Nakoula Basseley Nakoula Film Could Spark Homegrown Terrorism, Warns FBI
Anti-American protests continue to expand across the Muslim world over the video "Innocence of Muslims,” which they feel denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. People have taken to the streets in 10 nations and the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir, according to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. In Yemen, anti-U.S. protesters and Yemeni police clashed at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. On Friday, demonstrators breached the United States Embassy in Tunisia for the first time, and protesters in Sudan’s capital broadened their targets to include Germany and Britain.
Concerns are now growing that furor over the anti-Islam video could spark demonstrations here in America. ABC News reported that the Department of Homeland Security and FBI have issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning of the risk of violence here at home.
"The risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention," the U.S. agencies said. Although there has been no information regarding a specific threat, the agencies warned that “violent extremist groups in the United States could exploit anger over the film to advance their recruitment efforts.”
The bulletin went on to say that "first responders should remain aware of the potential for spontaneous large crowds and protests that could overwhelm resources and should be vigilant for possible efforts to encourage peaceful protesters to commit acts of violence."
Faith-based organizations have been asked to report any suspicious activity that indicates plotting against faith based communities.
Domestic extremism is a real concern in the U.S. It was just six weeks ago when white supremacist Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others, before fatally shooting himself, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. This deadly shooting led to a Senate hearing on hate crimes and domestic extremism.
Fareed Zakaria reported that “law enforcement officers have also come under attack by other ideological extremists. Sixty law enforcement officers were murdered by al-Qaeda in New York City during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Other supporters of Al-Qaeda have killed military personnel inside the U.S., and in 2002 a police officer was killed in California by a left-wing self-proclaimed anarchist. In another attack just before the shootings in Louisiana, a security guard was shot and wounded inside the offices of the Family Research Council, a conservative organization, in what was allegedly an act of left-wing ideologically motivated violence.”
The White House is very aware of the threat of domestic extremism. Last year, President Obama set forth a plan to implement a government strategy to combat homegrown domestic terrorism and any attempts by Al-Qaeda to seek to radicalize American Muslims. Raw Story reports The Strategic Initiative Plan commits the federal government to work closely with local authorities and communities that may be targeted by extremist groups, particularly Al-Qaeda, as it reels from a U.S. onslaught abroad. The plan is a spin-off of a new National Counterterrorism Strategy which warned the government must be vigilant for new efforts by Al-Qaeda to infiltrate U.S. communities and inspire homegrown terrorism.
In 2010, NBC News reported that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had “witnessed a movement from international extremism to domestic extremism — cases in which Americans radicalized and decided to plot attacks against the country.” She said “Americans who turn to terrorism and plot against the U.S. are now as big a concern as international terrorists.”
In that same NBC article, John Brennan, Obama's homeland security adviser, said that “countering violent extremism is not just a federal issue, it's something that needs to be addressed as a nation.” Brennan pointed out that it was community engagement that led the FBI to track five Northern Virginia Pakistani men who had traveled to Pakistan to be trained by Al-Qaeda. Brennan said, "It's that engagement with those local communities that's going to be the critically important mechanism to detect that radicalization even before they depart.
Read here Jesse Ellison’s Daily Beast article about active US Army personnel plotting to overthrow the U.S. government.