Jihad Street USA: Closer Look at Domestic Terror

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The Muslim Students' Association is one of the largest Islamic organizations in America, with chapters on hundreds of college campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

MSA alumni include doctors, lawyers, and engineers. But the group has another track record that it doesn't advertise: Several of its leaders have been convicted for terrorism.

"The Muslim Students' Association has been a virtual terror factory," terrorism expert Patrick Poole said.

Many Muslim and liberal groups complained about recent congressional hearings on homegrown Islamic radicalism, saying they were unfair to the Muslim community.

CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck is author of the new book The Terrorist Next Door. He talks more about his book and the growing threat of domestic terrorism with CBN News Anchor Lee Webb.

"It's violating people's civil rights and civil liberties, putting an entire religion on trial and not actually going after the real criminal threats which really concern all of us as American citizens," Alejandro Beutel, with the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said during the hearings.

Yet American-born Muslims are behind a growing number of terror plots -- a trend that Attorney General Eric Holder has said keeps him "up at night."

Many of these homegrown jihadists, Poole noted, once belonged to the MSA.

"Time after time, we see these terrorists -- and not just fringe members. These are MSA leaders, MSA presidents, MSA national presidents, who've been implicated, charged, and convicted in terrorist plots," he said.

The roll call includes Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda cleric linked to terror plots from the infamous Fort Hood shootings to the failed Times Square bombing and beyond.

Al-Awlaki, now a target for assassination by the U.S. government, was president of the MSA at Colorado State University in the mid-1990s.

There is also Ramy Zamzam. Before his conviction in Pakistan last year for attempting to join the Taliban and kill American troops, Zamzam was president of the MSA's Washington, D.C., Council.

Omar Hammami, a leader of the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab, is another MSA alumnus. He was once president of the group's chapter at the University of South Alabama.

Meanwhile, the phenomenon of homegrown jihad shows no signs of slowing down.

The Terrorist Next Door has debuted as the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon on terrorism. Get your free chapter from Stakelbeck's book here:

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.