Bergen: Amateur Terrorists Can Kill, Too

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Photo: Kenishirotie /
Media Outlet: CNN

Peter Bergen wrote for CNN about the suspect behind the failed Manhattan bomb plot:

Monday's botched terrorist attack at Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal was an amateur affair, according to law enforcement officials. The suspected bomber, Akayed Ullah, had a homemade device attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and when it detonated, it injured him with lacerations and burns, while three bystanders suffered minor injuries.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo observed at a news conference on Monday, "Anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur-level explosive device, and that is the reality we live with."

Indeed, it is. But we shouldn't take too much comfort from the fact that Ullah's alleged attack was the work of an amateur, because according to New America, every one of the 12 successful jihadist terrorist attacks since 9/11 in the United States has also been the work of amateurs who received no formal training from any foreign terrorist group.



Peter Bergen is a journalist, documentary producer, vice president at New America, CNN national security analyst, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and the author or editor of seven books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post.