BY: Adam Kredo
September 19, 2014 9:35 am
Rep. Tim Bishop (D., N.Y.) warned during a recent speech that up to 40 radicalized U.S. citizens who have fought alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) have already returned to the United States, where they could pose a terrorist threat.
Bishop claims that of the 100 or so Americans who have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIL’s ranks, some 40 have returned and are currently being surveilled by the FBI, according to his remarks, which were filmed and uploaded to YouTube last week.
“One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” Bishop said during the speech. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.”
“It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” Bishop said, eliciting shocked responses from some in the crowd.
These 40 individuals, Bishop said, “are under FBI attention and surveillance. So they are known and being tracked by the FBI.”
Lawmakers have warned that radicalized ISIL fighters could clandestinely enter the United States through the porous southern border.
U.S. officials with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other security agencies have said that while the southern border poses a risk, they are more concerned about lone wolf attacks in which an isolated radicalized individual with sympathy to ISIL carries out a solo terror attack.
Bishop said that while ISIL poses and extreme threat, it is not yet capable of attacking the United States, though that could change as the group grows in strength and resources.
“It is a very, very complex and very, very dangerous threat and I think the plan that the president outlined the other night [in his national speech] is a good plan,” Bishop maintained.
President Obama “is correct to recognize the threat, and it clearly is a threat to the stability of the Middle East, a region that is already remarkably unstable,” Bishop said.
“It is not yet a threat to the homeland, but there is a concern that it could metastasize in such a way that it could become a threat to the homeland,” Bishop said, echoing concerns expressed by lawmakers on both sides of the isle.
“But at the present time, the intelligence is ISIS does not present a threat to the homeland, although that is not something that will remain static going out into the future,” Bishop said, describing the regional upheaval as “more of a political conflict in the Arab world then a sectarian conflict” between Muslims.
DHS has said that while there is no evidence of a direct threat by ISIL to the United States, it is aware that the group’s affiliates have been discussing the possibility of crossing the southern border.
“There have been Twitter, social media exchanges among ISIL adherents across the globe speaking about that as a possibility,” Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a recent hearing.
Other U.S. officials also have discussed the possibility of an ISIL adherent carrying out an attack on the United States.
“We remain mindful of the possibility that an ISIL-sympathizer—perhaps motivated by online propaganda—could conduct a limited, self-directed attack here at home with no warning,” Matthew Olsen, director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, said in a speech earlier this month.
“We have seen ISIL use a range of media to tout its military capabilities, executions of captured soldiers, and consecutive battlefield victories,” Olsen said. “More recently, the group’s supporters have sustained this momentum on social media by encouraging attacks in the U.S. and against U.S. interests in retaliation for our airstrikes. ISIL has used this propaganda campaign to draw foreign fighters to the group, including many from Western countries.”
By Peter Nickeas,
The 33rd person shot in Chicago since Friday afternoon walked into Mount Sinai Hospital just after 1:20 a.m. Monday bleeding from wounds to his neck and back. He had been on his side of a gang border in Little Village when someone opened fire, police said.
Neighbors heard the shots and called 911, but responding officers found nothing until the man was dropped off at the hospital, a few fast miles up Ogden Avenue past the police station where officers would respond to the shooting.
Once police had a better idea of where to look, they found shell casings and a spent round next to a garage covered in gang graffiti. A sergeant and two officers scanned nearby sidewalks and the street for more.
Gang graffiti covered a garage inside the scene and a fence across the street. Down Pulaski toward 24th Street from Ogden Avenue, a construction sign was tagged to mark the beginning of the gang’s claim of territory in the neighborhood, south of the viaduct that tracks Ogden.
@BradSimpson312 Firstly, if you would have finished reading the FBI statistics page, you would have seen that the very sentence you referenced includes the phrase, “and up to 90% in others”. And if you will look more closely at my comment, you will see that I said “….up to…
AT 3:02 PM SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
ADD A COMMENTSEE ALL COMMENTS
Not long after officers had determined there was no more evidence to be found in the area they had taped off, a street lamp that had been illuminating the crime scene suddenly switched off. A supervisor jokingly asked one of his officers if he tripped on an extension cord as he walked out of the alley.
Police used the brights on the front of their Tahoe to light up the scene.
As the evidence technician wrapped up his work about 90 minutes after the shooting, another shell casing and another live round were found near an alley a short block away, between Harding and Pulaski.
Two sergeants and their officers walked over, trying to make sense of it: The man said he was shot where police first found shell casings, so why were there shell casings a block away? Would the shooter been able to hit him that accurately from that distance? Could he have been getting chased and didn’t mention it or wasn’t running the way he said he was?
The shooting capped a weekend that saw a return to summer levels of violence: Three people killed and 30 wounded.
• Between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, at least one man was killed and 13 wounded. Davontae Harrison, of the 600 block of North Troy Street, was shot about 6:50 p.m. Saturday while driving his car on the West Side. He was pronounced within an hour of the shooting at Mount Sinai Hospital.
• Between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, at least two people, both teenagers, were killed and 13 people were wounded.
Cortez Rivers, 16, of the 400 block of West Jackson Boulevard, was shot and killed in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side about 4:10 a.m. Saturday. He was among at least seven people shot in that area that night.
The second gunshot fatality was 19-year-old Markise Darling, of the 1600 block of West 61st Street. He was shot in the block where he lived in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South side and died a day later at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
US intelligence failed to find any specific Islamic State plots against America, President Barack Obama said in an opinion piece. Despite the lack of direct threats, Obama promised not to leave the group unchecked, vowing to ultimately destroy it.
“Our intelligence community has not yet detected specific ISIL plots against America. But its leaders have repeatedly threatened America and our allies, and if left unchecked, they could pose a growing threat to the United States,” Obama wrote in the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday.
The US president’s comments follow the emergence of new intelligence warning that Washington’s upcoming confrontation with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) may leave it blind to a more sinister and direct threat from a much lesser known terrorist group – Khorasan.
Obama reminded the public of his recent fierce efforts to battle the Islamic State, with the final goal of destroying the group.
“That is why, last month, I gave the order for our military to begin taking targeted action against ISIL. Since then, our brave pilots and crews have conducted more than 170 airstrikes against these terrorists,” he said.
“Going forward, as I announced earlier this month, we will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy. Whether in Iraq or in Syria, these terrorists will learn what the leaders of al-Qaida already know: We mean what we say, our reach is long, and if you threaten America you will find no safe haven,” Obama stressed.
He further underscored that US forces will only support Iraqi soldiers, who will be fighting their own fight.
Obama also focused on overall international involvement in the fight against the Islamic State. “This is not and will not be America’s fight alone. That’s why we continue to build a broad international coalition. France and the UK are flying with us over Iraq, others have committed to join this effort, and France has joined us in conducting strikes against ISIL in Iraq. Overall, more than 40 countries – including Arab nations – have offered assistance as part of this coalition.”
Meanwhile, Islamic State fighters have made their way to Jordan, as it was revealed that 11 Islamic State jihadists were arrested in the country, and have confessed to planning terrorists attacks, AFP cited a security official as saying on Sunday.
The detained individuals “admitted their links to the leadership of the Daesh organization in Syria and that they were charged with carrying out terrorist operations in Jordan targeting a number of vital interests,” the official said, using IS’s Arabic acronym.
News of the arrests comes after US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Jordan on September 10 to discuss the creation of US-Arab coalition against the Islamic State with King Abdullah.
During the meeting, Kerry and Abdullah discussed the option of establishing the coalition’s base in Jordan.