The Boston marathon bombing brought terrorism back into the minds of many Americans.
Experts are warning that less traditional methods are increasingly being used against the US.
Financial terrorism is on the rise and often sees drug traffickers working together with radical Islamists, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, according to Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.
“Hezbollah benefits from this money laundering network, this drug trafficking network, it derives financial benefit from this narco trafficking and money laundering schemes. With that funding, Hezbollah is involved in terrorist activity around the world,” said Cohen.
The changing nature of threats is also due to a fall in individual countries funding terrorist activities.
“As state sponsored terrorism is declining, terrorism fuelled by drug trafficking is on the rise,” said Derek Maltz, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
It is being speculated that the suspected Boston marathon bombers were not part of a larger group. This has increased the worry about people working independently as “lone wolves”. This kind of attacker is harder to identify.
“One of the things we know is these people are fairly incompetent, are difficult to stop, but that they probably don’t have the same security risk that al-Qaeda does. They are not able to destroy, to topple two large buildings that lead to thousands of deaths,” explained Joseph Young from the American University.
In polls, two thirds of Americans say that terrorists will always find a way to launch attacks, no matter what the US government does.
From Washington, euronews correspondent Stefan Grobe said:
“Twelve years after 9/11, America is entering a new era of terrorism. Lone wolf risks and financial and cyber terrorism mean a threat level that the country is just learning to cope with. And the most difficult part of it is how to manage fear.”