Half of the attacks since 2001 were committed by men born in the United States.

The paths to violence for the United States-born attackers varied. Some were recent converts to Islam. At least three who were born in the U.S. had previous criminal histories, and onehad a history of mental illness. One seemed to have radicalized after spending time in Yemen. Another became radicalized after being convicted of lying to F.B.I. agents — denying he had made plans to travel to Somalia when in fact he had.

Security experts argue that the risks of routine travel — including the U.S. visa waiver program, which allows citizens of Britain, France, Belgium and 35 other countries to enter the United States without a visa for stays of up to 90 days — are greater than the threat of foreign terrorists coming through the refugee program.

“Further restricting the acceptance of refugees does not address the most likely vulnerability to attacks from abroad, which is the large number of people from visa-waiver countries involved in the conflict in Syria,” said David Sterman, a researcher for the International Security Program at the New America think tank who has been cataloging terrorist attacks carried out since Sept. 11.

Source: The Origins of Jihadist-Inspired Attacks in the U.S. – The New York Times

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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