ADL: Homegrown extremists spark hate, violence

| July 29, 2011

Radicalism, sometimes thought of as a foreign export, is increasingly homegrown in America, as U.S. citizens foment hate, terrorism and bloodshed.

Men, typically in their 20s, are joining extremist groups, as radical Internet blogs and online magazines recruit new faces to a variety of alarming causes, said Oren Segal and Marilyn Mayo, co-directors of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. Both have visited Cleveland in recent months to talk to members of ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute for young leaders.

In the last several years, a growing number of American citizens, motivated by a radical interpretation of Islam, have been arrested for bombing plots, said Segal, ADL director of left-wing research and Islamic affairs. He also monitors anti-Israel movements.

In May, a young man in his early 20s was arrested for plotting to attack a New York synagogue. Last November, a man planted a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., and rang the cell phone number to set off the explosion. Fortunately, an undercover operative had supplied him with a fake bomb.

Since May 2010, law enforcement has prevented about 30 bombing attacks, all by American citizens, Segal told the CJN in an interview while he was in Cleveland.
The Internet has propelled such attempts and encouraged young Americans to travel to places like Somalia and Yemen to train with Al Qaeda and other extremist groups, said Segal.

“Terrorist organizations are now specifically targeting an American audience with slick looking propaganda in colloquial English,” he said.

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