The failure to destroy ISIS has “resulted in an unprecedented Islamist terror threat level here at home this year,” according to The December Terror Threat Snapshot released by House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul’s (R-Texas) office.
The “snapshot” is a monthly assessment of the committee’s continuing efforts to highlight the growing threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.
“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,” the latest committee snapshot said.
Additionally, the snapshot said, “ISIS and Al Qaeda’s global expansion is spawning jihadist incubators from Yemen to Libya. ISIS has established a Libyan affiliate that is steadily consolidating its stranglehold on territory and drawing foreign recruits. In Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has capitalized on the ongoing war there to seize territory and bolster the ranks of its supporters.”
“The state of our homeland is increasingly not secure, and I believe 2015 will be seen as a watershed year in this long war,” McCaul stated in releasing the December snapshot.
McCaul said, “ISIS sympathizers in San Bernardino executed the deadliest Islamist terror attack on American soil since 9/11 last week. 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. President Obama’s failure to lead in confronting this threat has left us vulnerable and our enemies emboldened. What we need in this moment is a global strategy to win the war against Islamist terror – not more lectures and half measures.”
Other key takeaways in this month’s Terror Threat Snapshot include:
- ISIS and its supporters are engineering a global terror campaign against the West, includinghere 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.
- 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 US through the US refugee program.”
- The transfers of Guantanamo terror detainees overseas and, potentially, to the homeland threaten Americans and broader US national security interests. Nearly one in three detainees released from the facility are known – or are suspected – to have rejoined Islamist terror groups, including a former detainee who now recruits for ISIS in Pakistan. County sheriffs in Colorado warned President Obama in November that moving Guantanamo detainees onto US soil, which is prohibited but which the President has threatened to force through executive action, would endanger American communities.
- Iran is posed to receive economic sanctions relief from the West despite plotting terror attacks against Western interests, employing cyber weapons to target American government personnel, conducting illicit ballistic missile tests, stonewalling UN inspectors, and stockpiling missiles threatening Israel. The Obama Administration is preparing to ease sanctions on Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism whose sectarian policies are a key enabler for ISIS and Al Qaeda’s recruitment.