February 4th, 2011 10:51 EST
Muslim-American Terrorism Down in 2010
A new study released today by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security shows that the number of Muslim-Americans who perpetrated or were arrested for terrorist acts declined sharply in 2010. The study, "Muslim American Terrorism Since 9/11: An Accounting," reports that while 47 Muslim-Americans committed or were arrested for terrorist crimes in 2009, the number dropped to 20 this past year.
The author of the study, Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, said, "Of course, even a single terrorist plot is too many. But this trend offers a challenge for the American public: If we ratchet up our security concerns when the rate of terrorism rises, should we ratchet down our concerns when it falls?"
The study also reported that:
- The number of Muslim-Americans engaged in terrorist acts with domestic targets declined from 18 in 2009 to 10 in 2010.
- 75% of the Muslim Americans engaged in terrorist plots in 2010 were disrupted in an early stage of planning. This is consistent with the pattern of disruption since 9/11 (102 of 161 plots " 63% -- were disrupted at an early stage of planning).
- Less than one-third of the perpetrators did not come to the attention of law enforcement until after an attack was executed. However, a large majority of these Muslim American terrorist activities (35 out of 46 individuals) took place outside the United States.
- Domestic plots by Muslim-Americans are more likely to be disrupted than foreign plots. 48 of 69 individuals that plotted against domestic targets were arrested at an early stage of their activities.
- Eleven Muslim Americans have successfully executed terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11, killing 33 people. This is about 3 deaths per year. There have been approximately 150,000 murders in the United States since 9/11. According to the FBI there were approximately 15,241 murders in the United States in 2009.
- Tips from the Muslim American community provided the source of information that led to a terrorist plot being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases involving Muslim Americans.
David Schanzer, Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said, "this study puts into perspective the threat presented by domestic radicalization of Muslim Americans." Schanzer noted, "Is this a problem that deserves the attention of law enforcement and the Muslim American community? Absolutely. But Americans should take note that these crimes are being perpetrated by a handful of people who actions are denounced and rejected by virtually all the Muslims living in the United States."
The author of the report, Charles Kurman, can be reached at email@example.com
The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security is a consortium between Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and RTI International.