The terrorism is probably the first concern for the US Government, the Americans fears a possible and imminent attack on the US soil. In an interview with ABC News, Jeh Johnson, the current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, explained that the Islamic State represents a serious threat for the Homeland Security due to its ramification worldwide. The official express concerns for the activities of the IS far from its territories, Syria and Iraq.
“We’re very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL’s (IS’s) effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others,” Johnson said. “We’re very definitely in a new phase in the global terrorist threat, where the so-called lone wolf could strike at any moment.”
The ISIS organization demonstrates a mastery of new media that enables it to carry the war into the homes of Americans. Thanks to a massive propaganda on the Internet, the group brings its voice to thousands of sympathizers and followers across the ocean.
FBI Director James Comey last week confirmed that the US Government is aware of the ISIS online propaganda activity that incites hatred against the West by inviting its members to attack “the uniformed military and law enforcement”.
There are “hundreds, maybe thousands” of people in the United States who had received recruitment messages from the jihadists, Comey said.
The US Government is alerting military and law enforcement on possible attacks that could be conducted by small cells of ISIS members or by lone wolves. The US military announced supplementary measures to improve security at bases across the USA.
“Because of the use of the Internet, we could have little or no notice in advance of an independent actor attempting to strike. And so that’s why law enforcement at the local level needs to be ever more vigilant and we are constantly reminding them to do that,” continues Johnson. “It has to come from within the community. It has to come from Islamic leaders, who frankly can talk the language better than the federal government can,” Johnson said.
The fear for the advancing troops of ISIS on the shores of the Mediterranean is worrying also Europen Governments, recently shaken by the attack on Charlie Hebdo. In response, the EU plans to introduce a new counter-terrorism unit.
Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terrorism chief, explained that the tragic events in Paris elevated the need to tackle extremism across the Union, with a specific reference to the online activities of cells of terrorists operating on the Internet.
In Europe, various states already have in place operative units that investigated on terrorism on the Internet, one of the most popular team in the British Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU).
The new counter-terrorism unit planned by European Governments will rely on a strong co-operation of different intelligence agencies and law enforcement.
The new counter-terrorism unit will be expected to flag “terrorist and extremist online content”, the unit will provide the necessary support to the investigations by law enforcement agencies and will improve information sharing on the threat.
The US Secretary of Homeland Security also invited the leaders of Islamic communities to fight any expression of extremism.
(Security Affairs – ISIS, counter-terrorism unit)