Islamic Extremism Raises U.S. Terror Fears

From the shooting last month at Fort Hood to this week's arrests of five young American suspects in Pakistan, terrorism experts agree militant Islam is becoming an American problem, reports CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

"We do have a homegrown terror problem that really needs to be addressed and explained," Zeyno Baran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Dozier.

Alleged shooter Army Maj. Nidal Hassan and the young men who traveled to Pakistan all worshipped at mosques in Virginia.

But Baran says they were more likely exposed to the extremes of militant Islam, only a click away on the Web.

"We have these Google Imam problems where you Google a question and get a bunch of Web sites and you have no idea who these people are," Baran told Dozier.

Muslim experts say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan make potent recruiting tools, portrayed by the militants as America's war on Islam.

Al Qaeda even has its own American spokesman, U.S.-born Adam Gadahn. He addressed American Muslims in a tape that came out Friday.

"The blood of countless innocent Muslims is on your hands," Gadahn said in the video.

The Taliban has its own English-language Web site with online magazines available in five languages.

But Muslim community leaders here say young people also being driven to extremes by post-9/11 anti-Muslim propaganda and rising incidents of genuine anti-Muslim discrimination.

Civil rights complaints have jumped 10 percent in just the past year, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Read the council's annual report on the status of Muslim civil rights in the United States (PDF)


The group is launching a new Web site to give young Muslims an outlet for their anger through civic action, in court or at the ballot box, not on a foreign battlefield.

"We can immunize our people against these cyber attacks so to speak," the council's Nihad Awad told Dozier.

It was the council which urged the families of those five suspected would-be militants to report them missing to the FBI.

"I believe that was a success story," Awad told Dozier.

There has been tension between the FBI and the council over alleged links to militant groups, which the council denies. It says U.S. authorities should start using the Muslim community as a resource, not an adversary, to help it police its own.
  • Kimberly Dozier

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