Terror Threat Snapshot: Homegrown ISIS-Linked Arrests Increase
By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
The House Homeland Security Committee has released its Terror Threat Snapshot for November, and it paints an increasingly alarming picture, including a map that shows details of ISIS-related plots in the United States. View the interactive map here.
The November snapshot focuses on homegrown Islamist extremism, terror attack plots against the West, foreign fighters, foreign Jihadist networks and terrorists’ exploitation of Syrian refugee flows.
See each month’s Terror Threat Snapshots here.
Here are some of the key points from this month’s report:
- ISIS-related homegrown terror threats are increasing at an unprecedented rate with a majority of the 900+ homegrown extremist investigations linked to ISIS.
- ISIS continues to wreak violent havoc around the world – including against Western targets, with 18 inside the United States.
- From July to September of this year, ISIS-linked groups launched at least one attack per day – killing 30 people worldwide.
- Al-Qaida is rebuilding its sanctuary in Afghanistan thanks to the diminishing U.S. troop presence in the region.
- Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has captured additional territory in Yemen.
- Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq continue to threaten the United States and its allies.
- The massive, near-constant flow of refugees out of Syria contains terrorists taking advantage of the ongoing crisis to infiltrate the West.
- Detainees released by the Obama administration from Guantanamo Bay continue to pose a major threat to the United States and its allies – one in three Guantanamo Bay detainees re-enter Islamic terror groups upon release.
[Click here to see the House Committee’s interactive terror snapshot United States map]
If those disturbing facts weren’t enough to raise the eyebrows of citizens, the November Terror Threat Snapshot also states that the world’s leading state sponsor of Islamist terror, Iran, remains unstable yet it is still poised to “gain additional resources in the coming months as a result of sanctions relief.” In fact, the Obama administration is set to give Iran additional sanctions relief under the terms of the nuclear agreement. Paradoxically, the report also confirms that the Iranian parliament stated recently that the “martyr nurturing nation of Iran” will continue chanting “Death to America.”
Homegrown Islamist Extremism and Foreign Fighters
The threat from homegrown terrorists is ever-present, according to the November Terror Threat Snapshot report. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there were 127 further U.S. terrorist cases comprised of homegrown, U.S.-based violent jihadists – with 55 individuals arrested in the U.S. this year alone (71 arrests since 2014). The cases involved: plotting terror attacks; plans to travel overseas to join ISIS; financially supporting known terrorist groups; and falsifying statements to authorities.
An astonishing 30,000 fighters from more than 100 nations worldwide have flocked to Iraq and Syria to join extremists – resulting in the “largest convergence of Islamist terrorists in world history,” according to the report – which amounts to approximately 1,000 foreign fighters entering the conflict zone each month. Furthermore, around 250 American citizens have traveled or tried to travel to Syria to join the ranks of ISIS.
See the full November Terror Threat Snapshot here.