Terror Report: America Faces Biggest Islamic Terror Threat Since 9/11
By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
America faces its highest threat from Islamist terrorists since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, according to the House Homeland Security Committee’s December Terror Threat Snapshot.
The snapshot is a monthly assessment of the growing threat the United States, the West, and the rest of the world faces from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.
More than 227 Homegrown Terror Cases
The report – compiled and released by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) – points out that a major component of the threat stems from U.S. residents or citizens who are becoming radicalized as homegrown terrorists. The report states that since 9/11, the U.S. has recorded at least 227 homegrown jihadist cases including a recent surge of 115 cases over the past 24 months alone. Further, the report states that this trend is expected to continue into 2017 and beyond.
As an example, the snapshot cited the vehicle and knife attack last month at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, which left him dead and 11 people injured.
“The attack at Ohio State University is further proof that our homeland remains in the cross-hairs of Islamist terrorists,” McCaul stated. “Groups like ISIS are radicalizing new operatives from within our borders.”
Global ‘Whack-a-Mole’ with Terrorists
McCaul didn’t hold anything back in his assessment of how the outgoing Obama administration has tackled the growing terrorism threat to the United States.
“Make no mistake: we face a deadlier threat than ever before not only because our enemies have gotten savvier, but because we took the pressure off them,” stated McCaul – who was reportedly on President-Elect Donald Trump’s shortlist for Secretary of Homeland Security. “For eight years, the Obama Administration reluctantly played global ‘whack-a-mole’ with terrorists rather than leaning into the fight with decisive leadership.”
According to the Terror Threat Snapshot, ISIS tallied up 62 attacks in 2016 in the West – including in the United States, Belgium, France and elsewhere – killing 215 and wounding 732 people. Even more disturbing is the recent trend of homegrown terrorists emerging in various American states – as illustrated in the Committee’s map above. Since 2014, law enforcement officials have arrested 115 people within the United States with ISIS-related crimes.
Freed Guantanamo Bay Inmates Return to Terrorism
The snapshot report also states that the Obama administration moved 48 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in 2016, and at least 30 percent of all former Guantanamo Bay prisoners are known, or suspected, to have returned to terrorism since their release.
“The Trump Administration will inherit a generational struggle that has only gotten longer,” McCaul said regarding his snapshot report. “But rest assured, we will work closely with them to turn the table on these fanatics.”
Terrorist Groups Use Refugee Program to Gain Access to US
Highlighting the risks of the ongoing refugee programs in the United States, the report quotes the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which has identified: “individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria attempting to gain entry to the U.S. through the U.S. refugee program.” McCaul added that the Obama administration has resettled nearly 13,000 Syrian refugees in the United States this past fiscal year. Over in Europe, as many as 36 militants posing as migrants have been arrested or killed while plotting or carrying out terrorist acts.
You can read the full December Terror Threat Snapshot from the House Homeland Security Committee here.