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article imageOp-Ed: Radicals at home a bigger threat than Islamic extremists?

By Brian Booker     Jun 25, 2015 in World
Since the September 11th terrorist attacks many Americans have been living in fear of Islamic extremists. Turns out, the greater danger might be living next door. Home grown radicals have actually claimed more lives since 9/11 than Islamic extremists.
Self-proclaimed jihadis have taken the lives of some 26 Americans in the 14 years since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Non-Islamic terrorists, many of whom have been white supremacists, have claimed nearly twice as many lives, resulting in 49 deaths, according to New America, a D.C.-based think-tank.
Since September 11th non-Muslims terrorists have carried out at least 19 attacks that resulted in a loss of life. Islamic militants, on the other hand, have managed to stage seven lethal attacks.
What's more, when police officers were asked to identify what they believed were the top three threats, anti-government violence took the top spot with easy with 74 percent of cops cited it as a top 3 threat. “Al Qaeda” inspired terrorists was listed in the top three by only 39 percent of officers.
Importantly, the study excluded attacks that could not clearly and conclusively be tied to an ideological premise. So when Craig Hicks shot three Muslim students dead this past February, the attacks were not included in the study. While Hicks had a history of making anti-Muslim comments, and may have even targeted the students due to their Muslim heritage, he was also known for being mentally unstable.
The Sandy Hook massacre, as well as the Colorado movie theater shooting, both of which occurred in 2012, were also excluded from the study due to a lack of evidence that they were ideologically motivated.
Further, half of the top 12 deadliest shootings in American history have occurred since the September 11th terrorist attacks, though only one of them could be linked to Islamic extremism, the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood which claimed 13 lives. The Va. Tech and Sandy Hook murders cost 58 lives (not including shooters), with both attacks being linked to mental illness.
Thus, while Islamic extremism may occupy the minds of many Americans, the biggest danger may be from the mentally unstable, white supremacists, and others. And while critics of this view might cite the September 11th terrorist attacks, the public must not forget the 1995 Oklahoma city bombing, which claimed at least 168 lives, and others.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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