The jihadist threat in the US “is high and has escalated dramatically this year,” according to the latest “Terror Threat Snapshot” for September released by House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul.
The monthly assessment is the committee’s continuing effort to highlight the growing threat America, the West and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist jihadi groups.
“The Islamist terror threat in the US homeland has escalated dramatically this year and remains high,” McCaul said in a statement. “Last month, ISIS supporters published a ‘hit-list’ targeting American government personnel, including our brave men and women in uniform. Authorities also arrested another ISIS-aligned radical in Arizona who helped a fighter travel to Syria for military training – stark reminders of the threats we face. We need vigilance and good intelligence here at home and a strategy to root out the enemy abroad to combat and ultimately defeat Islamist extremists.”
According to McCaul, the key takeaways from this month’s Terror Threat Snapshot include:
- “There have been more US-based jihadist terror cases in 2015 than in any full year since 9/11. The number of US terrorist cases involving homegrown violent jihadists has gone from 38 in July 2010 to 124 today—more than a three-fold increase in just five years;
- “ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire across the globe at unprecedented speed. As of the end of August, the group has inspired or directed 57 terror attack plots against Western targets, including 15 in the United States. A recent train attack in France would have been a mass-casualty attack had it not been for an alert group of Americans. There have now been nearly twice as many ISIS-linked attack plots against the West this year (37) as there were in all of 2014 (20);
- “Islamist terrorists are intent on killing American law enforcement and military personnel, in addition to innocent civilians. Radicals are increasingly targeting men and women in uniform here in the United States. In August, ISIS supporters released another ‘hit list’ of American government personnel, including service members. Since early 2014, the majority of Islamist terror plots on US soil have featured plans to kill police or US service members; and
- “ISIS has largely maintained its terror safe havens in Syria and Iraq while expanding globally more than a year after the US and its allies launched operations against it. Al Qaeda affiliates from Syria to Yemen have also carved out sanctuary and seized additional terrain. ISIS retained control over its major strongholds in Syria and Iraq while undertaking disruption attacks and offensives in key territory; ISIS-affiliated militants have simultaneously consolidated control in Libya. Foreign fighters continue to swell the ranks of Islamist extremist groups looking to recruit foot soldiers and activate followers to launch attacks in their home countries.”