07.10.18

Chairman McCaul Releases July Terror Threat Snapshot

Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul today released July’s Terror Threat Snapshot, a monthly assessment of the Committee’s continuing effort to highlight the growing threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.

Key Points

  • June 27, 2018: Ahmed Abu Khatallah, Libyan militia leader, was found guilty on four of 22 charges against him, and sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Khatallah was captured by U.S. forces in 2014, and is the first person to be tried and convicted for his part in the attack which left four Americans dead.
  • Europol released its annual Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT), which outlines and analyzes the trends and tactics used by terrorists in EU member states, and the response by security services. Key findings from the report include, an increase in frequency of jihadist attacks with a decrease in sophistication; homegrown terrorists being the primary perpetrators of terror attacks; and the vital role that online propaganda and social media play in terror recruitment, radicalization, and fundraising.
  • CENTCOM Army Colonel Thomas Veale described the impact that Operation Roundup has had in Syria, “The increased operational tempo under Operation Roundup includes 225 coalition partner strikes in May. That’s a 304 percent increase over March and a 123 percent increase over April strikes. We and our partners have pounded ISIS remnants from the ground and air in relentless pursuit of their leaders and fighters.” He continued, stating that ISIS’ morale is low thanks to increased coalition and partner pressure.
  • June 3 marked one year since the London Bridge terror attack, in which three terrorists attacked crowds with a van and knives, killing eight and wounding 48. The men mounted the curb ramming pedestrians on London Bridge, before exiting the vehicle and stabbing people as they ran through Borough Market. The city of London held a minute of silence during a service on behalf of the victims.
  • The Russian government reportedly arranged for the departure of radicals by facilitating travel out of Russia, primarily to Turkey. Reports indicate that the Federal Security Service (FSB) targeted men who were radicalized, or had the potential to become radicalized, and provided them with documentation that would allow them to travel to Turkey, and from there south. The apparent counter terror strategy effectively removed experienced militants from within their borders, which could explain the less sophisticated, single actor attacks that Russia has seen in recent years.

 

The complete July Terror Threat Snapshot is available, here.

View the Committee’s interactive Terror Threat Snapshothere.

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