links with suspects in the failed Times Square bombing and the Fort Hood shootings, grew up in New Mexico. And Chicagoan David Headley played a role in scoping the targets for the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks on Mumbai in late 2008 that killed more than 160.
Abroad, Al-Qaida, its affiliates and other extremist groups have splintered and spread, seeking safe havens in undergoverned areas of
Assessing future threats, the report lists potential future domestic targets, including passenger jets, western or American hotel chains, Jewish or Israeli sites and
And it also warns that it is no longer wise to believe that American extremists will not resort to suicide bombings. As an example they point to Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who has been charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 in last year's shootings at