The Evolving Terrorist Threat
Terrorism in the United States has proven to be a dynamic and evolving threat since the attacks over a decade ago. Extremist groups in the Middle East and North Africa continue to have us on alert, but the capacity of al-Qaeda or likeminded organizations orchestrating another major attack on the scale of 9/11 has been reduced. Instead, the threat has become more diffuse and decentralized. Recent attacks in France, Australia, and Canada, along with an attempted attack in Washington, D.C. and a growing number of westerners traveling to Syria, are indicative of a terrorist threat that is increasingly characterized by homegrown violent extremists and self-inspired radicals. By examining whether U.S. domestic counterterrorism structures and processes have kept pace with these evolving threats, BENS can help construct a more integrated and collaborative domestic security enterprise. It is clear that as threats continue to adapt, so too must our nation’s domestic counterterrorism efforts.
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