US Counter Terrorism Officers Lacking the Hidden Jihad

Current occasions in Instances Sq., over the skies of Detroit, at Ft. Hood, and the location of an American citizen on a CIA hit listing as a transparent and current hazard to American safety due to his involvement in all three of those incidents, reveal that the hazard of Islamist terrorism within the Homeland is much from over.

But virtually 9 years after the 9/11 assaults, our counter terrorism companies had been stunned by these incidents, and dismayed to seek out that three of the 4 incidents concerned Americans. As well as, most senior stage counter terrorism officers are nonetheless stymied when requested to elucidate what radicalization is, the way it happens, and the way the nation would possibly finest defend itself from homegrown terrorists.

How can this be?

Perception into the explanations would possibly properly be defined by a report that was lately written by the top of Intelligence operations in Afghanistan.


In January 2010, Main Basic Michael Flynn, the senior intelligence officer in Afghanistan, revealed a coverage doc entitled: Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Related in Afghanistan. This doc reveals that the American intelligence efforts in Afghanistan are largely irrelevant, and bluntly states that:

“Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. Intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy. Having focused the overwhelming majority of its collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, the vast intelligence apparatus is unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade”.

This doc isn’t just one other “paper”. It outlines modifications that should happen all through the intelligence hierarchy, and emphatically states that its contents have to be thought of as a directive by the highest intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

Basic Flynn’s findings are predicated on the truth that an insurgency is essentially a contest for the assist of the inhabitants; insurgents try by means of propaganda, subversion, and violence to de-legitimize the federal government within the eyes of the individuals, thereby gaining their assist, whereas the federal government makes an attempt to persuade the inhabitants that its long-term curiosity lays in supporting present authorities establishments.

The doc acknowledges that focusing on combatant networks is totally required and mandatory, however states that “focusing only on the armed networks undercuts our ability to strike at the very heart of the insurgency by understanding and gaining the support of the people, and fails to advance the war strategy”.

The report emphasizes at size that merely specializing in the armed rebel teams alone “…will not help U.S. and allied forces win in Afghanistan”, and concludes that there have to be a concurrent effort by our intelligence companies to amass and supply data concerning the inhabitants, the financial system, the federal government, and different facets of the dynamic setting…”


Basic Flynn’s revelations transcend the Afghan battlefield and are related to our home counter terrorism insurance policies as properly.

Resembling their counterparts in Afghanistan, our home legislation enforcement and intelligence companies have centered totally on the menace posed by small armed jihad teams.

Whereas it’s completely required and mandatory for our counter terrorism forces to determine and neutralize all violent terrorists, the emphasis on pursuing solely armed terrorists or recognized associates of lively terrorist teams akin to al Qaeda, to the exclusion of all else, adversely impacts on our potential to defeat the enemy within the homeland.

The reason being as a result of what we face is a world Islamist political insurgency, staffed by people who, for probably the most half, don’t commit violent acts however act as an enormous worldwide machine accountable for spreading the revolutionary ideology that always creates new jihadis, activists, and those that assist them.

It’s this motion and its ideology that radicalizes and indoctrinates Muslims, and it’s important that American counter terrorism perceive these teams and this ideology. So far, they haven’t.

For a lot of radicalized Muslims, the primary legal act that they commit is homicide throughout their first jihad assault. Due to this fact, except we alter our method to incorporate aggressive investigations of the motion’s political entrance organizations and parts, people akin to Adam Gadhan (al Qaeda spokesman Azzam al Amriki), Anwar al Awlaki (the 9/11 Imam), John Walker Lindh (the American Taliban), Main Nidal Hassan (Ft. Hood bloodbath), Faisal Shahzad (Instances Sq. Bomber), and different homegrown terrorists, will proceed to be radicalized and impressed to violence, and we might be alerted to their presence solely after they’ve participated in a violent act.

With the current counter terrorism mindset and system, we lack the flexibility to be pro-active in discovering the very individuals and organizations that create the people who type the tip of the iceberg.

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