US Residents Linked to Terrorism Increased 200% in 2015

What was that about not needing to monitor Muslim communities in the US?

In the wake of terror attacks in Paris, San Bernardino and Brussels, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a new report that exposes the rise of terrorist activity among US-based Muslims. 

ADL reports that in 2015, 80 US residents were inspired by ISIS and linked to terrorism themselves, marking a nearly 200 percent increase from 2014. PRNewswire reports: 

"The tragic attacks in Brussels remind us of the need to continuously evaluate the threat posed by foreign terrorist organizations and the influence they have on communities around the world," said Oren Segal, Director of ADL's Center on Extremism. "While there are significant differences in the threats to the U.S. and Europe, this report identifies some meaningful similarities, which can help us understand the threats and develop solutions to counteract them."

As in Europe, the vast majority of U.S. residents linked to terror plots and other activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology in 2015 acted in support of ISIS. ISIS and other terrorist groups continue to take advantage of technology to mobilize followers, spread their messages and expand their influence worldwide. While in-person networks are stronger and more prevalent in Europe, and particularly in Belgium, than in the U.S., the internet and social media sites remain a pivotal element of the modern radicalization process worldwide.

The ADL report uncovered terror plots across 22 states, with the largest portion occurring in New York, Minnesota and California. The report found that these US resident-terrorists engaged in plotting attacks and furnishing material support for attacks. Key aspects of the report found that 20 of the terror-linked US residents converted to Islam and came from a diverse array of ethnic backgrounds: 

"Understanding the backgrounds, demographics, and aspirations of U.S. residents engaged in activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology can provide valuable insights into the trends and nature of terrorism we currently face and how we can best be equipped to combat it," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. "As we saw the events tragically unfold in Brussels, ISIS terror has far reaching influence across the globe.  And the risk is not only from ISIS members themselves, but from those who might be radicalized by their hateful message."

The way we can combat it is by abandoning our obsession with multiculturalism and political correctness. Crucial to that is purging the invented term "Islamophobia" from the popular lexicon. Further, our intelligence and law enforcement communities must not be impeded in their responsibility to monitor all mosques and Islamic centers for hate speech and questionable practices among congregates and faith leaders. Nor should they be barred from monitoring self-segregated communities that have refrained from assimilation or engaging in profiling whenever and wherever applicable.  

Most important, we must exhibit strength -- not capitulation -- in our foreign and domestic policy concerning terrorism or the infiltration of any values anathema to our own. We must not turn on our allies. We must not tamp down any regime, however repugnant, that aids us in crushing Islamic extremism. The Islamic world bows only to the iron fist. Diplomacy works on those with whom there is leverage, not on those who aren't even afraid of losing their own lives or the lives of their children.