ISIS’s attacks in Paris, the deadliest targeting of civilians in France since the end of World War II, will change the political and security landscape of Europe irrevocably.
President François Hollande has promised a merciless response. Borders have been sealed — in direct contravention of the Maastricht agreement signed more than 20 years ago that within the European Union, national boundaries would be dissolved.
And most consequential in the short term, since it now appears that at least one of the terrorists posed as a refugee, Western governments are reassessing their immigration policies.
But what does this mean for the United States? Is America less vulnerable because of the greater distance between our country and the ravaged territories of the Middle East and North Africa?
Recent trends in law enforcement and intelligence indicate that we aren’t safer. On the contrary: The probability of a Paris-style attack has dramatically increased.
As part of its support to law enforcement, the Threat Knowledge Group has been collecting and analyzing the open-source information on ISIS arrests in the United States.
This report, ISIS: The Threat to the United States, contains our findings.REPORT
— ISIS: The Threat to the United States
by Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Katharine Gorka
With the November 13th attack in Paris that killed 130 people and injured 368, many are asking what the risk is of a similar attack on U.S. soil. While France has a proportionately larger Muslim population than the United States (7.5% of the total population in France compared with .6% – 2.2% in the U.S.), ISIS has already recruited supporters in the United States with the intent of executing domestic attacks here in America. Key evidence includes the following:
- 82 individuals in the United States affiliating with ISIS have been interdicted by law enforcement since March 2014 (including 7 unnamed minors and 4 killed in the course of attacks). (For a full list of those individuals see www.ThreatKnowledge.org)
- More than 250 individuals from the United States have joined or attempted to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq according to the Final Report of the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel published by the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee in September 2015.
- The FBI currently has nearly 1,000 ongoing ISIS probes in the United States, according to a recent report by Judicial Watch.
- ISIS is recruiting within the U.S. at about three-times the rate of Al Qaeda.
- Ali Shukri Amin, a 17 year-old Islamic State (IS) supporter from Manassas, Virginia, recently sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiring to provide support to ISIS, had nearly 4,000 Twitter followers, under the alias, ‘Amreeki Witness.’
- Ahmad Musa Jibril, an Arab-American Islamist preacher living in Dearborn, Michigan, had 38,000 Twitter followers before his site went silent. A report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) found that 60% of surveyed foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria followed Jibril on Twitter.
What the numbers demonstrate is that ISIS has a significant base of support in the United States, including both those who have already traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight as jihadis, as well as terror suspects who have been interdicted for attempting to travel there, providing support to ISIS in other tangible ways, or attempting attacks.
Most importantly, nearly one third of the domestic ISIS cases in the past 18 months involved people who planned to carry out attacks against Americans on U.S. soil. In other words, one third of those interdicted calculated that the best way to serve the new Islamic State and its Caliph, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, is to wage jihad here on the soil of the infidel.
It is also essential to note the number of followers of ISIS propagandists Ali Shukri Amin and Ahmad Musa Jibril, which shows that domestic support for ISIS may reach well into the thousands. With Syrian refugees starting to arrive in the United States, these numbers may further increase.
ISIS: The Threat to the United States (pdf)