10.12.17

McCaul Releases October Terror Threat Snapshot

Washington, D.C. – House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) today released October’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.

Chairman McCaul“Last month, we made significant progress with our allies in taking back even more ISIS-held territory and putting pressure on their supporters abroad. While our efforts to defeat ISIS on the battlefield have been effective, we must not forget about the other war we’re fighting with ISIS; the one in cyberspace. The group continues to focus substantial resources on spreading propaganda and recruiting operatives around the world using social media platforms and encrypted messaging apps. We must ramp up our cyberwarfare efforts in order to better disrupt ISIS’ ability to communicate and interact with their sympathizers.”

Key Points:

  • Since 2013, there have been at least 483 plots, attacks, and arrests linked to Islamist extremism targeting the West.
  • The offensive against ISIS made great strides this month, as coalition forces continued their push into terrorist-controlled regions of Syria and Iraq. British forces reached their 1,500th airstrike and U.S. forces launched their first strike on ISIS militants in Libya since President Trump took office in January. The strike resulted in 17 militants being killed.
  • As ISIS continues to lose territory, militants have been fleeing by the hundreds. The defectors are traveling to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, primarily through the porous Turkey-Syrian border. This presents a continuing challenge for security services in the region and abroad, which have increased intelligence operations and cooperation. ISIS leaders have also renewed calls for followers to launch attacks abroad, encouraging supporters to act alone.
  • On September 28, ISIS released an audio recording from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Although the date of the recording is unknown, it references recent tensions between the U.S., Japan, and North Korea. The recording appears to contradict Russian claims that al-Baghdadi was killed in an airstrike in June. Of note, General Stephen Townsend, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, stated on September 1 that there was a “high probability” that al-Baghdadi was still alive.

 

The complete October Terror Threat Snapshot is available, here.

View the Committee’s interactive Terror Threat Snapshothere.

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