Editor’s Note: We’ve been dutifully obeying the Islamist controlled refugee resettlement program under the U.N. so they must feel the numbers are high enough to take us out from within?
The Washington Post reports a social networking site related to Daesh, the Islamist terrorist group in Syria-Iraq also known as ISIS, has released a video threatening a terrorist strike on Washington, D.C.
It is no surprise ISIS would make such an announcement through social networking – online activities are a key part of their global strategy.
After the coordinated attacks in Paris, this raises a number of troubling concerns about the prospects of another major attack on American soil.
Q: Is Washington, D.C. more at risk because of the recent ISIS video?
A: No. ISIS has made specific threats against the United States before without success. That is cold comfort, however, as the U.S. has long been, and remains a main target for transnational terrorism.
There have been at least 74 known Islamist plots aimed at the United States since 9/11. The frequency of those plots has increased in recent years, as have the numbers linked to or inspired by ISIS.
Further, the U.S. should expect ISIS to continue to try and pull-off attacks against the U.S. – successful attacks against Western powers are crucial to the ISIS narrative that it is the energizing core of the global Islamist insurgency.
Q: Can ISIS pull-off a Paris-style attack here?
A: Of course the Paris attacks could happen here. The amount of resources needed to undertake a similar kind of attack is modest and not out of reach for any terrorist group.
The attack in Paris was a “weapon of mass disruption,” combining several different kinds terror activity (mass shootings, bombings, and suicide attacks) in one coordinated effort to maximize casualties and mayhem, while grabbing global attention.
Combating this form of terrorism requires good planning, counter-intelligence operational security, and trained and practiced assailants. The challenge is staging for the attack without getting detected.
The best prevention is good counterterrorism operations that identify, infiltrate, and disrupt plots before blood runs on the street.
Effective intelligence collection and sharing; responsible, proactive counterterrorism operations are key.
That is why it is vital that these programs be robust and professional. In particular, the government must ensure that “unbiased, unvarnished assessments” are getting to decision-makers. Washington must address the inconvenient truth that transnational terrorism is a growing concern.
Q: Should the U.S. be concerned about foreign-fighters coming to our shores hidden among Middle Eastern refugees?
A: The government needs to focus on “terrorist travel,” finding and disrupting how groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda attempt to move assets rather than particular groups.
The U.S. has seen it all—homegrown terrorists, refugees, and legal international travel. What we need from Washington is due diligence in how they process all of these.
When it comes to refugees, the administration has an obligation to conduct a substantive risk assessment, fully consult with Congress and follow the law, and thoroughly vet refugee applicants.
Q: Should the U.S. join France in declaring war on ISIS?
A: The United States has been in armed conflict with Islamist terrorists for over a decade. While the president claims he…