New concerns over tracking Social Media were raised this week after two jihadist gunmen attacked a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas.
According to a recent Associated Press report, Rep Michael McCaul (R-TX) the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a recent hearing that “thousands” of people living the in the USA use social media to promote extremist groups.
White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, offered that the “intelligence community” is investigating a claim by the Islamic State that they ordered the attack. “Essentially you have two individuals that don’t appear to be part of a broader conspiracy, and identifying those individuals and keeping tabs on them is difficult work,” Earnest told reporters.
In our opinion, if ISIS’ claim proves to be true, the attack would be the most prolific Islamic terror attack since President Obama claimed victory over Iraq and withdrew our troops in 2011.
Americans have been expecting attacks such as the Garland incident for sometime now, after the Islamic State issued a number of statements encouraging their followers to carry out attacks on American soil. The so-called “lone wolf” attacks are seemingly much smaller scale attacks than Americans are used to, explained the AP, most Americans think of mass casualty attacks carried out by al-Qaeda.
Will McCants of the Brookings Institute said in a statement to the AP, that the lone-wolf attacks are “attractive” to groups like ISIS as they get “just as much attention as a small to med size bomb.”
As for the Garland attacks, it appears that America got lucky this time. A skilled security officer was able to stop the two gunmen before they were able enter to the free-speech event, where they were obviously intent on carrying out mass murder.
Despite President Obama’s reluctance to compare the Islamic State to al-Qaeda, it appears that they truly are a threat to American interests at home and abroad. David Benjamin (former State Department coordinator of counter-terrorism) said in a statement to the AP, “The feeling is that ISIS has done what [al-Qaeda] couldn’t – it has held territory, it has damaged armies much larger than it is.”
As Americans, should we be more concerned about the small “lone wolf” attacks threatened by ISIS, or the large-scale mass casualty events orchestrated by al-Qaeda?