Attorney General Eric Holder is saying he’s worried about terrorist attacks on the U.S.—by Americans.
In an interview Tuesday, Holder said that he worries about what he sees as a growing threat of American citizens who “for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born.”
Holder said that out of 126 people charged with allegations related to terrorism in the past two years, 50 have been U.S. citizens.
Comparing one, Anwar Al Awlaki, to Osama bin Ladin, Holder said that Awlaki’s dual U.S.-Yemen citizenship makes him a different type of threat than most foreign terrorists due to his familiarity with American culture.
“He is a person who—as an American citizen—is familiar with this country and he brings a dimension, because of that American familiarity, that others do not.”
Holder also said in his interview that terrorism is something to always be concerned about, but he’s worried authorities may have missed a signal that an attack is coming. He cited the long arm of the Internet as a growing fear, with people like Awlaki able to utilize the web to reach out to an increasingly tech-savvy worldwide population, accessing potential converts around the world.
When asked about Wikileaks, Holder said that it only increased the dangers Americans face.
“What Wikileaks did, at the end of the day, was harmful to American security, put American agents and properties…at risk.”