How timely, now that Obama has has just issued a directive to the media and government agencies warning them NOT to refer to al-Qaeda when discussing the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary.
UK DAILY MAILAs the 10th anniversary of the devastating attacks on New York approaches, the National Security Preparedness Group issued a stinging assessment of just how far the U.S. needs to go to combat terror threats.
Airport security is still not thorough enough to stop a large-scale air bombing, the report claimed and, even more worryingly, the greatest threat to national security may well be coming from America itself, with the frighteningly common radicalisation of Muslim-American teens.
The report, issued today, stated: ‘Most troubling, we have seen a pattern of increasing terrorist recruitment of American citizens and residents to act as “lone wolves”…
‘Today, we know that Americans are playing increasingly prominent roles in al Qaeda’s movement. ‘Muslim-American youth are being recruited in Somali communities in Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, in some respects moving the front lines to the interior of our country.’
In recent years, there has been a jump in the number of attacks on the U.S. by homegrown Muslim-Americans.
Fort Hood Massacre
13 people were killed and 29 injured after a gunman fired indiscriminately on November 5, 2009, at the Fort Hood military post in Texas. U.S born Palestinian Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is the sole suspect in the case. Hasan, who is now paralysed after being shot by officers, has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder – and if convicted could face the death penalty.
Little Rock Shooting
Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad killed Private William Long and wounded another during a drive-by shooting on soldiers at a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2009. Muhammad pleaded guilty to murder after claiming he was sent to kill as many soldiers as possible by Al Qaeda.
Times Square Car Bomb
A car bomb was ignited but failed to go off in Times Square, New York, last year – a terror plot foiled after two street vendors spotted smoke coming from the vehicle and informed the police. Two days later, Faisal Shahzad, 30, was arrested. The Pakistan-born American citizen, who has been charged, reportedly confessed to the attempted attack, saying that he had trained at a Pakistani terrorist training camp.
Synagogue Terror Plot
Two middle-eastern men living in New York were arrested for allegedly plotting to attack synagogues dressed as Hasidic Jews. Make-up salesman Ahmed Ferhani, 27, was caught with taxi dispatcher Mohammad Mamdouh, 20, in May in a dramatic police sting operation as they tried to acquire a fearsome arsenal of weapons from an undercover NYPD officer.
Portland Christmas Tree Bomber
A Somali-born teenager accused of plotting to bomb a Christmas tree ceremony in Portland, Oregon, has pleaded not guilty to trying to use a weapon of mass destruction. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, had allegedly driven a van containing a bomb to the ceremony and was arrested after reportedly making a telephone call he thought would set off the explosion.
In 2009, there were two of these high-profile terrorist attacks in the U.S.
13 people were killed and 29 injured in the Fort Hood shooting, the sole suspect for which is Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. born Palestinian who faces the death penalty for the charges. He was an Army major serving as a psychiatrist who was shot when taken into custody and is now paralysed from the chest down.
The same year, a U.S. military recruiter was killed in Little Rock, Arkansas and another man injured. Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad was said by police to have confessed to the killing of Private William Long, saying he had been sent to kill as many soldiers as possible by Al Qaeda.
The report said particularly worrying was the ‘self-radicalisation’ of Muslim youth in America. ‘This process is often influenced by blogs and other online content advocating violent Islamist extremism,’ it stated. ‘While there are methods to monitor some of this activity, it is simply impossible to know the inner thinking of every at-risk person. Thus, self-radicalisation poses a serious emerging threat in the U.S.’
The report card added that despite the government spending billions of dollars on airport security, scanners still cannot reliably detect bombs which could bring down planes. Among concerns raised were ones about full body scanners, which , aside from raising privacy concerns, cannot see explosives hidden within the body. ‘Explosives detection technology lacks reliability and lags in its capability to automatically identify concealed weapons and explosives,’ the report claimed. ‘The next generation of whole body scanning machines also are not effective at detecting explosives hidden within the body.’ It added: ‘Although Osama bin Laden is dead, al Qaeda is not.’
Governor Tom Kean, the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission told ABC News: ‘We really have not gotten it right yet. Some of these recommendations, no question you get an F.’