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Study: Muslim-American Terror Attacks Dropped Significantly in 2010

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) -- Twenty Muslim-Americans either perpetrated or were arrested for terrorist acts in 2010, a drop from the 47 who fell into that category in 2009, according to a study released last week.

“Muslim-American Terrorism Since 9/11: An Accounting,” the report issued by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University, puts the actions of a small group of people into light, writing, “Is this a problem that deserves the attention of law enforcement and the Muslim-American community?  Absolutely.  But Americans should take note that these crimes are being perpetrated by a handful of people who actions are denounced and rejected by virtually all the Muslims living in the United States.”

The authors wondered whether a spike in Muslim-American terrorism was a 2009 trend, or just a temporary uptick in the data. They found that it was the latter, and that much of the spike in 2009 was due to a group of "17 Somali-Americans who had joined al- Shabaab in Somalia. However, the number of individuals plotting against domestic targets also dropped by half, from 18 in 2009 to 10 in 2010."

Law enforcement has also improved its efficiency rate of foiling terror plots before they come to fruition, the study says. In 2010, 75 percent of Muslim Americans engaged in terrorist plots were disrupted in an early planning stage, an increase from 63 percent in 2001.

The report also shows that domestic attacks from Muslim Americans pale in comparison to the rest of the population. While 11 Muslim Americans have killed a total of 33 people since Sept. 11, 2001, the study says, there have been approximately 150,000 murders in that same time span including 15,241 in 2009 alone.

"Out of the thousands of acts of violence that occur in the United States each year, an efficient system of government prosecution and media coverage brings Muslim-American terrorism suspects to national attention, creating the impression -- perhaps unintentionally -- that Muslim-American terrorism is more prevalent than it really is," the study concluded.

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