Austin Bay

It took a couple of awkward weeks, but Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano finally issued a real apology to American military veterans. Recall in early April, at her direction, DHS issued a sloppy, politically slanted "warning" about potential domestic terrorism. Insulting language fingered "disgruntled" military veterans as potential recruits for violent (likely "right-wing") organizations.

Napolitano's taxpayer-subsidized smear warned that citizens upset by high taxes might also gravitate toward violent, armed, anti-government organizations. Of course, she shoveled the report to the press just before April 15 -- the biggest day on the Internal Revenue Service calendar.

Are domestic terrorists a cause for concern? Absolutely. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber and a right-wing fanatic, murdered en masse. Anarchist killer Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) murdered via the U.S. mail. The FBI's bust last week in New York of a rather dimwitted group of wannabe political killers is the latest reminder, though their supporters (they're domestic, and they've got them) are alleging entrapment.

The U.S. military swears an oath to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. That oath is one reason I continue to oppose the likes of violent left-wing narcissists like Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground terrorist and trust-fund baby who now hobnobs with Chicago political elites and works as a professor. Ayers deserves to do prison time for his bomb plots and conspiracies to murder innocents.

Napolitano should have waited for the publication of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy's "Homegrown Terrorists in the US and UK." Written by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Laura Grossman, the empirical study examines "homegrown" Islamist terrorists in the United States and United Kingdom, with terrorists defined as "homegrown" when they have "spent a significant portion of their formative years in the West, or else their radicalization bears a significant connection to the West."

The authors analyzed 117 domestic terrorists and identified six "behavioral changes" that characterize the radicalization process. Though focusing on Islamist radicals who engaged in or provided illegal support for terrorist violence, some of the changes the authors described resemble behaviors associated with violent "non-sectarian" (so-called "purely" political) radicals.

The changes are:

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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