Since 2001, serious attention has been paid to the threat of terrorism in the United States by foreign groups, such as al-Qaeda or ISIS. However, domestic terrorism, violent attacks carried out by citizens, is equally, if not more of a danger. Outside of the 9/11 attacks, more Americans have been killed inside the United States due to domestic terrorism.
The most notorious incident of domestic terrorism in U.S. history was the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Co-conspirators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols packed a rented van full of homemade explosives that not only destroyed the building but also killed 168 Americans, many of them children in the building’s day care center. McVeigh was executed in 2001 for his part in the attack.
Also during the 1990s, one of the longest and most terrifying campaigns of domestic terrorism came to an end with the capture of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. From 1978 to 1985, Kaczynski sent numerous homemade bombs through the U.S. Mail, killing three and injuring 23. It was only after major newspapers, including the New York Times, published Kaczynski’s manifesto, that his brother recognized the work and turned him in to the FBI.
The potential for continued domestic terrorism events has become increased in recent years. With the endless war on terror, many U.S. citizens are professing their allegiance to groups such as ISIS and carrying out attacks inside the U.S., inspired by the ideology of jihad.