March Terror Threat Snapshot: 147 Homegrown Terror Cases Since 9/11
31 percent of the 147 homegrown jihadist cases since 9/11 happened in just the last 12 months
7,000 Western fighters have traveled to various conflict zones in order to join ISIS
ISIS-related arrests last month in four U.S. states
By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released his Terror Threat Snapshot for March 2016 on Wednesday.
McCaul is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and his monthly reports detail the threats from Islamic terror groups to the United States and its Western allies. McCaul’s analysis is always a stark reminder that vigilance and knowledge are both vital elements in the current War on Terror.
According to the current report, 31 percent of the 147 homegrown jihadist cases since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks happened in just the last 12 months. Another key fact from the snapshot is that there have been 83 total ISIS-linked arrests in the United States since 2014, with eight people arrested so far in 2016 – in seven different states – on various terrorism-related charges. Also of note, almost 7,000 Western fighters have traveled to various conflict zones in order to join ISIS.
Terror Threat Snapshot’s McCaul: Iranian Regime Grows More Emboldened
“This week’s Islamist terror plots in Canada and Europe are a grim reminder of the heightened threat environment America and our allies confront. ISIS and al Qaeda are growing deeper roots in their sanctuaries around the world while plotting terror against the West,” stated McCaul. “The Iranian regime grows more emboldened as it capitalizes on the economic stimulus afforded to it by President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal. Unfortunately, these trends will continue to worsen without a resolute, U.S.-led strategy to defeat Islamist terrorists and restore global order.”
ISIS-Related Arrests in United States Ongoing
The March Terror Threat Snapshot reported on these homegrown cases that occurred last month:
- MISSOURI: Safya Roe Yassin was arrested for threatening FBI agents via social media; she ultimately expressed her support for ISIS.
- OHIO: Mohamed Berry attacked diners at a Columbus restaurant using a machete; Berry was known to law enforcement as having “expressed radical Islamist views.”
- WASHINGTON: Daniel Seth Franey was arrested near Montesano, Wash., for possessing illegal firearms while expressing his support for ISIS; he also advocated for the murdering of U.S. law enforcement members and U.S. military personnel.
- MICHIGAN: Khalil Abu-Rayyan was arrested for a planned attack on a church in Detroit; he told authorities that he supported ISIS and said “If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”
On the global front, the terror snapshot reported on events that happened earlier this week in Europe when at least two terror suspects ambushed Belgian and French police in Brussels. One of those attackers was said to have an ISIS flag and a powerful assault rifle in his possession.
Other key points from the March Terror Threat Snapshot:
“ISIS commands a “sophisticated external plotting network” from its sanctuaries and continues to inspire jihadist recruits worldwide. A senior U.K. official recently warned the group has “big ambitions for enormous and spectacular attacks … Al Qaeda and its affiliates – far from being degraded – are poised to build on recent territorial gains by capitalizing further on instability and inaction … Islamist terrorists are infiltrating the West by exploiting massive refugee flows. European security services continue to struggle with the magnitude of a crisis that is “masking the movement” of future terror plotters.”
Stay tuned to In Homeland Security for the April Terror Threat Snapshot report. See the House Homeland Committee’s March Terror Threat Snapshot here.