It has been almost a year since the death of Osama bin Laden. Though we are right to be proud in dispensing justice to the terrorist mastermind, it is no time to rest on our laurels. Al-Qaeda is weakened and scattered, but this has only led them to adjust their tactics. Al-Qaeda has increasingly reached out to affiliates in the Northern Caucasus and Africa.
A particularly worrisome trend is al-Qaeda’s shift toward recruiting homegrown terrorists. Homegrown terrorists can more easily travel to and from the United States without drawing suspicion and have the ability to culturally and linguistically blend into the United States, making the search for such individuals more difficult. A recently released report from the Heritage Foundation indicates that 50 terrorist plots have been foiled since 9/11. Of these 50 foiled plots, 42 were led by individuals who were radicalized right here in the United States.
We should be vigilant as we approach the one year anniversary of bin Laden’s death and remember that the threat of terrorism remains very real.