US DoJ to Fund Studies Into Homegrown Terrorism

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

For years the US has been perceived as an enemy of Islam by some members of the Islamic community, for various reasons, such as: US support for colonial nations (Britain & France) in the period following WWII; US support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the perception of US lifestyle as hedonistic and threatening for Islam; and many others.

The World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders Declaration was issued in 1998, with signatories including Osama Bin Laden and other Islamic leaders. The declaration includes a fatwā, a legal opinion on Islamic law, that calls for the killing of Americans and their allies, military and civilian alike, as the duty of every capable Muslim, until the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Islamic lands.

For many radical Muslims the fatwā is authoritative, and the incitement against the US and its citizens is alive and kicking. Jihadi leaders’ calls for terror the world over, and against American targets in particular, spread through social networks and are radicalizing various actors, including in the US itself.

The Department of Justice has allocated $900,000 to the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University to research the radicalization of local elements. The researchers were asked to characterize the behavior of homegrown terrorists who have evaded capture for prolonged periods, in order to determine how they influence recruitment to terrorist organizations, and to ascertain the existence of larger groups. The researchers will focus on how radical elements employ the internet to connect like-minded individuals, to spread extremists’ ideology, and to enlist new members.

Thwarting acts of terror is of the highest priority for the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. These organizations divert funding and resources units dealing with crime in order to increase surveillance of suspected terrorists.

“With the nature of the current threats we face, and with increased calls from groups like ISIS to attack U.S citizens at home, it is vital that we identify these extremist groups and prevent these attacks before they happen. The information gathered from these studies will help keep us safer at home,” said John Boozman, a Republican Senator for Arkansas.

Subscribe to our newsletter.