Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano offered a blunt assessment this week about domestic terrorism -- a term she described only as "man-caused incidents or disasters" just nine months ago.
"These recent arrests should remove any remaining comfort that some might have had that if we fight the terrorist abroad, we won't have to fight them here," she said. "If only the world were that simple. The fact is that home-based terrorism is here."
Speaking to the America-Israel friendship league in New York, the secretary said the spate of recent terrorism arrests left no doubt that extremists are inside the country.
"We are seeing young Americans who are inspired by Al Qaeda and radical ideology," she said.
Napolitano cited the case of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver airport shuttle bus driver who was arrested in September after allegedly training in Pakistan. Zazi, an American resident who was in court Thursday as more charges were considered, is part of a growing body of evidence that Americans are being radicalized.
From the Associated Press, on a Border Patrol seizure of misfit…er, counterfeit toys:
Officials have seized thousands of counterfeit toys worth $1.6 million along southern California border points.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the toys included more than 2,500 knockoff Barbie dolls, worth $58,500, that were contained in boxes shipped to San Diego in October and November.
At the Otay Mesa border point, agents seized 3,100 battery-operated toy vehicles
bearing fake "Jeep" labels in October.
The manufacturer of the toy vehicles, which were designed for kids to drive, did not have permission to use the Jeep trademark.
From the Associated Press, on an indictment of transporting illegal immigrants.
A Mexican national has been indicted on charges of transporting illegal immigrants in a passenger van that traveled via Kansas to destinations across the United States, the U.S. Attorney's office said Thursday.
An eight-count indictment filed at the U.S. District Court in Kansas charges Joni Rivera-Rodriguez with transporting 16 illegal immigrants who were citizens of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
His attorney, Syovata Edari, did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Seven of his passengers are charged with illegally re-entering the U.S. after deportation, court documents show.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson said what stands out about this case is not only the number of persons who had been deported, but that most passengers were from Central American countries rather than Mexico.
"Often there are one or two people in a vehicle load of smuggled aliens who have previously been deported, but to have seven of 16 all of whom are from Central America is very unusual. It's a first for Kansas, as far as I know," Anderson said.
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Secretary Napolitano will join USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas to participate in a naturalization ceremony and honor the recipient of the “Outstanding American by Choice” award
New York, N.Y.