Terrorism analysts are rebutting President Obama’s assertion that the “scale of the threat” from Islamic terrorists has reverted to pre-Sept. 11, 2001, levels.
“This is a total fabrication,” said Steven Emerson, whose Investigative Project on Terrorism tracks radical Islam. “The ‘scale of this threat’ in the 1990s never closely resembled the terrorist attacks post-9/11. This is an outright lie.”
The Heritage Foundation has been cataloging foiled terrorist attacks post-9/11 by Islamic groups. The number: 54.
James Carafano, a military analyst at Heritage, said the 1990s’ numbers “were a fraction of that.”
Mr. Obama on Thursday delivered a speech at the National Defense University that came close to declaring victory over al Qaeda, saying it is now operating franchise groups.
He also declared an end to the global campaign against terrorism, saying the U.S. would focus on individual cells.
“As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11,” Mr. Obama said.
“Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless global war on terror but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” Mr. Obama said.
Before the Boston Marathon bombing, the U.S. was the target of at least five Muslim attacks since 2009 (two of which succeeded) whose plots went undetected by the FBI or CIA:
⦁ Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad opened fire at a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Ark., in June 2009, killing one soldier.
⦁ Najibullah Zazi, who said he was a member of al Qaeda, tried to detonate bombs in New York City’s subway in September 2009.
⦁ Army Maj. Nadal Malik Hassan opened fire at a soldier processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13.
⦁ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to explode a bomb hidden in his underwear onboard a flight to Detroit in on Christmas Day 2009.
⦁ Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate a car bomb in New York’s Times Square in May 2010.
Mr. Emerson said the U.S. homeland faced no such consistent Islamic plots in the 1990s.