FBI Director James Comey revealed Wednesday that his agency is investigating suspected supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in every state across the U.S.
“We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states,” Comey told a winter meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General.
“This isn’t a New York phenomenon or a Washington phenomenon. This is all 50 states and in ways that are very hard to see,” he added.
“ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song with their slick propaganda through social media,” Comey said Wednesday, using an alternate acronym for the terror group.
“Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here, fighting for our so-called caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are,” Comey said, describing the group’s messaging.
The FBI chief said the message “resonates with troubled souls, people seeking meaning in some horribly misguided way.”
“Those people exist in every state,” he added.
Earlier this month, Comey said the FBI was investigating ISIS supporters in every state except Alaska.
On Wednesday, he emphasized information sharing among local law enforcement and government agencies.
“The Joint Terrorism Task Forces that we have set up all around this country are in some ways more important today than they were at 9/11 because of the nature of this threat,” Comey said.
The FBI director explained that in general it was “highly unlikely” that federal agents are going to be the first to notice “someone acting in strange ways” on social media, at religious institutions, at educational institutions and in the community.
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