Homegrown Terrorism

Incidents of “homegrown terrorism”—extremist violence perpetrated by U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents, and linked to or inspired by al Qaeda’s brand of radical Sunni Islamism—have increased in the aggregate since 9/11.1 Homegrown extremists, as defined in the CSIS report A Threat Transformed: Al Qaeda and Associated Movements in 2011, are “radicalized groups and individuals that are not regularly affiliated with, but draw clear inspiration and occasional guidance from, al Qaeda core or affiliated movements.”2 A growing number of Muslims—both naturalized citizens and American-born—have communicated with extremists who are linked to al Qaeda and Associated Movements (AQAM), have sought terrorist training, or have attempted to carry out attacks either inside the United States or abroad. While not official members of al Qaeda or its affiliates, these individuals and small groups have been influenced by and have sought to involve themselves in AQAM’s global war against the West.