Terror Threat Snapshot


Chairman McCaul Releases December Terror Threat Snapshot

Washington, D.C. – The December 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 attack last week at Ohio State University is further proof that our homeland remains in the crosshairs of Islamist terrorists. Groups like ISIS are radicalizing new operatives from within our borders, and just this week their new spokesman called for more inspired attacks by supporters ‘all over the world.’ Make no mistake: we face a deadlier threat than ever before not only because our enemies have gotten savvier, but because we took the pressure off them. For eight years, the Obama Administration reluctantly played global whack-a-mole with terrorists rather than leaning into the fight with decisive leadership. Because of this, the Trump Administration will inherit a generational struggle that has only gotten longer. But rest assured, we will work closely with them to turn the table on these fanatics.”

Key takeaways in this month’s Terror Threat Snapshot:

  • Since 9/11, the nation has seen 227 homegrown jihadist cases with a recent surge of 115 cases in 2015 and 2016 alone. ISIS’ shift in messaging—from joining the jihad in Syria and Iraq to carrying out attacks in fighters’ home countries—is likely to accelerate this trend.
  • Throughout the year, ISIS conducted 62 attacks, wounding 732 and killing 215 in places like the United States, France, and Belgium. The threat to Europe and the United States will persist in 2017, particularly as jihadists flee from Mosul and Raqqa.
  • The Iran nuclear deal—coupled with instability in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—has reenergized Tehran’s hardliners and placed the regime in a stronger position to achieve regional hegemony. Iranian aggression, particularly in the Persian Gulf, has become routine and remains largely unopposed. If left unchecked, Tehran will continue to threaten United States’ interests at home and abroad.
  • The Obama Administration transferred 48 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in 2016. The Director of National Intelligence assesses that at least 30 percent of all former Guantanamo Bay prisoners are known or suspected to have returned to terrorism following their release. As of early December 2016, 59 prisoners remain in detention.


The complete December Terror Threat Snapshot is available, here.

View the Committee’s interactive Terror Threat Map, here.