Seventeen years ago, 19 terrorists hijacked four planes and used them to attack the United States. Almost 3,000 people were murdered. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.
Following that tragic day, the U.S. dramatically changed the way it approached terrorism. New government agencies and departments were created, like the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center. Existing departments took on new or expanded responsibilities, such as the FBI’s National Security Branch.
Every American was made aware of the evil of Islamist terrorism and the harm its adherents wished upon the United States. The U.S. undertook new efforts to stop terrorism, from public security measures such as the Transportation Security Administration to intelligence programs such as those created by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Yet, as we moved to increase our security, terrorists were thinking up new ways to attack our way of life.
Since that dark day 17 years ago, the U.S. homeland has faced 104 Islamist terror plots or attacks. Initially, the main target was military facilities and uniformed personnel. But over time, the terrorists shifted their targets toward mass public gatherings.
Initially it was al-Qaeda that radicalized and recruited terrorists, but by 2014, terrorists were almost entirely inspired by the Islamic State. The most active period of terrorist activity was 2015-2016, but with the defeat of the so-called caliphate, the number of terror plots dramatically declined, from 17 plots and attacks in 2015 to only three so far in 2018.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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