Amid the unprecedented rise in foiled terrorist attacks in the United States, a recent report found at least 75 “homegrown violent extremists” were operating across the U.S. in 2015. Of those extremists, nearly half tried to travel overseas – presumably to join terror groups – but only four percent succeeded.
Close to one third were found to be plotting terrorist attacks in the United States and were caught either before or after executing the attack.
Figures issued by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness show that 65 of these extremist were affiliated with the Islamic State, while the rest were linked to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Nusra Front, or other Islamic extremist groups and ideologies.
In addition, the New Jersey agency reported radicalized extremists were able to enter, operate and thrive in the U.S.
“In 2015, [homegrown violent extremists] demonstrated an ability to operate in New Jersey and throughout the United States while connecting with like-minded individuals online and acting independently from organized terrorist groups,” security officials said. “Since late 2014, a variety of radical groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have encouraged [extremists] to attack in their home countries.”
Extremists were found be operating particularly up and down the East Coast as well as in Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alabama, Kansas, Texas and southern California.
Commenting on the report, the Washington Free Beacon states, “Congressional attempts to investigate the immigration histories of at least 113 foreign-born individuals snagged on terror charges since 2014 have been stymied by the Obama administration. There remain at least 1,000 open investigations into ISIS members residing in the United States.”
In other news, a former member of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the most lethal terrorist attack in the history of the U.S. said that, contrary to the official report, a classified section said six Saudi individuals may have been involved in the attack.
John Lehman, the former commission member, revealed that one of the Saudis involved is a man who worked at the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City, California (near Los Angeles).
Lehman, along with former federal prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste called for a new investigation and the release of the 28 pages of classified documents from the original investigation.