Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How much is too much?

Has the FBI focused too much attention on the radical Muslim threat of domestic terrorism?

A study to be released on today found that 20 Muslim Americans were charged in violent plots or attacks in 2011, down from 26 in 2010 and a spike of 47 in 2009, reported the New York Times.

Charles Kurzman, the author of the report for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security called the threat from Muslim Americans “a minuscule threat to public safety.” Last year there were more than 14,000 murders in the United States, not a single one resulted from Islamic extremism, said Mr. Kurzman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina.

Last year an ominous report, The Ticking Time Bomb, by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs explore the threat of Muslim backed terrorism. The report document the transformation of the FBI of domestic law enforcement to counter-terrorism.

The 9/11 attacks led the FBI Director, Robert Mueller, to act to transform the FBI's institutional and operational architecture. He declared that the FBI's top priority would henceforth be preventing domestic terrorist attacks and that the FBI needed to become an intelligence-centric rather than purely law-enforcement-centric organization. The FBI is the lead federal investigative agency for counterterrorism criminal investigations and intelligence collection within the United States.

Kurzman’s research has documented that the U.S. has more to worry about in terms of domestic crime, than domestic terrorism. Yet, we have re-allocated an enormous amount of crime fighting resources to terrorism, case in point the FBI.

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