Robin Taylor, intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security, explicitly warned that the ISIS threat has intensified due to the pressure the U.S.-led coalition and their allies are applying on the jihadist organization in the Middle East.
Former CIA acting director Mike Morell says it is only a matter of time until the Islamic State (IS) attempts another 9-11. It is also past time for policymakers to level with Americans about the true nature of the IS threat.
Last year, when the IS took a swath of territory in Iraq & Syria the size of the UK, analysts said we had nothing to fear here in the United States. They believed IS to be a regional Middle Eastern threat focused solely on advancing their so-called “caliphate”. Based on that analysis, policymakers embarked on a slow-motion air war that would not defeat IS for years.
Unfortunately the analysts were wrong. The IS group is not only focused on building and sustaining their caliphate; they are especially focused on creating an apocalyptic clash of civilizations. Last August, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said IS leaders have an “end of days” strategic vision.
Based on centuries-old prophecy, IS leaders foresee a coming final battle with “infidel” forces at Dabiq in northern Syria. They even named their English language magazine “Dabiq” to emphasize their commitment to this apocalyptic vision.
In recent months, IS has rapidly expanded outside their self-proclaimed caliphate, establishing cells in more than a dozen countries. They are even challenging the Taliban in Afghanistan; and growing strength in Libya from where they plan to attack Europe.
Here at home, in just the last 4 months, more than 30 people have been arrested on IS terror-related charges. Analysts who earlier said IS was only focused on building its caliphate are now saying “lone wolves” are the problem.
The DHS secretary warned this week that lone wolf attackers could strike the US at any time without warning. No doubt, there will be more Garland-type attacks. The IS has been promoting homegrown terror in the US for some time. In fact, the FBI director says IS recruiters could now be in touch with thousands of potential followers inside the US.
Breitbart: The United States is gripped by an “elevated threat” as the Christmas holiday approaches posed by homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) seeking to carry out “stray dog attacks” on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), warned a top U.S. national security official.
ISIS has been able to retain its ability online to mobilize “HVE lone offenders attacks” against the United States even as its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria “collapses,” Robin Taylor, a top intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee during a hearing Wednesday.
But promoting self-starting lone wolves is only one aspect of an evolving Islamic State threat. Jihadist ideologue Abu Mus’ab al-Suri wrote the blueprint for a global jihadist movement in 2005. Central to his voluminous doctrine was a message to the West that “you cannot defeat us if we are everywhere”. It is clear the IS group is unleashing an “everywhere” strategy.
Al-Suri also said that encouraging self-starters was only part of a global plan for violent jihadist victory. He also supported accelerating the apocalypse, and criticized bin Laden over 9-11 because the attack wasn’t big enough
Western analysts insist the real threat to the US homeland continues to be al-Qaeda (AQ) and its affiliate, AQAP. No doubt AQ would like to be the main threat to the United Stays, but they are way short of financial resources and talent. And our counter-terrorism war against AQ overseas has greatly diminished their capacity to effectively attack.
Today, it must be acknowledged that the terrorist threat is far more complex than it was after 9-11. In 2015, it is the IS that is well funded and has captured the imagination of a new generation of eager violent jihadists. Thousands of Western Europeans and perhaps hundreds of Americans have already joined the IS cause.
Last week, the IS claimed to have sleeper cells in 49 American states poised to strike. That’s IS propaganda for sure, but a well-financed group with a growing cadre of Westerners cannot be discounted.
The FBI has honestly reported they worry about what they don’t know. It is a matter of resources. The reality is that “thousands of contacts” cannot be monitored in real time as we saw in Garland, Texas.
Some say the IS threat to the US homeland is being overblown, despite IS’ ability to attract thousands of followers. Many believe the IS cannot pull off the equivalent of another 9-11, and that they are already being rolled back in Iraq. Yet, most analysts do agree on one thing: the IS group will not be defeated in Iraq for years, if ever in Syria. As long as the IS group holds territory and maintains the facade of a caliphate, they will represent a growing threat.