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January 7th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated

(CNN) - The terrorist threat posed by radicalized Muslim- Americans has been exaggerated, according to a study released Wednesday by researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A small number of Muslim-Americans have undergone radicalization since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the study found. It compiled a list of 139 individuals it categorized as "Muslim-American terrorism offenders" who had become radicalized in the U.S. in that time - a rate of 17 per year.

That level is "small compared to other violent crime in America, but not insignificant," according to the study, titled "Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans."

To be included on the list, an offender had to have been wanted, arrested, convicted or killed in connection with terrorism-related activities since 9/11 - and have lived in the United States, regardless of immigration status, for more than a year prior to arrest.

Of the 139 offenders, fewer than a third successfully executed a violent plan, according to a Duke University statement on the study, and most of those were overseas. Read the full story »

Editor's Note: Below is a list of six well-known offenders excerpted from the Duke study.

Name: John Walker Lindh
Year of arrest or attack: 2001
Official charges: Providing aid to the Taliban, carrying explosives
Status of case: Pled guilty
Nature of offense: Joined and fought with the Taliban.
Location of criminal activity: Abroad
Target of plot/location of violence: Abroad
Engaged in violent act/joined fighting force: Yes
Age at time of arrest/attack: 20
Age at arrival in US: US-born
Citizenship status: Citizen
Convert to Islam: Yes
Ethnicity: Caucasian

Name: John Allen Muhammad
Year of arrest or attack: 2002
Official charges: Capital murder
Status of case: Convicted
Nature of offense: Washington-area sniper.
Location of criminal activity: US
Target of plot/location of violence: US
Engaged in violent act/joined fighting force: Yes
Age at time of arrest/attack: 41
Age at arrival in US: US-born
Citizenship status: Citizen
Convert to Islam: Yes
Ethnicity: African-American

Name: Jose Padilla
Year of arrest or attack: 2002
Official charges: Conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim overseas; providing and conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists
Status of case: Convicted
Nature of offense: Operated as an al-Qaida support cell. Planned to send material support/commit attacks overseas. Held as enemy combatant based on suspicion of dirty bomb plot—never charged on these activities.
Location of criminal activity: US
Target of plot/location of violence: None
Engaged in violent act/joined fighting force: No
Age at time of arrest/attack: 31
Age at arrival in US: US-born
Citizenship status: Citizen
Convert to Islam: Yes
Ethnicity: Latino

Name: Hasan Akbar
Year of arrest or attack: 2003
Official charges: Premeditated murder; attempted premeditated murder
Status of case: Convicted (court martial)
Nature of offense: Killed two fellow soldiers in surprise grenade attack.
Location of criminal activity: US
Target of plot/location of violence: US
Engaged in violent act/joined fighting force: Yes
Age at time of arrest/attack: 31
Age at arrival in US: US-born
Citizenship status: Citizen
Convert to Islam: Yes
Ethnicity: African- American

Name: Nidal Hasan
Year of arrest or attack: 2009
Official charges: Murder, attempted murder
Status of case: Charged, awaiting trial
Nature of offense: Ft. Hood shootings
Location of criminal activity: US
Target of plot/location of violence: US
Engaged in violent act/joined fighting force: Yes
Age at time of arrest/attack: 39
Age at arrival in US: US-born
Citizenship status: Citizen
Convert to Islam: No
Ethnicity: Arab

Name: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad
Year of arrest or attack: 2009
Official charges: Murder and 15 counts of terroristic acts
Status of case: Charged, awaiting trial
Nature of offense: Shot military recruiters in Little Rock, AR.
Location of criminal activity: US
Target of plot/location of violence: US
Engaged in violent act/joined fighting force: Yes
Age at time of arrest/attack: 23
Age at arrival in US: US-born
Citizenship status: Citizen
Convert to Islam: Yes
Ethnicity: African-American

Read the report:"Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans"


Filed under: Terrorism
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Mark

    We continue to hear that profiling should not be done, that it will offend someone. I look at the list of offenders above and there is such an obvious pattern here. The only person that was not an Islamic convert is Hasan, because he was born into an Islamic family. I would like to know why these people converted to Islam to begin with. Were radical ideas being placed in thier heads prior to this conversion? Are many of these people already troubled and looking for an excuse to take frustrations out on the general public? It is disturbing that well educated people are committing murder in the name of Islam. This study suggests that the threat of terrorism is being blown out of proportion. One act by rogue pilots hitting high-rise buildings or one radical moron setting off an explosive on a plane with almost 300 people on board doesn't sound like a minor problem to me!

    January 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  2. California Marc

    While it may be true, overall, that fewer die by "other violent crime in America", it is also true that a terrorist attack is quite likely to kill more people at once; people who are almost always innocent – let's just look at the list of dead from 9/11. They weren't drug dealers kill in a drive by, rather they were people at work.

    To downplay the potential death tolls from terrorist attack is to support Obama's lack of leadership in his role as commander in chief. Liberal academics seek to bolster his lagging numbers by releasing reports that seek to pacify us. I paraphrase: "No problem with terrorists, the death toll from their activities, while insignificant, are so much less. Let's worry about other things."

    January 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  3. joe j

    We are seeing the tip of the iceberg and it starts with Obama. He is treating these terrorist as if they were jay-walkers, offering them all the support and the best defense the American tax payer can afford.Hell he is welcoming them with open arms do you think now they would commit a crime over seas where they will be beheaded or here in the US where Obama can serve them suck ass apple pie?

    January 8, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  4. ronvan

    The sad thing about this whole Muslim thing is that we only hear about those radical Muslims who have perverted their religion to justify their inhuman acts! And now those Muslims who have done nothing will suffer due to the acts of a few.

    January 8, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  5. Timmy

    only 1/3 out of 139 succeeded says nothing to me! It does say to me is that there is a very clear and present danger right here in our own backyard, until the lilly liberals quit their crusades against the wealthy and white people we will face these dangers with no real plan to stop it! If world wide white people were committing these crimes against humanity they would be profiled, so whats good for lilly white people should be good for all others! Start profiling these people and maybe the leaders of these people will change how they teach their own, and start turning them over to the proper authorities!

    January 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm |