Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stated on Sunday that the United States is facing a new era in which a lone-wolf terrorist could “strike at any moment”.
“We’re very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL’s effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others,” Johnson said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” using the administration’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Because of the use of the Internet, we could have little or no notice in advance of an independent actor attempting to strike.”
He went on to say that the federal government is working much more closely with state and local law enforcement agencies, encouraging them to be vigilant about what is happening in their individual communities.
Part of their ongoing efforts is meeting with Muslim community leaders, asking for their cooperation is helping to counter ISIS’s recruitment campaigns on social media, something Johnson called “slick” and “effective”.
Many lawmakers and experts are critical about the federal government’s attempt at challenging those campaigns, with Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) leading the pack and calling their efforts “laughable”.
Johnson of course took issue with Booker’s description, but did acknowledge that community leaders are in the best position to reach out via the internet and possibly prevent the indoctrination of those vulnerable enough.
“It has to come from Islamic leaders, who frankly can talk the language better than the federal government can,” he said. “And so when I meet with community leaders, Islamic leaders, that’s one of the things that we urge them to do.”
The interview happened just two days after the military released information regarding increased security at U. S. military bases, concerned about impending terrorist activity and threats. Since the event in Garland, Texas during a Mohammed exhibition in which ISIS has claimed credit, efforts to stem the tide are happening at every level of our government.