News ID: 130903
Published: 0935 GMT November 15, 2015

Paris attacks raise fears of ISIL recruits in US: Report

Paris attacks raise fears of ISIL recruits in US: Report

US counterterrorism officials are investigating hundreds of suspected (Daesh) ISIL recruits who they fear might stage terrorist attacks in the United States, authorities said.

On Saturday, Daesh claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people and injured some 352 on Friday night, PressTV reported.

The terror organization called the attacks “the first of the storm” and denounced France as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity.”

The attacks, the worst to hit a major Western city since September 11, 2001, has raised anxiety in the United States that Daesh militants might be looking to take their fight to American streets, according to USA Today.

There are an estimated 900 active investigations pending against suspected ISIL recruits and other homegrown extremists across the United States, FBI Director James Comey acknowledged last month.

Comey has said that the number of inquiries has increased, largely due to the terrorist group's successful outreach to young, disaffected Americans through its aggressive campaign on social media.

A threat assessment by the House Homeland Security Committee stated earlier this month that Daesh is creating an “unprecedented tempo” for law enforcement authorities in the US.

"As this month's terror threat snapshot illustrates, our counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts continue to be strained by these threats,'' Representative Michael McCaul, the committee’s chairman, said.

"With Europe accepting possibly up to 1 million [Syrian] refugees by year's end and ISIL vowing to exploit the refugee process, our nation's law enforcement and intelligence communities may soon be stretched as we deal with that crisis and our own Syrian refugee vetting for resettlement in the United States,” the Republican from Texas added.

Terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann told USA Today that while there has been an uptick in the number of ISIL-related arrests in the country, the threat in France is “many, many times greater” than in the US.

"Many more French nationals have gone to fight as ‘jihadists’ in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and elsewhere than have Americans,'' Kohlmann said.

ISIL terrorists, some of whom were among the militants initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.

Observers say while the US and its allies claim they are fighting against terrorist groups like ISIL, they in fact helped create and train those organizations to advance their policies in the Middle East.

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