Small Wars Journal

Domestic Radical Islamic Insurgency

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Domestic Radical Islamic Insurgency by Ones and Twos and the Politics of Self-Delusion

by Dr. Robert J. Bunker and Mr. Hakim Hazim

Download the full article: Domestic Radical Islamic Insurgency

The contention being made is that governmental officials are downplaying a threat to the US homeland—that compromised of a small, yet virulent, component of domestic radical Islamic insurgency derived from the actions of one and two man cells. While a well intended policy, such actions may be in actuality setting up our nation for some sort of disaster down the road.

With this said, no overarching conspiracy is implied to be taking place with the suppression of this threat, but rather that incremental policies and decisions appear to be promoting this public policy. The motivations behind such policies surely vary but appear to be centered on not unnecessarily alarming the American public or causing them further fear and consternation. With the burden of economic hardships, high levels of unemployment, bankruptcies, and foreclosures, health concerns over the H1N1 virus, and the other trials and tribulations of today's world, the American public is, in a sense, being protected for its own good. Further, due to both considerations of 'political correctness' on one hand and appropriate concerns over 'witch hunts' and Islam-bashing on the other, any discussion of domestic Islamic self-radicalization quickly becomes a highly politicized topic. As a result, it is officially better to attribute any form of violence undertaken due to self-radicalization as a manifestation of mental health issues or heightened emotional states instead of being symptomatic of radical Islamic yearnings derived from one's own internalized metric of rationality.

One may argue that, in order to ensure an appropriate homeland security posture, the perception of threat and the actual threat that exists should always be closely intertwined. Not only should the American government be accurate in its understanding of what the actual threats to homeland security are but it is critical that the American public also be informed and educated in a similar manner. The greater the divergence between the threat reality that exists and the perception of that reality held by the American public, the greater the potential for some sort of disaster to take place.

Download the full article: Domestic Radical Islamic Insurgency

Dr. Robert J. Bunker is CEO of the Counter-OPFOR Corporation. He has over 150 published works including essays, papers, and edited books focusing on terrorism and homeland security. He can be reached at

Hakim Hazim is the founder of Relevant Now, a nationally recognized consultancy company. His research expertise includes sociological intelligence, realism, mentoring, gangs, radicalization processes, urban and social decay, and law enforcement approaches to the mentally ill and cognitively challenged. He can be reached at

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Very interesting and should be a springboard for debate. The question that I propose is based on the basic assumption that this is that actions of radicals. Is this truly a radical movement or are these individuals astute enough to be following the "letter of the law"? The reason I suggest this is that, in fact, radicalization of an ideology is not the dominant ideology. Should we look at their practice of Islam as the dominant ideology and then challenge the execution. By always commenting that their actions are radical, it makes it easy and correct (even politically) to suggest that the issue is within the individual and not the ideology. This is why we continue to fight a war in which the President (and Congress) state it is a secular war, when the opposing side believe it is a religious war.

pat (not verified)

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 4:52pm

America's policy of Invade the world, Invite the world, and in debt to the world is disastrous.

Our invasions are fueled by funds borrowed from elsewhere. "Elsewhere" is also the destination of our manufacturing jobs.

While we are invading and borrowing, our nation continues it's open border immigration policy. And some of these immigrants do not like our invasion policy. Therefore, we have Somalis from Minnesota or Bosnians from New Jersey that wish to do us harm.

Donna Diane Uetz (not verified)

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 10:42am

A very thought provoking piece. I recall in early 1980 during the Iran Hostage Crisis that two young Iranian men were found murdered behind a mall here in the Dallas area. One had over $1000 cash in his pocket. They had been executed.... I have no doubt that these kinds of incidents will become prevelant should "Ft Hood" type attacks increase.

At some point people will conclude that "if my government can't protect me then I must protect myself."