They hate us so much, they live here!By S.A. MILLER
New York Post
March 18, 2013
WASHINGTON — New York isn’t just the prime target of al Qaeda plots — it’s the No. 1 recruiting ground for homegrown terrorists, a top terrorism researcher told The Post.
“The picture of New York you get is that you’ve got people targeting it, you’ve got [terrorists] living there and you’ve had it in the past used as a recruitment center, then you have a pretty big problem,” said Robin Simcox, a researcher at the London-based Henry Jackson Society.
His latest study, “Al Qaeda in the US,” found that New York was home to the largest number of extremists convicted of al Qaeda-linked and al Qaeda-inspired terror schemes in US courts — plus those who committed suicide attacks on American soil between 1997 and 2011.
The study found:
New York was the most likely place for homegrown terrorist to live for both foreigners residing in the US and those born in America.
* A shocking 82 percent of the terrorists were US residents and more than 50 percent were American citizens.
* Among all terrorists who resided in the US, New York was home to the most — 14 percent, followed by Florida with 11 percent and New Jersey with 9 percent.
* The most common home state for US-born al Qaeda plotters also was New York — with 20 percent, followed by California and Virginia, both with 9 percent.“To pretend that recruitment isn’t happening or isn’t desirable in New York I think would be naïve to say the least,” he warned Simcox.
* More than half — 54 percent — of the US-born terrorists were converts to Islam.
“There are well-established ties to militancy in parts of New York and New York City as well, and there is no reason to think that has gone anywhere,” said Simcox.
Rep. Pete King (R-LI), who was accused of being “Islamophobic” when he held a series of congressional hearings on the homegrown terror threat, said he felt vindicated by the study.
“It clearly reinforces the point that I was making: that New York is the No. 1 terrorist target and that New York has a significant problem with homegrown terrorism,” said King. “We have to constantly be on the alert against it,” he said.
Simcox also called on the feds and NYPD to remain vigilant for al Qaeda groups breeding extremism inside New York.
He noted that the terrorists’ recruitment strategies have become much more sophisticated since the days when the Farouq mosque in Brooklyn was a hotbed of radicalization.
“It’s done online and with texts, but I think essentially the way the recruitment first happens is individual to individual,” he said.