The FBI has been rounding up more potential “lone wolf” terrorists, Congressional leaders and the Justice Department say, in response to the perception of a mounting threat of domestic attacks inspired by the Islamic State.
Since the thwarted attack on a “Draw Muhammad” conference in Garland, Texas, on May 3, the Justice Department has announced the arrests of 10 individuals it says were inspired by and supporting the Islamic State. The lawmakers say there have been more arrests that have not yet been announced.
They say the FBI has shifted its approach toward arrests rather than keeping suspects under surveillance, and is also targeting individuals thought to be planning attacks in the U.S., unlike the bureau’s past focus on volunteers preparing to join ISIS’s fight abroad.
“Lately, we have seen an uptick in the number of arrests of ISIL followers who were planning violent acts in our homeland,” said John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security. “ISIL, differing from some other foreign terrorist organizations, has demonstrated that they see value in mobilizing sympathizers anywhere in the world.”
The spate of arrests comes in response to what Congressional leaders and the Justice Department say is a mounting threat that radicalized Americans will attempt low-tech, lone wolf attacks in the near future. Lawmakers see the changes as necessary because the Islamic State uses social media so effectively to radicalize Americans and because the group is getting better at using encryption to shield its communications with new recruits. (Read more from “FBI Rounding up Islamic State Suspects” HERE)