They lack formal ties to Al-Qaeda! Stop the presses! This article doesn’t even mention Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, who came by his “radicalism” simply by reading the Qur’an, that book of peace, on his own. U.S. counterterrorism officials have not even come close to coming to grips with that. “Agencies: Homegrown Radicals Inside U.S.,” from AP, :
U.S. counterterrorism officials say they are uncovering homegrown Islamic radicals inside the United States who lack formal ties to al-Qaida and operate independently.
Those independent qualities – combined with the radicals’ ability to organize and plot on the Internet – make them particularly difficult to disrupt, retired Vice Adm. John Scott Redd, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
In a hearing on the changing face of terror, Redd said the threat from homegrown extremism is a recent trend that was seen in successful transit attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.
One alleged homegrown North American plot has been disrupted: This month, Canadian authorities arrested 17 men and juveniles who are accused of planning attacks in southern Ontario. They are said to have obtained three times the amount of explosives used in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Redd pointed to what he said were three potential homegrown organizations that have been disrupted in the U.S. in just over a year:
_ Two Atlanta-area men, charged earlier this year in a terrorism case, have been publicly linked to some of the Canadian suspects. Prosecutors have said the two traveled to Washington to shoot “casing videos” of the Capitol and other potential targets. The lawyer for one suspect has insisted it wasn’t part of any terrorism plot.
_ In Torrance, Calif., the head of a radical Islamic prison gang and three others were indicted last year on federal charges of planning terrorist attacks against U.S. military facilities, the Israeli Consulate and other Los Angeles-area targets.
_ In the farming town of Lodi, Calif., a young Pakistani man faces at least 30 years in prison for supporting terrorism by attending an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan in 2003 and lying to the FBI. His father pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle $28,000 in cash to Pakistan.
Showing how the government’s mission has changed, Redd said that before 9/11 the FBI wrote 25 intelligence-information reports a year, but now the bureau produces more than 1,000 annually….