Obama to Add Homegrown Terror to Security Plan

President Barack Obama speaks at the Export-Import Bank's Annual Conference in Washington, March 11, 2010. AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Responding to terror attacks like the Fort Hood shooting rampage and the failed Times Square bombing, President Barack Obama is adding homegrown terrorists to the administration's top national security priorities.

Mr. Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said Wednesday the administration's newly revised national security strategy document will place homegrown threats among the nation's top national security concerns.

Brennan stressed repeatedly that there is now "a new phase of the terrorist threat" in which al Qaeda and its affiliates are "no longer limited to coordinated, sophisticated 9/11-style attacks," but are instead "increasingly relying on recruits with little training" and "attempting attacks with little sophistication but with very lethal intent," reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.

Brennan said that the strategy "explicitly recognizes the threat to the United States posed by individuals radicalized here at home," citing New York bomb plot suspect Najibullah Zazi, Fort Hood shooting suspect Nidal Hasan and suspected Mumbai accomplice David Coleman Headley.

He also stressed that the strategy would "remain faithful to our values."

Presidents use the national security strategy document to set broad goals and priorities for keeping Americans safe. The document has far-reaching effects on spending, warcraft and security strategies.

Mr. Obama's revision would be the first time that homegrown terror threats was a pillar of the document. President Bill Clinton did not mention domestic terrorism in his 1998 revision after the Oklahoma City bombing, and President George W. Bush made only passing reference to homegrown terrorism in 2006 document.

Brennan said the revision will address homegrown extremists like the Pakistani-American charged in the failed Times Square bombing. Brennan discussed U.S. citizens like Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, who were charged with plotting terrorist attacks.

The administration's new outline also says the U.S. must galvanize support abroad to tackle global troubles, a contrast to former President George W. Bush's emphasis on going it alone and striking preemptively if necessary.

A summary of the national security document, obtained by The Associated Press, says the United States should maintain its military advantage over the rest of the world while prizing other kinds of power.

The AP obtained the summary ahead of document's planned release by the White House this week. The document, like those from other presidents, is purposely vague.

The strategy was expected to walk away from a position held by Bush that the United States could or should undertake pre-emptive wars. Bush's 2002 National Security Strategy posited that doctrine, and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq made good on it.

The document says the highest priority for national security is the safety of Americans, and that strategies for a more peaceful world begin at home.

The strategy points to diplomacy, development and other methods of influence, while making clear the United States intends to maintain its military strength. The U.S. has the world's most powerful military, with unsurpassed reach and resources currently stretched by two wars and other challenges.

The new security document describes goals of national renewal and global leadership. U.S. security goals should reflect universal values held by the United States since its founding, the document says.

The Obama document reflects his views that U.S. influence should be used in partnership with allies and others, a repudiation of what was often described as Bush's go-it-alone philosophy.

Mr. Obama touched on that theme during a commencement address Saturday that was a partial preview of the security document.

The U.S. must shape a world order as reliant on the force of diplomacy as on the might of its military to lead, Mr. Obama said then.

Addressing nearly 1,000 graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, many of whom will likely head to war in Iraq and Afghanistan under his command, Mr. Obama said all hands are required to solve the world's newest threats: terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, climate change and feeding and caring for a growing population.

Mr. Obama said the men and women who wear America's uniform cannot bear that responsibility by themselves. "The rest of us must do our part," he said.

"The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone. It also cannot fall on American shoulders alone."

The details of the plan come after Mr. Obama unveiled his plan to send up to 12,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Under the Obama plan, the troops will work on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, analysis and training, and support efforts to block drug trafficking. They will temporarily supplement border patrol agents until Customs and Border Protection can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border. Mr. Obama also will request $500 million for border protection and law enforcement activities.


  • CBSNews

Comments