Plots by American-based Islamic terrorists with no ties to international terror networks form a large and growing threat to the American homeland, say security officials quoted by USA Today. “The trend we’re seeing is that we are uncovering more instances of people here who have been radicalized  where there is not a direct thumbprint of al-Qaeda,” says John Miller, FBI assistant director for public affairs. There have been prosecutions of a dozen such alleged plots since Sept. 11, 2001.
Officials formerly expected attacks from “sleeper cells” of Al Qaeda agents who had filtered into the USA from abroad. The profile of those arrested in last week’s case of a plot against Ft. Dix, N.J., shows, that “if they look like the neighbors next door, it’s because that’s what they are,” says Pasquale D’Amuro, former FBI official now CEO of Giuliani Security and Safety. Intelligence analysts say the lack of an al-Qaeda-led terror strike here may signal that the group is waiting until it can mount an attack that will equal the 9/11 strikes in casualties and publicity value.