Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat   [open pdf - 2MB]

"This is the first in a series of reports by the Majority and Minority staff of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Committee) on the threat of homegrown terrorism inspired by violent Islamist extremism. The Committee initiated an investigation into this threat during the 109th Congress under the leadership of Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME). The first hearing on the homegrown threat considered the potential for radicalization in U.S. prisons, including an examination of the activities of Kevin Lamar James, an American citizen. While in prison, James adopted a variant of violent Islamist ideology, founded an organization known as the Assembly for Authentic Islam (or JIS, the Arabic initials for the group), and began converting fellow prisoners to his cause. Upon release, James recruited members of JIS to commit at least 11 armed robberies, the proceeds from which were to be used to finance attacks against military installations and other targets in southern California. James and another member of the group eventually pled guilty to conspiring to wage war against the United States. The James case is only one example of how the violent Islamist terrorist threat has evolved and expanded since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks and recruited the hijackers abroad before sending them to the United States to make final preparations for the operation. The 9/11 hijackers were indoctrinated into the violent Islamist mindset long before they set foot in the United States. As the James case and others illustrate, however, radicalization is no longer confined to training camps in Afghanistan or other locations far from our shores; it is also occurring right here in the United States."

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United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.WitnessList&StartLetter=A&EndLetter=Z
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Listed on May 21, 2008 [Critical Releases]