WASHINGTON, D.C. – The April Terror Threat Snapshot was released today by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). The “snapshot” is a monthly Committee assessment of the growing threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.
Chairman McCaul: “The alarming rise of Islamist extremists has spawned a deadly terror campaign across the globe. Sadly, we again have seen the resulting carnage recently in Brussels, Jerusalem, and Kabul. Our enemies are continuing to exploit growing instability and the retreat of American leadership. ISIS terror operatives have deployed from their Syrian safe havens and exploited security gaps to infiltrate and infest Europe. Al Qaeda thrives amidst the war in Yemen, methodically carving out greater sanctuary. The Iranian regime, empowered by a dangerous nuclear deal, grows increasingly belligerent as it tries to extract more undeserved economic concessions. Reversing this dangerous course remains an urgent imperative for homeland security and for our broader interests around the world.”
Key takeaways in this month’s Terror Threat Snapshot include:
- ISIS poses an increasingly deadly threat to the United States, its allies, and global security. ISIS and its supporters have exploited sanctuaries across the Middle East and North Africa, the flow of nearly 40,000 jihadists into Syria, a massive refugee wave, and security gaps to execute a terror campaign that includes 83 attack plots against Western targets since 2014. There have been two dozen ISIS-linked attack plots inside the United States, where authorities have arrested more than 80 ISIS-linked suspects.
- Al Qaeda and its allies have seized critical terrain and regenerated their terror networks. Al Qaeda’s key ally and enabler in Afghanistan, the Taliban, controls more territory than at any point since 2001. In Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has gained control over three provincial capitals, an estimated $100 million worth of bank deposits, and nearly 400 miles of coastline, according to a nongovernmental expert and a media outlet investigation. Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate has also established a sizable safe haven.
- The Iranian regime continues to meet Western concessions with escalating hostility. Iran has made several attempts to smuggle weapons into Yemen in the past month. These destabilizing actions follow Iran’s kidnapping of American sailors, another illicit ballistic missile test, unabated aggression in Syria, and repeated threats against Israel. The Justice Department revealed last month that an Iranian military-directed hacker was infiltrating the control systems of critical infrastructure in the U.S. just days before President Obama’s phone call with Iran’s president in 2013.
- The Obama Administration has freed nearly 30 hardened terrorists from Guantanamo Bay this year despite historical recidivism rates topping 30 percent. As of earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence assessed that 204 former Guantanamo inmates had rejoined Islamist extremists or were suspected of doing so.
The complete April Terror Threat Snapshot is available, here.
View the Committee’s interactive Terror Threat Snapshot map, here.
There were 104 Creeping Sharia posts in April 2016. Find them here.