US military a prime `target` for home-grown terror
Washington: The US military is under threat in
its own country as homegrown Islamic extremists, including
"radicalized troops," are treating military installations here
as prime targets, US officials has warned Congress.
The only deadly terror strikes on US soil since those of
September 11, 2001 have been against the military, with three
separate attacks that left 17 people dead, most of them
soldiers, according to a report released on Wednesday at the
first joint House-Senate hearing on homegrown terrorism.
US military installations since 9/11 have been the target
of at least 33 "threats, plots and strikes," more than half of
the 54 homegrown jihadist plots and attacks that have occurred
or been uncovered over the past decade, the report said.
"A particularly insidious aspect of the homegrown terror
threat remains radicalized troops who target their fellow
brothers and sisters in arms, without regard to their faith,"
Republican Representative Peter King, who as head of the
House Homeland Security Committee has chaired a series of
hearings this year on Islamist extremism threat, lamented the
"growing security threat from radicalization both internally
within the military, as well as externally toward military
personnel and their families residing in the United States."
The threat by radicalized members of the US armed forces
"is persistent and enduring," he said in an opening statement
to the hearing.
Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of defense for
homeland defense, pointed to the recent "increased numbers of
American citizens or residents inspired by Al-Qaeda`s ideology
-- and the Department of Defense has become their target of
"The primary threat to (homeland) security comes from
Al-Qaeda and its affiliates," he added.
Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman said "the enemy is
not a vague catchall of violent extremism, but a specific
violent Islamist extremism, an exploitation and corruption, I
would say, of the religion of Islam" that leaves military
personnel and their families as direct targets in the United
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