August 2nd, 2010
12:33 PM ET

Alleged American jihadists – Connecting the dots

On a sunny morning in March, thousands of anti-war protesters converged on Washington – carrying banners with slogans like "No to War; Yes to Peace." Many groups joined the demonstration across from the White House; some well-established and others less so.

One was RevolutionMuslim, a New York based group whose leaders have in the past voiced support for the 9/11 attacks and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Among its supporters at the event were two young men – one from Virginia and one from New Jersey. Within weeks both would be arrested on terrorism charges, and their alleged links to others in militant Islamic circles would begin to surface.

The backgrounds of these men and how they allegedly met and communicated illuminate the growing phenomenon of 'domestic radicalization" in the United States, and the daunting task facing US intelligence in separating militant rhetoric from plans to wage jihad.