Nicholas Rasmussen, the nation’s top director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testified to the Senate Homeland Security Committee Tuesday that the world’s near limitless army of terrorists is “broader, wider and deeper than any point since 9/11.” While Rasmussen notes that ISIS affiliates are losing territory in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist group’s influence is growing internationally – particularly in the United States.
Rasmussen’s revelations contradict with the Obama administration claiming the war on terrorism is on a positive trajectory. Like Rasmussen mentioned, Obama and the White House are touting about how ISIS is losing grounds in key states of the Middle East, yet fail to mention how to cease homegrown terrorism.
“Even ISIL’s leaders know they’re going to keep losing,” President Obama said in August. “In their message to followers, they’re increasingly acknowledging that they may lose Mosul and Raqqa, and ISIL is right … they will lose them. And we’ll keep hitting them and pushing them back and driving them out until they do.”
Following the testimony, the Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential warning: U.S.-based terrorists are people who become quickly radicalized, and focus on simple yet fatal attacks before authorities can track them down.
According to the Washington Times, the DHS’ warning also lists the likely locations these homegrown terrorists will commit these small-scale attacks in the future: festivals, concerts, sporting events, schools and other outdoor events. And in terms of weaponry, the terrorists will likely use edged weapons, small arms, vehicle assaults and IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
Rasmussen’s full statement below:
“While we’ve seen a decrease in the frequency of large-scale, complex plotting efforts that sometimes span months or years. We’re instead seeing much more rapidly evolving threats, or plot vectors, that emerge quickly or suddenly. And this so-called flash-to-bang ratio, the time between when an individual decides to attack and when an attack actually occurs, the flash-to-bang ratio of this kind of plotting is extremely compressed and allows very little time for law enforcement and intelligence officials to get their arms around a plot.”
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