New Report: Muslim Terrorism a ‘Minuscule Threat’

Almost a year ago, we ran a story based on a report produced by The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (TCTHS) that said that the threat posed by Muslims as domestic terrorists is significantly less than is perceived by the larger public. TCTHS has released a new report that shows even more startling data on the threat posed by Muslims in America: almost none.

• Only one Muslim individual carried out a terrorism-related activity in the U.S. in 2011. The attack did not result in any fatalities.

• 20 individuals stand accused of terrorism-related activity, although it is unclear how many individuals overall in the U.S. are accused of terrorism-related crimes. Previous FBI data shows that Muslims usually make up 6% of domestic activity.

• Muslims were involved in disrupting many of these plots, working with law enforcement.

• Approximately 40% of those accused are converts to Islam.

• At least one attack was a Muslim targeting a mosque, confining his victims to other Muslims.

• In the decade from 2001-2011, approximately 200 American Muslims have been charged with terrorism-related activities. This number includes those who committed acts of terrorism overseas in places like Somalia and Yemen. Even if we take the conservative number of 2 million Muslims in the U.S., that means 0.01% of Muslims are involved in terrorism-related activity over the span of a decade. Per annum, it is 0.001%. If we take a more realistic number of 4 million American Muslims, the numbers become 0.005% over a decade, or 0.0005% per year. Last year there were 14,000 homicides in the U.S., and with a population of 300,000,000, that’s about 0.0005% of the population are murderers.

The report ends with this sage advice: “This study’s findings challenge Americans to be vigilant against the threat of homegrown terrorism while maintaining a responsible sense of proportion.”

hrashid@mac.com'

Hussein Rashid is a native New Yorker and Proud Muslim. Currently an instructor at the Center for Spiritual Inquiry at Park Avenue Christian Church and based at Hofstra University, he is deeply committed to interfaith work and is passionate about teaching. He believes we need to start talking more intelligently about Islam specifically, and religion generally.