WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Tuesday is the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. And while al-Qaeda is still a threat, homegrown terrorism presents a real danger in the short term.
Mary Bubala explains.
On the evening of May 1 last year, Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden when they stormed his secret compound in Pakistan. The U.S. government says the terror leader’s death was a crippling blow to al-Qaeda that is still being felt today.
“They’re struggling to attract new recruits, morale is low. In short, al-Qaeda is losing badly,” said White House Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan.
Terrorism and Homeland Security expert Michael Greenberger of the University of Maryland says the arrest of five men near Cleveland, who plotted to blow up a bridge, is an example of our country’s true Achilles heel–homegrown terrorism.
“It demonstrates time and time again that the foremost problem we’ve got is with the people in our own country who develop these rouge mentalities,” said Greenberger.
And sometimes they are tied to al-Qaeda–like Catonsville’s Majid Kahn. An Eyewitness News investigation revealed his plans to blow up local gas stations or poison the water supply before he was caught by the U.S. government.
“I think the federal government has been very effective in calling that out and watching that but the question is how long can you keep all these balls juggling in the air. They only have to make one mistake and it will be a calamity,” said Greenberger.
In response to the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, security officers are using more scrutiny as they monitor commercial flights into the U.S.