Doug Bedell — December 4, 2009, 10:40 am

Would-Be Terrorists Plotting in U.S.

There’s disquieting evidence that al-Qaeda-connected terrorists are in the United States and planning attacks here. This doesn’t mean there’s a threat behind every mailbox, but it’s something for security managers to be mindful of.

In a speech December 2 to the America-Israel Friendship League in New York, reported on by Security Management, Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano said “Home-based terrorism is here. And like violent extremism abroad, it is now part of the threat picture that we must confront.”

She cited the case of Jajibullah Zazi, a Denver airport shuttle driver who was arrested in September after allegedly training with al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

In October, U.S. prosecutors accused David C. Headley, a Chicago businessman, of conspiring with members of Lashkar-i-Taiba, an extremist Islamic group in Pakistan allied with al-Qaeda, to plot attacks in Denmark and India.

Adds Peter Bergen, a fellow at the New America Foundation, “The constellation of terrorism cases that surfaced during the second Bush term and during Obama’s first year in office suggests that a small minority of American Muslims are not immune to the al-Qaeda ideological virus. And quite a number of those terrorism cases were more operational than aspirational, unlike many of the domestic terror cases that had preceded them after 9/11.”

So, be mindful.

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