The U.S. Senate’s committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs got a full dose of reality on Wednesday. The directors of the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center all advised that the risk of smaller scale terrorist attacks in the U.S. is growing.
As Committee Chair Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) put it: “I have three observations about the evolution of homegrown and foreign-inspired radicalization. First, there has been a dramatic increase in the pace of homegrown and foreign-based incidents; second, more and more Americans are being recruited and are joining the leadership ranks of al Qaeda and its affiliated groups; third, the internet has become the preferred way for American citizens to self-radicalize and for terrorists to indoctrinate and recruit new soldiers.”
“The threat to the homeland is evolving and in some sense is increasing,” Lieberman added. “But our defenses are evolving too. We are in a fight that we did not start. But now that we’re in it, we’re damn sure not going to lose it.”
Rich Cooper on the Security Debrief blog called our attention to Wednesday’s hearing and adds, pertinently: “The ultimate metric of our response to their words will be in the information sharing and cooperative vigilance all three of the witnesses, their respective agencies, and other federal, state, local, and tribal governments demonstrate in helping communities and citizens prepare for these incidents WHEN they occur.”
In short, remain alert for attacks.