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The Department of Homeland Security and FBI have put out a joint intelligence bulletin to all federal law enforcement that the Islamic State has the capability to mount attacks on U.S. targets overseas with “little to no warning.”
While the bulletin, obtained by TheBlaze, states that the FBI and DHS are unaware of any “specific, credible threats” against the U.S. homeland, they urge law enforcement to be vigilant about social media postings by Islamic State supporters within the U.S. calling for attacks against America.
The warning was dated Aug. 22, less than a month shy of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and as U.S. intelligence registered a spike in chatter from jihadi websites ahead of the anniversary.
The rise of the Islamic State – which shares Al Qaeda’s core beliefs and recruitment capability, have come because of significant intelligence lapses in more than a decade of war, current and former U.S. officials told TheBlaze. The officials charge that the West was blindsided by the establishment of the Islamic State because the intelligence community lacked necessary human assets that would have helped expose the terror group before it could hit its stride.
Without actual people on the ground to gain “actionable intelligence” on terror plots or terror cell networks like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, the U.S. is essentially flying blind, said a source who ran CIA stations around the world.
“How are we going to stop three French men, two Germans, an Australian and a Norwegian coming into the United States when they come here and they have a passport and a visa and they say, ‘Hey, I’m here to see the Grand Canyon.’ How are you going to stop that?” he asked.
The intelligence bulletin, which was unclassified but designated “for official use only,” stated that it is difficult to predict the specific triggers that could set off someone in the United States who has become radicalized and that such “lone offender” attacks give law enforcement “limited opportunities to detect and disrupt plots, which frequently involve simple plotting against targets of opportunity.”