As al Qaeda and its sympathizers have ratcheted up their online rhetoric they have managed to draw many into their radical fold. Prior to his death, Awlaki had acted as a bridge figure linking disaffected individuals to the romanticized world of jihad.
Among the numerous homegrown terrorists linked to Awlaki were Hasan and Virginia-born Zachary Chesser, who was arrested and convicted of attempting to aid al Shabaab, an Islamist terrorist organization in Somalia.
Domestic law enforcement and counterterrorism operators must remain vigilant amidst the ongoing threat of homegrown radicalization and domestic terror. This applies to state and local officials too. It’s not enough to leave the fight against domestic terror up to the federal government alone.Despite intermittent victories, such as the conviction of Major Hasan, maintaining security against the threat of homegrown radicalization and domestic terror is a shared responsibility. It rests upon the full cooperation and participation of actors at all levels of government as well as the determined vigilance of the American people.