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All It Takes Is One Smart Terrorist': Could the Kenya Mall Massacre Have Happened in America?

"All of the sudden the next 9/11 comes not from some cell in Hamburg...but it happens in the basement next door."

James Carafano. (Image via TheBlaze TV)

Could the horrific terrorist attack that took place at a Kenyan shopping mall -- killing at least 61 civilians -- have happened in the United States?

On his television program Tuesday, Glenn Beck spoke with James Carafano, the vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, about the possibility.

Beck began by showing an Al-Shabab recruitment video, and noting that places like Minnesota have already seen young men pick up and join the terrorists.

"This is one of the signature weapons of Al-Qaeda, the pipeline of getting foreign fighters from one place to another," Carafano explained.   "This is a huge problem in Syria....The French are apoplectic; there's like 200 Europeans that are actively fighting for Al-Qaeda in Syria."

Carafano said the young men often make stops reaching their final location, and then slip into places like Syria or Somalia unnoticed. The door is then open for them to return, thoroughly radicalized and battle-experienced, without raising any red flags at home.

"This is a classic Al-Qaeda technique," he said. "...If our federal government does not have a program that is directly going after one of the key enablers of Al-Qaeda's global activity...let's just throw up our hands and go home."

And while many are of the opinion that the extremists are simply recruiting and fundraising on American soil, Carafano cautioned that "all it takes is one smart terrorist and a little practice and a lackadaisical attitude by domestic security, and all of the sudden the next 9/11 comes not from some cell in Hamburg or some planning cell in Afghanistan -- but it happens in the basement next door."

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