The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security held a joint hearing today with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs entitled “Homegrown Terrorism: The Threat to Military Communities Inside the United States.” Panelists included:
The Honorable Paul N. Stockton
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs
Office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
Department of Defense
Mr. Jim Stuteville
United States Army Senior Advisor
Counterintelligence Operations and Liaison to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Lieutenant Colonel Reid L. Sawyer
Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
Mr. Daris Long
A major focus of the hearing was the release of an investigative report by the majority. Below is an executive summary of the report isssued by the committee:
More than 2.3 million Americans in the military have volunteered to go into harm’s way overseas to combat terrorists since 9/11. But these heroes “who shall have borne the battle,” as President Lincoln called war veterans, also have been in danger here at home – where they should be safe and secure. The threat is real. The Department of Defense considers the U.S. Homeland the most dangerous place for a G.I. outside of foreign warzones – and the top threat they face here is from violent Islamist extremists. While our troops at overseas bases train their weapons outward to prevent armed enemies from getting “inside the wire,” one way militant Islamists are penetrating our defenses is through enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces. A significant and growing number of military personnel, such as alleged Fort Hood mass murderer Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, pose a serious danger to their brothers and sisters in arms who wear the same uniform.
At least 33 threats, plots and strikes against U.S. military communities since 9/11 have been part of a surge of homegrown terrorism which Attorney General Eric Holder has said “keeps me up at night.” After Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed May 1, the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Defense Intelligence Agency warned thousands of U.S. law enforcement and security agencies about possible retaliatory attacks by Al Qaeda, its allies or unaffiliated homegrown terrorists on our military. Weeks after the Pakistan raid, two radicalized U.S. citizens allegedly plotted to attack military personnel in Seattle.
The Majority Staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security has been conducting an investigation, which finds that 70% of the plots against military targets occurred since mid-2009 – including the two successful homeland attacks since 9/11. Other key findings:
• More than five terror plots have been disrupted involving U.S. military insiders in the past decade and at least 11 or more cases involved veterans or those who attempted to join law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The likelihood of another deadly attack by a trusted insider is a severe and emerging threat, which the Pentagon is aggressively investigating to identify perpetrators;
• Two successful attacks against the military outside of Afghanistan and Iraq were perpetrated by radicalized soldiers assigned to U.S.-based Army units: at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait in 2003 and at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009;
• At least 16 external terror plots targeting military personnel stationed inside the U.S. Homeland have been disrupted or investigated;
• At least nine other external plots were thwarted involving U.S. Persons in the homeland who traveled or planned trips overseas to kill G.I.s in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere;
• A growing number of terrorist threats are directed at families of military personnel. Particularly at risk are relatives of troops in units involved in counterterror operations.
Read the full investigative report: The Threat To Military Communities Inside The United States