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FBI poster, via Associated Press

April 27, 2013

"Homegrown Terrorism Is Not On The Rise"

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

By Risa Brooks

As details emerge about the alleged perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings, observers are increasingly speculating that the attacks represent a growing threat of homegrown Muslim terrorism in the United States. Certainly, the reported professions by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that he and his older brother, Tamerlan, were motivated by jihadist causes, as well as evidence that that they had viewed militant Islamist propaganda, are disturbing. Yet, any claim that their alleged involvement in the bombings portends a growing threat of homegrown terrorist attacks in the United States is greatly exaggerated. There is little basis for thinking that the United States should fear an onslaught of attacks by Muslim jihadists in the United States.



AP Photo

December 14, 2011

"The Exaggerated Threat of American Muslim "Homegrown" Terrorism"

Policy Brief

By Risa Brooks

"...[I]nflating the terrorist threat could alienate Muslim communities in the United States. This would be a worrisome development, because those communities’ widespread rejection of terrorism and their ongoing willingness to expose suspected militants are two reasons why the homegrown threat remains small."



Fall 2011

"Muslim 'Homegrown' Terrorism in the United States: How Serious Is the Threat?"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 2, volume 36

By Risa Brooks

Despite a surge of arrests in 2009, evidence suggests that Muslim American terrorist activity—a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “homegrown” terrorism—is not on the rise. The 2009 arrest count is likely a combination of more aggressive law enforcement and an accident of data:  several long-term plots led to arrests in 2009, and many of the plots involved groups, increasing the number of arrests per incident. In addition, many plots have been detected with the help of inside informants.  It is therefore crucial not to overreact to statistics in a way that could alienate the Muslim community.



Fall 2003

"Making Military Might: Why Do States Fail and Succeed? A Review Essay"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 2, volume 28

By Risa Brooks

Risa Brooks reviews two books on regime type and military effectiveness: Arabs at War, by Kenneth Pollack, and Democracies at War, by Dan Reiter and Allan Stam.

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.