Matthew Olsen, former Obama-era Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, predicts that the United States will likely see a homegrown terrorist attack within the next couple of years. Per The Hill, Olsen says:
“If you look out in a 12- to 24-month time frame, I think it’s safe to say that there is a very significant chance that we’ll see at least one or more small scale terrorism attacks in the United States like we’ve seen in Europe.”
Olsen, who served as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center during the Obama administration, attributed the limited number of attacks on U.S. soil to sophisticated intelligence gathering efforts and geographical location. But, he says it will be hard to stop an attack inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s aggressive methods in recruiting foreign fighters online.
“I’m less confident in being able to stop the types of attacks that we’ve seen recently in Europe because they’re so basic and simple and they’re very hard to detect,” Olsen said. “The reality is we really aren’t in a position to stop every single attack like that.”
Matt Olsen, President Barack Obama’s choice to become director of the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 26, 2011, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on his nomination. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)[/caption]
From September 12, 2016 to December 31, 2016: 119 people were killed by those classified as Radical Islamic Terrorists while 103 people were killed during the same time-frame by those considered Far right Extremists. It’s important to note that the Pulse Nightclub shooting occurred in June 2016 and killed 49 people. The extent to which that shooting was actually something ISIS can claim is still in dispute, however, in absence of those who lost their lives at the Orlando nightclub, the number of lives taken by Radical Islamic Terrorists would stand at 70 versus 103 — cumulatively over that 11 year period.
It is worth remembering that Omar Matteen, the Pulse shooter, was born in New York — a travel ban would not have stopped him. These are things we need to remember whenever Trump, Sessions, or now-dethroned Bannon try to fearmonger the otherness of Muslims or, say, warmonger the dictatorship of North Korea.