Terrorism expert warns that the biggest threat are those who are radicalised at home

Times SquarePolice block off a sidewalk while responding to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Those who radicalise in their own homeland represent the biggest threat in Europe, and the United States, not returning foreign fighters,’ said Marc Sagemann, a US terrorism expert.

‘In France, the United States, or elsewhere, there will be no more attacks as planned in Paris on November 15, 2015,’ said Sagemann, a former CIA agent, and terrorism expert.

He said those who are planning attacks now, don’t receive guidance from IS, but act on their own behalf, and see themselves as soldiers of a Muslim community they want to protect and avenge.

‘Of the 19 recent, major attacks in Europe, 17 had no direct connection to foreign countries,’ said Sagemann.

Threats all round

Sagemann emphasised that foreigners returning home do constitute a threat, but not the greatest threat.

‘The attacks in this country have been carried out by people who have stayed in the country for several years. The real danger lies in these not particularly sophisticated, but deadly attacks,’ said the terrorism expert, referring to the incident at a New York metro station on Monday.

No one died in the attack, in which a 27 year old taxi driver from Bangladesh triggered a homemade pipe bomb. The perpetrator himself was sent to hospital with serious injury to the upper body and his hands.

Stay at home terrorists

According to ‘New America Data’, 85% of the 415 people who have been accused of extremist acts since September 11th, 2001, have been US citizens. 207 of them were born in the United States.

‘The safe haven is the bedroom. They can plan everything at home, and do not need to leave traces outside’,said Sagemann.

According to the New York police, the Bangladeshi perpetrator used Christmas lights, matches and a nine-volt battery attached to antenna to make the bomb with which he blew himself up on Monday morning. He used Velcro to attach it to his body. The police believe he most likely found the building instructions on the internet.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today