New York-politiet har et program som tar sikte på å oppdage den type radikalisering Tamerlan Tsarnajev gjennomgikk. Tegnene var mange og lett å lese hvis man så dem i sammenheng, skriver Judith Miller i City Journal.

Boston har kun 2.000 politimenn, mens New York har 35.000, blant dem en etterretningsenhet på 1.000 mann med et budsjett på 330 millioner dollar. De jobber med å avsløre folk som radikaliseres. Tsjarnajev-brødrene skal ha hatt New York som neste mål, men der ville de trolig blitt oppdaget, tror Miller.

In August 2007, Silber and Arvin Bhatt, another NYPD analyst, wrote what was then considered a controversial report arguing that with the decimation of al-Qaida’s “core” and the group’s metastasis into far-flung clusters, the primary threat to the city would come from “homegrown” Muslims under the age of 35 who had become Islamists in the West. Based on an analysis of some 11 plots, their report, Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat, concluded that the plotters were “unremarkable” citizens who had undergone often rapid radicalization, nine out of ten of them in the West. The analysts identified a pattern of radicalization and listed common characteristics of each stage of the process prior to committing a terrorist act. Since then, the NYPD has looked for such warning signs among New York’s diverse Muslim population of 600,000 to 750,000 people—about 40 percent of whom are foreign-born—as homegrown terrorist plots increase. In 2005, there was just one homegrown terrorist plot in the country; by 2010, there were 12.

Tim Connors, who served as an army officer in Afghanistan and now trains police officers for CAAS LLC, a New York–based consulting company, said that the elder Tsarnaev fit the department’s radicalization profile perfectly. “His behavioral changes alone—never mind his overseas trip and Russia’s warning to the FBI that he was a radical—would have been more than enough to trigger NYPD scrutiny,” said Connor. For instance, the elder Tsarnaev experienced a “family crisis” when his father left his mother to return home to Dagestan. The NYPD report warns that such incidents often trigger radicalization. He also began exhibiting what the report calls “self-identification,” when a person begins exploring radical ideas and dramatically changing his behavior—for instance, “giving up cigarettes, drinking, gambling and urban hip-hop gangster clothes” in favor of “traditional Islamic clothing” and “growing a beard.”

Another red flag would have been Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ejection from his local mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, as initially reported by the Los Angeles Times. The paper disclosed last week that the elder brother was thrown out of the mosque after a shouting match with the imam during a Friday prayer service. The paper quoted several worshippers as saying that Tsarnaev had yelled at the imam for having pointed to Martin Luther King as a role model for Muslims. Tsarnaev protested that King could not be a model because he was “not a Muslim.” The NYPD’s model cites “withdrawal from the mosque” as an indication of the onset of the “indoctrination” phase of radicalization, when a believer rejects traditional Islamic mentors in favor of “Salafist,” or more radical, fundamentalist preachers and friends.