Homeland Security Committee Releases November Terror Threat Snapshot
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By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
Since 2013, there were 161 homegrown Jihadist terror cases in 30 states involving weapons charges, lying to authorities, attack plots and other crimes. The startling statistic tops the November ‘Terror Threat Snapshot’ released by the House Committee on Homeland Security.
The Snapshot, prepared and released each month by U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), is a detailed account of the latest threat to America, and the West, from various terror organizations – with a focus on ISIS’ usage of explosives, edged weapons and vehicles. Alongside ISIS’ ground-based operation, however, sits a different – but equally problematic – terror-based initiative: the Darknet. And, it’s always high on Rep. McCaul’s radar.
“Our efforts to defeat ISIS on the battlefield have been very effective, but we must not forget about the other war we’re fighting—the one in cyberspace,” Rep. McCaul exclusively told In Homeland Security, soon after his re-election to a fourth term. “ISIS is intent on continuing to spread propaganda, plot, and recruit operatives around the world using social media and encrypted messaging apps. We must continue to ramp up our efforts in cyberspace in order to better disrupt ISIS’ ability to inspire and communicate with their sympathizers all over the world.”
As is the case on each monthly Terror Threat Snapshot, there were several arrests in various states related to homegrown Islamist terrorism.
Here are some of the recent homegrown terrorism developments:
Alabama: 22-year-old Alaa Mohd Abusaad was arrested in Tuscaloosa for providing material support to Al Qaeda. Abusaad allegedly sent money to the terror group and showed an undercover U.S. law enforcement agent how to do the same.
Ohio: Naser Almadaoji, 19, as U.S. citizen living in Columbus, was arrested for trying to provide material support to ISIS. Almadaoji faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly attempting to fly to Afghanistan in order to join ISIS.
Virginia: Former DC Metro Transit Police officer – who was convicted of attempting to provide material support to ISIS – filed an appeal stating that some of the evidence presented by the
prosecutors had “irreparably tarred” his reputation, unfairly influenced the jury, and violated his right to a fair trial.
The Campaign Against Terror
The Snapshot also features some of the gains made in fighting the war on terror including the Oct. 6 arrest in Malaysia of eight men with suspected ISIS ties. Five Europeans, one North American, and one native Malaysian were “accused of attempting to set up a center to teach Salafi Jihadism.” In addition to its ISIS connections, the group of eight is suspected of having ties with other Islamist extremist groups.
The Snapshot also mentions the Oct. 26 raid on an ISIS cell in Moscow by Russian authorities who stated that “the group was planning to carry out attacks using guns and IEDs.”
Additionally, the Snapshot features information on the progress made in fighting other global terror networks including Boko Haram, al Qaeda, Taliban, and Al-Shabaab.
You can read the entire Terror Threat Snapshot here.
See the House Homeland Security Committee’s interactive map here.
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