9/11 Remembrance: Domestic Terrorism a Biggest Homeland Security Threat 21 Years After 9/11 Attacks, Expert Says

CHICAGO (WLS) — Twenty-one years ago, al-Qaeda used commercial aircraft to carry out coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed. In response to the September 11 attacks, the United States launched the global war on terrorism.

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As America marked this grim anniversary, ABC7 Chicago discussed the threats Americans face today with Tom Brady, associate dean of the Utilities Division and director of the College of DuPage’s Homeland Security Training Institute.

In 2001, the attacks came from outside the United States. Brady said that’s not the case in 2022.

“I believe that the greatest threat in the United States today is domestic terrorism. What I consider to be local extremism or homegrown terrorism,” Brady said. “We have so many mass shootings. In 2022, we had a total of 508 mass shootings. And mass shooting is defined as when four or more people are shot in one incident.”

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Brady said domestic terrorism sometimes goes unseen by law enforcement and can fly under the radar.

“If there is someone planning to commit a domestic terrorism attack and they have had no contact with law enforcement and have not made their intentions known to their family or his friends, he’s extremely dangerous,” Brady said. “Law enforcement doesn’t have these people on their radar, they’re kind of flying under the radar and that’s a very dangerous thing in our country right now.”

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But are we safer than 21 years ago?

“There is no doubt that we are safer than we were on September 11, 2001 because of the security procedures we have in place in the country,” Brady said. “We’ve done a lot of things with airports and borders and things like that. Security is a daily thing for us now. So we’re safer from that point of view. But can we be vulnerable, of course as we can. And that’s something we need to be focused on to make sure we can be as safe as possible.”

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