WASHINGTON — The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is warning that Islamists who sympathize with the terrorist group ISIS, which identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, are present nationwide.
“We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states,” James Comey told a recent meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). “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…”
“[I]t’s highly unlikely that it’s going to be a federal agent to first see or hear about someone acting in strange ways on social media, or acting in a strange way in a religious institution or educational institution, or in the community. It’s going to be a deputy sheriff; it’s going to be a police officer who knows that neighborhood,” he continued. “The Joint Terrorism Task Forces that we have set up all across this country are in some ways more important today than they were at 911 because of the nature of this threat.”
Comey explained that Islamic terror groups believe that they are carrying out their acts as part of the end times.
“ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song with their slick propaganda through social media that goes like this: ‘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,” he outlined. “That is a message that goes out to troubled souls everywhere.”
“Those people exist in every state” the FBI director reiterated. “I have homegrown violent extremist investigations in every single state. Until a few weeks ago there was 49 states. Alaska had none, which I couldn’t quite figure out. But Alaska has now joined the group, so we have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.”
One ISIS supporter, 20-year-old Christoper Cornell of Ohio, called in to a local radio station on Thursday from behind prison bars to discuss his plans to attack America, and likewise stated that members of the group are embedded everywhere.
“We are pretty strong,” he said. “In every state like I said. We’re in Texas. We’re in Ohio. We’re in New York City. We’re in Washington, DC. We’re in every single state you can name, just about.”
Cornell had been arrested in January after plotting to bomb the U.S. Capitol. He also threatened to kill Barack Obama and members of Congress.
“I would have released more bullets on the Senate and House of Representative members and I would have attacked the Israeli Embassy and various other buildings,” he admitted.
“I’m with the Islamic State,” Cornell acknowleged. “I’m very dedicated to establish the Sharia in America, to wage war on the kafr (unbelievers) and raise the word of Allah above all.”
Cornell faces three felony counts, one of which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.