DHS Warns Local Law Enforcement Of New Homegrown Terrorist Threat
By Stew Magnuson
The general consensus in the intelligence community is that the homegrown terrorist threat during the last year has supplanted plots that originate overseas, said Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary of Intelligence and Analysis Caryn Wagner.
And these plots don’t have to equal the 9/11 attacks in complexity or results, she said at the National Defense Industrial Association Homeland Security symposium. Smaller less ambitious attacks such as the May 1 plot to bomb Times Square, or ones that only require small arms, such as the Mumbai attacks in 2008, may be the new norm, she said.
Her office has produced a report, “The Evolution of the Terrorist Threat to the United States” and distributed it widely to state and local agencies.
“For the first time we attempted to articulate to them our view that the major terrorist threat to the homeland had in fact changed,” she said.
The report said terrorists were “already here” and that the federal government doesn’t necessarily know where they are, she said. These scaled down plots may have much shorter planning cycles and require fewer logistics and are therefore harder to detect, she said.
Local law enforcement officers are “going to be as important, maybe more important, than the larger intelligence community in helping us identify, detect and deter these different type of attacks,” she said.
“We are trying to educate them to think and plan because they are very much part of the enterprise,” she added.