Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Muslim terrorism in U.S. hits record low

So,  how's the latest dire threat to America coming along? Wired reports, "Terrorist incidents from American Muslims is on the decline for the third straight year."

It's not that Muslim terrorism in the U.S. is nonexistent, but it's small compared to other threats and seems to be diminishing, the Wired article says, relying on work carried out by a University of North Carolina sociologist, Charles Kurzman.

"Since 9/11, Kurzman and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, 'twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,' notes Kurzman’s team."

There's also a remarkable dearth of plots that don't involve assistance from law enforcement:

"Law enforcement, including 'informants and undercover agents,' were involved in 'almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012,' the Triangle team finds. That’s in keeping with the FBI’s recent practice of using undercover or double agents to encourage would-be terrorists to act on their violent desires and arresting them when they do — a practice critics say comes perilously close to entrapment. A difference in 2012 observed by Triangle: with the exception of the Arizona attack, all the alleged plots involving U.S. Muslims were 'discovered and disrupted at an early stage,' while in the past three years, law enforcement often observed the incubating terror initiatives 'after weapons or explosives had already been gathered.' "

Of course, one successful plot will revive fear of Muslims, and memories of 9/11 are still fresh in the U.S. Still, the gap between fear and reality is interesting. The fear props up a very expensive Department of Homeland Security and national security state.

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