Napolitano: Domestic Extremism Is Top Concern

Govt 'Does Not Have a Good Handle' on Issue

In comments today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned that the government now considers “domestic extremism” as big a concern as international terrorism and conceded that the government doesn’t have a good handle on how to “prevent someone from becoming a violent extremist.”

What really is it that draws a young person being raised in the United States to want to go and be at a camp in Yemen and then come back to the United States with the idea of committing harm within the United States?” Napolitano wondered.

In fact, Napolitano did not provide any examples of this actually happening, but it seems to have been a reference to a report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that 36 American ex-convicts disappeared in Yemen and were assumed to have joined up with al-Qaeda.

Top Obama adviser John Brennan reiterated the concern, saying that the Obazma Administration held a meeting about it on Friday. Brennan cautioned that it was not just up to the federal government to stop domestic extremists, but that local Muslim communities needed to be responsible for detecting potential radicalization and informing the government “before they depart.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of