Hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – The Homeland Threat Landscape and U.S. Response – November 14, 2013 – The Honorable Matthew G. Olsen Director National Counterterrorism Center.
“Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) remain the most likely global jihadist threat to the Homeland. While the threat posed by HVEs probably will broaden through at least 2015, the overall level of HVE activity is likely to remain the same: a handful of uncoordinated and unsophisticated plots emanating from a pool of up to a few hundred individuals. Lone actors or insular groups who act autonomously pose the most serious HVE threat.’…HVEs make use of a diverse online environment that is dynamic, evolving, and self- sustaining. This online extremist environment is likely to play a critical role in the foreseeable future in radicalizing and mobilizing HVEs towards violence. Despite the removal of important terrorist leaders during the last several years, the online environment continues to reinforce an extremist identity, supplies grievances, and provide HVEs the means to connect with terrorist groups overseas.”