Op-Ed by Robert Leiken: European radicals and jihadists are still different from American radicals

Nixon Center Director for Immigration and National Security and author of the forthcoming “Europe’s Angry Muslims” says European plotters are more connected to each other and to jihadist movements and training camps abroad than would-be American Muslim terrorists.

He cites the greater number of radicals in Europe, their ties to one another, their organic ties to training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as major differences. He also says the “clash of civilizations” that happens to offspring of labor migrants from rural villages doesn’t happen to Muslims in America, who mostly hail from business and professional families and who typically make more money than the average American.

He says what both groups share, however, is the narrative of Muslims being oppressed all over the world, usually by the United States.

Arrests of Americans in Pakistan raise concerns about possible trends of homegrown terrorism and radicalization abroad

In the years since 9/11 no further terrorist attacks have occurred, and the American war on terror was partly predicated upon the idea that fighting terrorism abroad will prevent fighting it at home. But a recent string of terrorism arrests is challenging the idea that American soil is immune to homegrown radicalism. The Obama Administration this week conceded that the US now faces a rising threat of homegrown radicalism.

This raises a new question: are Muslims in the US really more assimilated and less prone to extremism than European Muslims?

Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University terrorism expert says “it is myopic to believe we could insulate ourselves from the currents affecting Muslims everywhere else.”