2 Men’s Ties to Group of Extremists Investigated
In light of the descriptions of the indigenous operatives who conducted the recent London terrorist bombings coupled with the ?devolution? of al-Qaeda terrorism (See this WAR Report) into an autonomous and amoebic front of regional and local ?vanguard outpost? groups conducting entrepreneurial attacks that are guided by al-Qaeda?s strategic and ideological agenda, the LA Times report underlines the real potential that an indigenous group may develop within the US. As exemplified by the operatives in the London attacks, there exists the growing potential that emergent cells will be comprised of local operatives with relatively ?clean? or low threat profiles in the eyes of local law enforcement or intelligence agencies and who are for the most part integrated into society or are newly converted Islamist extremists. This type of cell may skirt or avoid manifesting some of the traditional indicators of terrorist operations and plots associated with centrally organized and planned, foreign-based and -initiated terrorists and their plots. An indigenous cell will likely manifest a more subtle and localized indicator signature, as its ?clean? operatives are unlikely to draw the scrutiny of local counter-terrorism agencies, and, due to their ?indigenous? ethnicity and their integration into and familiarity with the local society, they are better able to blend into the normal background noise of society’s activities, thus enhancing the clandestine nature of their terrorist activities. It is much more difficult to identify the more subtle indicators of the formation and activities of an emergent indigenous terrorist cell. It requires the development of revolutionized indications and warning analytic frameworks, and surveillance and sensor networks on the part of local counter-terrorism agencies so as to monitor the venues, operational dimensions, and conduits of Islamist extremist radicalization activity, particularly of the so-called clean individuals, to include Islamist extremist mosques, trips abroad to known hotbeds of Islamist extremism such as in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia , gangs like MS-13 or Mara-18 , or local jails. Further, these indications and warning systems must also monitor communities and individuals potentially psycho-socially susceptible to embracing violent radical ideologies like militant Islamist extremism as well as radical groups?political activist groups or gangs?displaying indicators that they are organizing for violent or terrorist activity.