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NYPD Study Details Threat of Homegrown Terrorism

August 15, 2007  | 

The New York Police Department released a study this morning citing the potential threat of terrorist acts by disaffected immigrants, especially unassimilated Muslims.

For the study, the NYPD examined 11 real terrorist events that occurred since 9/11. It concluded that there is some danger presented by radicalized Muslim immigrants, but the threat was less in the United States than it is in Europe.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that the goal of the NYPD is to stay ahead of the terrorists. “That’s what this report does,” Kelly told a news conference. “It puts it in perspective, and it actually gives a framework to the radicalization process. Before you can disrupt, I think it is important to have a brighter line, so to speak, as to how the radicalization process takes place.”

Mitchell D. Silber, a senior intelligence analyst who co-authored the 90-page report, told the New York Times that the report highlights how the “threat has evolved since 9/11 and that many of these plots and cases that we perceived as being sort of an outside threat, really actually are more of an inside threat in the sense that radicalization drove them.”

Commissioner Kelly said that he worried about both homegrown and overseas terrorists. “The world in which we live presents to us threats from both overseas and right here at home. We can’t take our eye off the ball as a country or as a city from either one.”

The NYPD met with federal officials to discuss the report earlier this week.

“We’re doing everything that we reasonably can do, as a city, to protect the city,” Kelly said. “We take each case, each situation on its own merits. There is no cookie-cutter, there is no exact template. But this report helps us put together our ideas and our tactics and our strategies to address the challenge.”

As would be expected, city officials are concerned about how the local Muslim community will receive the report. Kelly has been doing some damage control by visiting mosques around the city since Monday.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee attacked the study titled, “Radicalization in the West and the Homegrown Threat. “The report is at odds with federal law enforcement findings, including those of the National Intelligence Estimate, and uses unfortunate stereotyping of entire communities,” said the Committee’s national executive director Kareem W. Shora. “This approach runs counter to successful efforts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI at building constructive partnerships with these communities.”

Kelly said the report should not concern people in the Islamic community. “I don’t see this report as stereotyping,” he said. “I don’t see it as doing that at all. I see it as, again, an investigative tool that will be helpful for law enforcement as we go forward.”

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