...and the FBI has no interest in making domestic terrorism a high-profile issue by exaggerating both the intent and abilities of 'terrorists'.
If every domestic terrorist plot foiled by the 'war on terror' had instead been wildly successful, where would we be?
Well, we'd be pretty vulnerable to threats like these from the Heritage Foundation paper listed above:
"He was arrested for conspiring to use blowtorches to collapse the Brooklyn Bridge"
"His plans, according to authorities, were to kill President Bush and then establish an al-Qaeda cell in
the United States, with himself as the head."
"The JIS allegedly planned to finance its operations by robbing gas stations."
"Derrick Shareef was arrested on charges of planning to set off hand grenades in a shopping mall outside Chicago."
"Four men plotted to blow up “aviation fuel tanks and pipelines at the John F. Kennedy International Airport” in New York City. They believed that such an attack would cause “greater destruction than in the Sept. 11 attacks.” Authorities stated that the attack “could have caused significant financial and psychological damage, but not major loss of life.""
"Hassan Abujihaad, a former U.S. Navy sailor from Phoenix, Arizona, was convicted of supporting terrorism and disclosing classified information"
Setting aside the dubious competence and unbalanced mental state of the overwhelming majority of plotters, total success above and beyond what a reasonable person would expect given the actual capabilities of these groups would have resulted in negligible damage to society as a whole-- a couple planes bombed and a smattering of minor bombings if everything went perfectly for these disgruntled losers who are already unbalanced enough to be terrorists.
Surprisingly enough, most of these plots were 'revealed' by paid informants with a major financial stake in exhorting their idiot co-conspirators to plan something outrageous enough to warrant FBI attention and major payouts to the informants.
Modern democracies with strong civil society and no significant domestic conflict are inherently resistant to fringe nutbars-- all the 'war on terror' is getting for us is foreign oppression, dramatic restrictions on our own civil liberties, balooning 'security' spending and media scare tactics.