According to a study by the Henry Jackson Society of the 171 al-Qaida or al-Qaida-inspired terrorists who either committed acts of suicide terrorism in the U.S. or were convicted in U.S. civilian or military courts from 1997 to 2011, the majority were American citizens, and more than a third were born in the United States.
“One of the most surprising statistics was that 54% of terrorists were U.S. citizens,” Robin Simcox, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and the author of the report, told The Daily Caller in an email.
“Moreover, 36% of all individuals were U.S. born, indicating that these were citizens who had grown up in the U.S. rather than having moved there later in life. Therefore, this statistic dispels the myth that the terrorist threat is primarily external.”
The Henry Jackson Society is a British-based think tank focused on foreign policy and national security issues.
Simcox believes his report dispels conventional wisdom about the terrorism threat.
“This report challenges the perception that a typical terrorist attack is plotted by Middle Eastern or Northern African operatives in far flung tribal towns of Saudi Arabia,” Simcox said. “It shows that, in fact, the majority of the terrorist threat is instead from U.S. nationals.”