More Data Debunking the Spike in Homegrown Extremism

Today, the Obama administration released their second strategy installment related to countering violent extremism (CVE).  CVE is quite the rage right now in the homeland security and law enforcement communities. Recently in the midst of some research, I came across another excellent study analyzing recent claims of a “Spike in Homegrown Extremism”.

Dr. Charles Kurzman recently released his book The Missing Martyrs which takes an empirical, data-driven approach to analyze the spike in homegrown extremism.  Kurzman, unlike many counterterrorism researchers, actually provides the data to support his analysis.  Kurzman, David Schanzer and Ebrahim Moosa host this data on their website – halfway down the page you can download a copy of all Muslim American related terrorism incidents and perpetrators from 2001 to 2010.  Like Dr. Risa Brooks article I mentioned last month, Kurzman concludes:

Muslim-American terrorism makes news. Out of the thousands of acts of violence that occur in the United States each year, an efficient system of government prosecution and media coverage brings Muslim-American terrorism suspects to national attention, creating the impression — perhaps unintentionally — that Muslim-American terrorism is more prevalent than it really is.

Upturns in the pace of Muslim-American terrorism are particularly newsworthy, and have driven much public debate over the past two years. This report documents a downturn in the pace of Muslim-American terrorism — it remains to be seen whether this is accorded a similar level of attention, and whether the level of public concern will ratchet downward along with the number of terrorism suspects.

Excellent data and analysis from Dr. Kurzman and I encourage those interested in CVE to check out his findings.

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