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Stray dogs and virtual armies: radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism in the United States since 9/11

Stray dogs and virtual armies: radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism in the United States since 9/11

Jenkins, Brian Michael, author

Since September 11, 2001, so-called "homegrown terrorists," working alone or with others, have planned and in some cases implemented terrorist activities, contributed financial or other material support to others' terrorist activities, or become radicalized in the United States and then traveled to other countries to conduct terrorist activities directed against those countries or against the United States. This paper examines the cases of homegrown terrorism from 9/11 through 2010, highlights lessons learned from those cases that suggest actions for the future, and includes a chronology of numbers and case descriptions of terrorist events in the United States during that period. Most of the individuals involved are Muslim, but the numbers are small. A total of 176 Americans have been indicted, arrested, or otherwise identified as jihadist terrorists or supporters since 9/11. They were involved in 82 cases, a majority of which involve the actions of a single individual. Al Qaeda has increasingly used the Internet to build an army of followers. Many of the terrorists identified in this study began their journey online. However, al Qaeda has not yet managed to inspire its online followers to action. Few of the 32 locally hatched jihadist plots to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11 got much beyond the discussion stage. Nevertheless, al Qaeda remains a threat. More terrorist attempts will occur. Traditional law enforcement, in which authorities attempt to identify and apprehend a perpetrator after a crime has been committed, is inadequate to deal with terrorists who are determined to cause many deaths and great destruction and who may not care whether they themselves survive. Public safety demands a preventive approach -- intervention before an attack occurs. In addition to law enforcement, intelligence collection, and community policing, public reaction is an essential component of such preventive defense

eBook, Paperback, Electronic resource, Book. English. Case studies. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2011

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Brian Michael Jenkins
ISBN: 0833058827, 9780833058805, 9780833058829
Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-43).
Note: Print version record.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xi, 43 pages).
Series: Occasional paper ; OP-343-RC
Subject: Terrorists Recruiting United States.; Terrorism Prevention.; Terrorism United States Prevention.; Radicalism United States.; Domestic terrorism United States Case studies.; SOCIAL SCIENCE Penology.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Political Freedom & Security Terrorism.; Radicalism Religious aspects Islam.; Jihad.; United States.; Terrorism United States Prevention Case studies.; Islamic fundamentalism United States.; Islamic fundamentalism.; Domestic terrorism United States Prevention.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Terrorism.
Series Title: Occasional paper (Rand Corporation) ; OP-343-RC.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Al Qaeda's emphasis on do-it-yourself terrorism
  2. The terrorists
  3. U.S. terrorists abroad
  4. Radicalization and recruitment to terrorism
  5. Assessing the threat
  6. Chronology of the cases.