By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
Following up on his inaugural State of Homeland Security Address , House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul has released the December Terror Threat Snapshot. The most shocking development this month was confirmation that ISIS-related investigations are ongoing in all 50 states.
The “snapshot” is a monthly report designed to create and increase awareness of the threat posed by ISIS and other Islamic terror groups to America, its allies and the rest of the world.
See each month’s Terror Threat Snapshots here.
Key takeaways as printed in this month’s Terror Threat Snapshot include:
- ISIS and its supporters are engineering a global terror campaign against the West, including here in the United States where they executed the deadliest Islamist terror attack on American soil since 9/11.
- ISIS has now directed or inspired 66 plots to attack Western targets, including 19 inside America. ISIS sympathizers conducted the recent attack in San Bernardino less than three weeks after ISIS operatives struck in Paris.
- The failure to destroy ISIS resulted in an unprecedented Islamist terror threat level here at home this year. Authorities have arrested more than one ISIS-linked individual every week, on average, in 2015. ISIS-related cases have been opened in all 50 states and account for the majority of the nearly 1,000 active homegrown extremist investigations.
- Foreign fighters operating on jihadist battlefields are a surging threat to Americans and our allies, as demonstrated in the November 13 Paris attack. The ISIS attack plot in France was executed by mostly French and Belgian militants, some of whom had traveled to Syria and infiltrated Europe using the cover of refugee and migrant flows.
- Islamist terrorists have attempted to infiltrate the United States through the refugee resettlement program since 2011. The National Counterterrorism Center has identified “…individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria attempting to gain entry to the U.S. through the U.S. refugee program.”
If those facts weren’t troubling enough, the snapshot also reveals that officials have arrested or charged 57 individuals with ISIS-related crimes in the United States in 2015.
Chairman McCaul is becoming a major counterterrorism voice in Washington, and his candid approach to the growing worldwide threat came across perfectly during his speech at the National Defense University last week.
“The state of our homeland is increasingly not secure and I believe 2015 will be seen as a watershed year in this long war. ISIS sympathizers in San Bernardino executed the deadliest Islamist terror attack on American soil since 9/11 last week,” states Chairman McCaul. “European ISIS fighters returning from the battlefields of Syria conducted a massacre on the streets of Paris in the worst attack in France since World War II.”
Check back with In Homeland Security early next month for a report on January’s Terror Threat Snapshot.