There have been 64 plots to attack Americans on U.S. soil in the 13½ years since 9/11, most of them thwarted, analysts at the Heritage Foundation report.
But the number will keep climbing — along with the chance that more will succeed — unless there are aggressive countermeasures taken, experts at the foundation warn, Fox News reports
"The [United States] cannot afford complacency, but must instead work to stop terrorists before they strike through the use of intelligence, community outreach, and efforts to defeat ISIS abroad," David Inserra, research associate in the Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, and Peter Brookes, senior fellow for National Security Affairs at the foundation, tell Fox News.
The latest plot
included in the Heritage Foundation tally was the plan to kill 150 National Guard members, which came unglued March 26 when FBI agents nabbed two Chicago-area cousins.
"So long as terror groups are able to conduct notable attacks and control territory, they will continue to inspire additional radicals around the world," Inserra tells Fox News.
"While the U.S. and its allies must continue to try to stop terror attacks with all the tools at their disposal, the West must also defeat ISIS, al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups to prevent the spread of their violent ideology."
Inserra and Brookes tell Fox News the plot against the Guardsmen also represented the 17th aimed at the military, and that 53 of the 64 plots Heritage considers terrorism on American soil were planned or carried out by "homegrown extremists."
The Heritage Foundation listing of plots includes:
- The failed "shoebomber" Richard Reid's attempt to blow up a Miami-bound flight from Paris in December 2001.
- A May 2002 alleged plot by former gang member Jose Padilla to detonate a "dirty bomb."
- A May 2003 arrest of Iyman Faris of Columbus, Ohio, for conspiring to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge.
- A June 2006 arrest of the "Liberty City Seven," members of a Florida religious cult, for an alleged plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower and other government buildings.
- The April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombings by ethnic Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the attack killed three people and wounded 260. Tamerlan was killed days after the attack; Dzhokhar's trial is concluding.
- The Sept. 25, 2014, attack at an Oklahoma meat-packing company by Alton Nolen, a "lone wolf" radical who scared co-workers with his Islamic extremist views. He's awaiting trial, Fox News notes.
- The Jan. 14, 2015, plan by alleged ISIS supporter Christopher Cornell to bomb the U.S. Capitol and shoot those who fled.
"Since the inspirational source of domestic radicalization and terrorism often originates from overseas, battling violent Islamist extremism abroad must be addressed in concert with the challenges presented by the terrorism at home," Inserra and Brookes told Fox News.
"If the United States is to thwart lone-wolf terrorist attacks successfully, it must put effective community outreach operations at the tip of the spear," they added. "Until the U.S. is able to effectively combat and destroy ISIS, the [United States] will remain the target of terrorists inspired by ISIS’ extreme ideology."
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