The Blog

Lieberman in May '08: Homegrown Islamist Terrorist Determined to Strike in U.S.

2:35 PM, Nov 9, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

It wasn't PTSD. It was a Muslim fanatic with ties to a radical cleric who tried to contact al Qaeda via the internet according to the report from ABC. The CIA was aware of these efforts and, it seems, failed to act on the intelligence.

In May of 2008, Sen. Lieberman's Homeland Security Committee delivered a report on internet radicalization that warned of the dangers from individuals like Nidal Hasan. The report concluded:

"As this report demonstrates, the use of the Internet by al-Qaeda and other violent Islamist extremist groups has expanded the terrorist threat to our homeland. No longer is the threat just from abroad, as was the case with the attacks of September 11, 2001; the threat is now increasingly from within, from homegrown terrorists who are inspired by violent Islamist ideology to plan and execute attacks where they live. One of the primary drivers of this new threat is the use of the Internet to enlist individuals or groups of individuals to join the cause without ever affiliating with a terrorist organization. As this homegrown terrorist threat evolves, so too must our response."

Bush was warned that bin Laden was determined to strike inside the United States. Democrats asked why no precautions had been taken. This time, there was a similar warning and, it would seem, actionable intelligence. Who, at what level, was warned that there was a Major in the United States Army who was reaching out to al Qaeda? If a decision was made to take no action, who made it, and what was the rationale?

Update: The post originally put the date of the report as May 2009. Lieberman's report was published in May 2008.