New York City Police Report Explores Homegrown Terrorism

August 16, 2007

Author: AL BAKER

Source: New York Times

Understanding how seemingly ordinary people become radicalized and hatch homegrown terror plots is essential for law enforcement officials in the United States and abroad to stay one step ahead, a study released yesterday by the New York Police Department concluded.

The study found that unassimilated Muslims in the United States are vulnerable to extremism, but less so than their European counterparts.

The report’s findings were immediately hailed by proponents of law enforcement and some politicians, while harshly criticized by civil libertarians and advocates for Arab-Americans.

Police analysts studied 11 cases from the past six years to better understand terrorist patterns.

Their 90-page report highlighted how ordinary people in Western nations, with unremarkable jobs and with little or no criminal histories, sometimes come to adopt a terrorist ideology. It found a similar dynamic at work in recent terror plots in Britain, Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands