Research demonstrates that Salafists are increasingly growing globally. They are embracing Jihad as defined by Muslim Extremist. Salafisim is spreading to young Muslims through the use of the internet and chat rooms. Their ideology is rapidly growing on a global level. Osama bin Laden's second in command of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiriv is a follower of the Salafisim ideology. Although my experience with local American law enforcement is that they can associate this individual with al-Qaeda, they do not understand what ideology drove this individual. It is noteworthy to highlight that while the majority of Salifists value traditional Muslim beliefs, not all Salifists endorse the Jihad as defined by the Muslim extremists.
From a global perspective, European authorities understand and monitor radical ideological groups. They understand that terrorist organizations are not necessarily tied to a particular country; rather, they are united by their beliefs. This allows for global recruitment based on ideology. Although European officials continue to take a proactive approach in identifying global jihadist organizations, such as Salafists, American authorities have neglected to take such an approach on all levels of enforcement. United States officials on the local and state level must enhance their vigilance in educating themselves on this identification process.
American Law Enforcement has created community awareness, reactionary and recovery plans for an active shooter. These practices are not as widely implemented when it comes to identifying terrorist organizations that reside in the United States. Proactive monitoring of communities and communication with citizens are essential cornerstones in identifying emerging terrorist cells. Lateral communication through fusion centers and law enforcement intelligence components, must be incorporated. This war on terror is not one that can be won by armies alone, but rather by altering prospective terrorist recruit's ideology. This is the prevention phase. Recent events highlight the effects of home grown terrorists. Communities in conjunction with American law enforcement must maintain vigilance with the ability to quickly react to identified threats. It is critical that these terrorists become dismantled prior to them reaching the Execution Stage. Terrorist organizations are becoming more complex and engaging in terrorist plots on a more frequent level. American law enforcements untapped defense is education at the local and state level, specifically the patrol officer. It is the patrol officer that understands the community that they patrol, more so than a detached intelligence unit. American officials have a vast amount of underutilized resources in this war; the luxury of reliance on specialty units or federal partners can no longer be accepted as the norm.
Perhaps it was best said by former President George W. Bush, "Terrorists need to be right once. We need to be right 100% of the time."