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Friday, June 3, 2011

Adam Gadahn Video Adds Emphasis To Al Qaeda's Growing Gun Fetish

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column for the New York Daily News on Al Qaeda's increasing shift in emphasis from bomb-based attacks to guns.

Last night, American terrorist Adam Gadahn -- one of AQ's most prominent public faces -- put an exclamation point on the trend in a new video released online.

America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center, and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?
All of this was said while the video displayed customers shopping at a legal gun store.

This is only the latest example of gun-love from Al Qaeda and its affiliates, as I explained in the NYDN column. There are compelling reasons to focus our terrorism prevention strategy on firearms-based attacks. First responders here in Boston recently drilled on their response to a Mumbai-style commando attack. We should also be considering strategies that relate to single-shooter scenarios of various kinds.

Finally, we should be considering some variation on the Lautenberg proposal to restrict people who are on terrorist watchlists from purchasing weapons legally. Except in cases where authorities are moving toward an arrest and need to keep a suspect on the hook, it's hard to see how people deemed too dangerous to get on an airplane can be considered safe to buy guns.

For much more about the history of jihadist terrorism on U.S. soil, including the sole American citizen known to have traveled to join Al Qaeda in Iraq, buy J.M. Berger's new book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, out now!

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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