Examining the Domestic Terror Groups: An Important Study for the Homeland Security

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Although the threat posed by foreign terrorist organizations is often foremost in the public consciousness as a result of al-Qaeda's attack on September 11th, 2001, the threat from domestic terror groups remains a central concern of those responsible for homeland security. In fact, while the United States has not suffered from another foreign attack in the decade since 9/11, research by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, along with non-governmental organizations, has found that the number of domestic terror groups has increased, a trend only exacerbated by the economic recession (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009, Domestic Terrorism). While there are a wide variety of individual groups and ideologies, most domestic terror groups falls into one of three broad categories: religious extremism, white supremacy, and anti-government and separatists movements, including the militia movement. Examining these domestic terror groups in greater detail will aid in better understanding the full spectrum of threats considered by homeland security personnel. Religious extremism may be the kind of terror threat most familiar to contemporary Americans, considering the religious extremism that fuels groups like al-Qaeda and its affiliates. However, while these groups are based outside of the United States and often coordinate across borders, there are domestic religious groups that have developed within the United States. In addition to any "homegrown" terrorists who may identify
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