Counter-Terrorism: Attacks In America Since September 11, 2001

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September 3, 2008:It's often said that there have been no Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States since September 11, 2001. Strictly speaking, that's not true. There have been several attacks, but they have largely inept and ineffectual. None have involved bombs. The holy warriors involved generally survive the action, and most plead guilty. This is to get a lighter sentence, because they are usually confronted with many witnesses, and some past connection with Islamic radicalism. These guys are not the "A Team" of Islamic terrorism.

A recent example is Mohammed Taheri Azar, a 25 year old Iranian. He's actually a naturalized American citizen who grew up (since the age of two) and went to college in North Carolina. In early 2006, three months after graduating with a degree in psychology, he decided to use a rented SUV to, as he put it, avenge the deaths of Moslems. He injured nine people, all of whom walked away after getting first aid. Last month he was sentenced to 33 years in prison for attempted first degree murder.

Immigrant involvement in terrorism is a long U.S. tradition. Although Azar grew up in the United States, he did so in an immigrant family (mother and sisters). He was a shy kid, who never really connected with those around him. He may well have turned into a terrorist if he had grown up back in Iran. But for over two centuries, young immigrants in the United States have been drawn to violent revolutionary movements back in the old country, and acted on it. The punishment for such terrorist actions has always been severe. It's considered bad manners to terrorize your new homeland.

 


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