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In Wake Of NYC Bomber, How Can The U.S. Better Identify Domestic Terrorists?

Published by The Federalist

Authored by Jackie Anderson

At 7:20 a.m. EST on Monday, the suicide vest worn by 27-year-old Akayed Ullah detonated at a Port Authority bus station in Manhattan. This increased the pile of radical Islamist terror attacks that have hit the United States this year.

While Ullah was badly injured and three other commuters sustained non-life-threatening injuries, countless other rush hour commuters around the scene at the time of detonation were thankfully spared. Former New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton confirmed on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Ullah had acted in the name of ISIS.

Ullah is a Bangladeshi man who has been in the United States for approximately seven years. He joins the ranks of domestic terrorists radicalized within U.S. borders before carrying out attacks inspired by the Islamic State terrorist group. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described Ullah as “disgruntled,” and confirmed that Ullah taught himself how to make the deadly “low-tech device” with wires, a pipe bomb, and a battery pack.

While radical Islamic terrorists continue to set their sights on intimidating the western world, the question remains as to what traits domestic terrorists who are radicalized within our borders share and how—if at all—clearer trends are helping identify potential threats.

Building a Profile of Domestic Terrorists to Predict Threats

Former assistant secretary of state Kim Holmes confirms that these traits exist, and that many terrorists radicalized in the United States are young men born overseas and brought over by chain immigration or through the gravely flawed visa lottery. Many more, he says, are the product of Muslim parents born overseas who emigrate to the United States but refuse to assimilate, fostering feelings of alienation and resentment and making them prime targets for radicalization.

“Many of these guys are being recruited online and by radical clerics. Like we saw with Ullah in New York, they don’t even need elaborate support structures,” Holmes says. “These are alienated, frustrated, and violent young men who are looking to belong to something, and that makes them prime targets.”


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December 15, 2017

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