ADL Highlights Threat of Terrorist Recruitment in the United States

New York, NY, July 27, 2011 … In an analysis submitted to House Homeland Security Committee hearings convening today in Washington, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) highlighted efforts by international terrorist groups to influence and recruit Americans to commit attacks in the United States and abroad.

The security hearings – "Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland" – are the committee's third in a series examining the homegrown terrorist threat, focused specifically on the threat from Muslim extremists.

In a letter accompanying its submission, ADL urged Congress to do everything in its power "to promote trust, reject unfair stereotyping, and encourage stronger relationships to counter attempts by international terrorist organizations to recruit disaffected or alienated Americans."

The League called on committee members to highlight the "extraordinary, successful efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement officials to prevent and deter terrorism on our shores since September 11, 2001," and urged the committee to broaden the scope of its hearings, noting that "criminal activities of a variety of extremist and anti-government groups" also merit attention.

ADL's analysis, Responding to The Call: Al Qaeda's American Recruits, examines the threat posed by terror groups like Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and documents efforts by individuals such as Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric living in Yemen, to recruit and radicalize Americans.

According to ADL, since the 9/11 attacks, a growing number of American citizens and residents motivated by radical interpretations of Islam have been involved in plots and conspiracies against American interests at home and abroad.

However, as seen in the July 22 terrorist attacks in Norway, extremists seeking to commit harm do not all adhere to any one ideology or religion. Following the tragedy in Norway, ADL encouraged awareness that "hateful ideologies and lone-wolf terrorism remain a 'serious and potent' threat" and "warned against the rush to judgment that led some to blame Muslims for the attack before all of the facts were known to the authorities."

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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