Domestic Islamic Terrorism Keeps Declining

When you're listing threats that aren't as large as they appear in the media, be sure to include domestic Muslim terrorism. Spencer Ackerman reports:

Let's have a war! It can start in New Jersey!According to data tracked by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina and released Friday (.PDF), there were nine terrorist plots involving American Muslims in 2012. Only one of them, the attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, actually led to any violence. There were no casualties in that or any other incident. And the Triangle study tracks indictments, not convictions.

Terrorist incidents from American Muslims is on the decline for the third straight year. After an uptick in 2009, there were 18 plots in 2011 involving 21 U.S. Muslims. And it's not just violent plots: Fewer Muslim-Americans are getting indicted for money laundering, material support for terrorism, and lying to investigators. There were 27 people indicted on those terror-support charges in 2010, eight in 2011 and six in 2012.

According to the report, the total number of people killed by Muslim American terrorists after 9/11 is 33—and that includes the 11 murdered by the Beltway snipers in 2002. Meanwhile, all those indictments include plots that never would have gotten anywhere without infiltrators' assistance. "Informants and undercover agents," the Triangle Center paper notes, "were involved in almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012."

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  • tarran||

    Maj Hassan's shooting spree wasn't an act of Islamic terrorism?

    I wonder what their definition is...

  • WTF||

    Yeah, leaving that off the list is a bit dishonest.

  • Jesse Walker||

    No, they counted that.

  • tarran||

    Oh yeah! Hassan's spree wasn't in 2012! OK. My mistake.

  • Jesse Walker||

    They counted it in the longer list of post-9/11 deaths. It's the biggest body count there.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That was workplace violence. Doy.

  • WTF||

    "Informants and undercover agents," the Triangle Center paper notes, "were involved in almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012."

    Well if the FBI wasn't creating terrorist plots to publicize, how do you expect to keep people sufficiently fearful to keep supporting the War on Terror?

  • R C Dean||

    Isn't that kind of tautological? I mean, how are you going to uncover a plot if you don't have some source of information about it?

    Anyone want to bet that this won't be used to get more funding? "The number of plots we have been able to penetrate has been declining, pointing to a shortage of resources for this important function, blah blah."

  • SugarFree||

    It's more of bootstrapping operation. Most of the terrorist stings look like minor league kooks spouting off until the FBI upsells them with the "materials" to actually commit a crime.

  • tarran||

    Actually, I can see a rationale for the FBI manufacturing plots.

    Look, the number of good quality informants and infiltrators are so low, the number of bona fide terrorists are so low that the chances of the two groups coming into contact is pretty low.

    So, how can you disrupt the planning of the terrorists? You do a lot of widely publicized entrapment operations. So, when two bona fide terrorists are considering entering into a conspiracy, the fear that the other guy is an FBI informant will be pretty outsized and will inhibit the growth of their little gang.

    Saddam Hussein was the master of this tactic, to the point where everybody could expect to be approached by a good friend at some point in their life who proposed entering into an anti-Saddam plot; the friend would, of course , have been coerced by the internal security forces into creating the plot, and anyone who failed to report this friend would then be considered guilty of treason.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm not completely against the idea of what the FBI is doing, for the sort of destruction of trust issue you mention. The reservation I have is whether this is really the best use of the FBI's time and resources, if there is any differentiation between those with the intent to do harm who only lack the opportunity and dipshits just running off at the mouth, and the feedback effect of the FBI playing at being jihadists to attract these people in the first place. For example, what if dipshittery turns into intent because the dipshit in question thought his ideas were validated by the commenters on a jihadist website that is 90% FBI agents?

  • WTF||

    Yeah, uncovering a plot is one thing, creating a plot in order to bust people who otherwise would have likely not done anything is another matter entirely.

  • Killazontherun||

    until the FBI upsells them with the "materials"

    So, the FBI are Episiarch's? And stopping terror plots ranting lunatics is evolutionary progression in action?

  • Almanian.||

    By jove - I think you've got it!

  • Almanian.||

    Walker! You resilient BAStard!

    /obligatory Cliffhanger line

  • Voros McCracken||

    Probably the greatest musical performance ever on SNL:

    "It's great to be here in New Jersey."

    Lee Ving is a great American.

  • Josua||

    The beltway snipers were not terrorists. They were the less interesting, garden-variety, generic kind of psychopaths.

    The Times Square guy was a better example of an Islamic terrorism psychopath.

    However, there was an American who had a key role in the attack in Mumbai. Unfortunately, he still breathes, but will be conducting all of his remaining respiration in prison.

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