Our nation's 'Terror Threat Snapshot'

Posted at 6:48 PM, Dec 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-04 21:48:20-05
Every month, the House Homeland Security Committee releases an assessment of the terror threat in the U.S.
In light of the shooting in San Bernardino this week, and today's news that the female attacker had pledged allegiance to ISIS, we pulled the latest report, which is from November 2015.
Last month's data (which obviously does not include recent events) shows there have been 62 ISIS-linked plots to attack Western targets, including 18 inside the U.S. There have also been more than twice as many ISIS-linked attack plots against Western targets in 2015 (42) than in 2014 (20).
The committee's key takeaways are below (full report here). You can also view their interactive map, which shows some of the incidents that have happened in San Diego and in other cities in California.
November 2015 Terror Threat Snapshot
From the House Homeland Security Committee
ISIS is fueling an unprecedented tempo for law enforcement authorities combating the homegrown Islamist extremist threat. The vast majority of the 900 active homegrown extremist investigations involve links to ISIS. Authorities have already arrested nearly 60 individuals this year in ISIS-related cases.
ISIS’s global expansion has unleashed a wave of violence around the world – including against Western targets. From July through September this year, ISIS-affiliated groups launched around 12 attacks every day killing more than 30 people worldwide. ISIS’s calls for attacks are resonating with its supporters in the West. ISIS has directed or inspired 62 plots to attack Western targets, including 18 inside the United States.
Al Qaeda and its affiliates are regenerating their terror networks and capitalizing on power vacuums. Al Qaeda is exploiting the diminished American troop presence and weak local security forces in Afghanistan in order to rebuild its sanctuary. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has captured additional territory in Yemen amidst the ongoing war there.
Foreign fighters converging on the battlefields in Syria and Iraq pose a continuing threat to the United States and our allies. A French fighter returnee reportedly described Syria as a “factory of jihadists” trained to launch external attacks in the near future. A recent House Homeland Security Committee bipartisan task force found that security weaknesses overseas are enabling fighters to travel more freely.
The massive refugee flows out of Syria remain vulnerable to terrorists seeking to exploit the crisis to infiltrate the West. American national security officials cautioned during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on October 21 that our limited intelligence picture of the conflict zone in Syria has the potential to undermine the integrity of the U.S. refugee resettlement screening process.
Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred overseas continue to pose a threat to U.S. national security interests. Nearly one in three detainees released from the facility have rejoined or are suspected of having rejoined Islamist terror groups. The Obama Administration transferred two more detainees out of Guantanamo in October.
The world’s leading state sponsor of Islamist terror, Iran, continues to sow instability and is poised to gain additional resources in the coming months as a result of sanctions relief. Iran has ramped up its military involvement in Syria in conjunction with its proxies, the Assad regime, and Russia. The Obama Administration is preparing to provide Iran with additional sanctions relief under the terms of the nuclear agreement, meanwhile, the Iranian parliament vowed that the “martyr-nurturing nation of Iran” will continue chanting “Death to America.”

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