Briefing paper

The United States faces a growing terrorism problem that will likely worsen over the next year. Based on a CSIS data set of terrorist incidents, the most significant threat likely comes from white supremacists, though anarchists and religious extremists inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda could present a potential threat as well. Over the rest of 2020, the terrorist threat in the United States will likely rise based on several factors, including the November 2020 presidential election.

This briefing paper examines the state of terrorism in the United States. It asks two sets of questions. First, what are the most significant types of terrorism in the United States, and how has the terrorism threat in the U.S. homeland evolved over time? Second, what are the implications for terrorism over the next year? To answer these questions, this analysis compiles and analyses an original data set of 893 terrorist plots and attacks in the United States between January 1994 and May 2020.

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