WASHINGTON – Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., issued the following statement Wednesday in reaction to a report by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on the radicalization process of homegrown Islamist terrorists in the West:
“The NYPD’s report is a breakthrough in our efforts to defend our homeland in the global war with Islamist terrorism, and it has important implications for our national homeland security strategy. The report underscores the critical role of local law enforcement in proactive efforts to find the terrorists before they strike. I commend the NYPD for their thorough and ground-breaking work.
“The report also highlights similar findings that have been uncovered through our Senate Homeland Security Committee’s ongoing investigation into homegrown Islamist terrorism: much of the Islamist radicalization in the U.S. now seems to originate on the Internet, including on sites sponsored by Al Qaeda, and in peer groups who find inspiration in Al Qaeda’s ideology.
“NYPD has set the standard for local law enforcement in seeking to identify and disrupt the spread of Islamist radicalization, and there is clearly an important role for other police departments. The Department of Homeland Security and Congress must ensure adequate funding for similar programs in other high-risk areas of the country. We can and must bolster our homeland intelligence efforts to identify threats from Islamist terrorists before they strike to protect the freedom and liberties of all Americans.”
Chairman Lieberman intends to call on representatives of the NYPD to testify about the report at a Committee hearing in September.