From the New York Jewish Week:
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Special To The Jewish Week
Congressional hearings on homegrown terrorism, focusing on how al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations seek to radicalize Muslims in the U.S., are a welcome development. This initiative by Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, does not come out of the blue.
Earlier this month, Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the overall terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland is now “at its most heightened state since 9/11.” The “most striking elements of today’s threat picture is that plots to attack America increasingly involve American residents and citizens,” Napolitano testified on Capitol Hill, adding that 50 of the 88 individuals involved in 32 major terrorism cases linked to al Qaeda and similar ideology over the past decade were U.S. citizens.
A recent study by the New York State Intelligence Center, cited by Secretary Napolitano, indicates that 70 percent of homegrown terrorists were born in the U.S., and that most of them based their actions on extremist Islamic ideology.
King’s hearings are not the first to examine a national security threat born on U.S. soil. Following the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, the Senate held hearings on the threat posed by militias, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) held another separate hearing later that year. At the time, King joined with Schumer in calling for the militia hearings and viewing the situation as a matter of national security.
We, as Jews, also need to recognize that the homegrown Islamic extremist terrorism threat specifically targets us and affects the security of our community. Its ideology is intrinsically anti-Semitic and has repeatedly incited terrorists to target Jews and Jewish institutions.
The best-known incident was the 2009 plot to blow up Jewish institutions in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Similarly, in 2005 Muslim extremist converts in Los Angeles calling themselves Jamiat Al-Islam Al-Sahih plotted attacks against synagogues, the Israeli Consulate, and the El Al ticket counter at LAX airport. Less well known was the secondary targeting of Jewish communities in 2009 by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who intended to assassinate three rabbis in Tennessee and attack a series of Jewish institutions throughout the Northeast.
As both Americans and as Jews, we cannot afford to ignore the increasing threat of homegrown terrorism to our country and community. The recruitment of terrorists on American soil affects innocent Muslims, first and foremost, but ultimately endangers us all. Even as we must be ever vigilant against discrimination, whether against our Muslim fellow citizens or anyone else, we must also remain focused on the very real threats that imperil our nation’s security.Click on the Link at the head of the article to read it’s entirety....
Yehudit Barsky's article on why the anticipated House Committee on Homeland Security hearings on the homegrown terrorism threat is well taken. His observation regarding the connection between homegrown jihadists and anti-semitism is accurate.
Two of the plots mentioned in the article, the 2009 plot to blow up synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and the 2005 plan to attack Jewish sites in Los Angeles were indeed motivated by individuals with a vehement hatred for the Jewish people.
What is not mentioned is that all of the conspirators in those crimes were former inmates who converted to a radical form of Islam while in prison.
The threat of radical Islamic recruitment in the prison system must be included in a thorough examination of the threat of homegrown terrorism. As a former Corrections Officer for the State of Michigan, I had a front row seat to this type of recruiting and especially the actions of violence by these Followers of the Religion of Peace against staff and other prisoners.
The Nation of Islam, American Muslim Mission,The Melanic Islamic Temple of the Rising Sun, and the Moorish Americans were the primary Violent Islamic Groups in Michigan Prisons and they worked alongside, oddly enough violent street gangs from…Are you ready for this…..Chicago! The Vice Lords and the Black Gangster Disciple Nation and their many outward stretching arms, hid behind the veil of RELIGION in order to coordinate their activities.