A New Threat to the Homeland

The terrorist threat to America has evolved significantly since 9/11, said Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday during his address at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. Johnson said he is particularly worried about terrorists’ ability to use social media and printed literature, something he referred to as a “new phenomenon,” to “encourage people here in the US to build bombs and attack Americans.” Such practices enable organizations such as ISIS to “recruit people and inspire them” without them ever leaving US soil, he said. He noted that there is “no specific, credible intelligence” that ISIS is “planning an attack on the homeland,” but “that is not the end of the story” and the nation needs to remain vigilant. Johnson said ISIS is not only a terrorist organization, it is an insurgent army that brings in more than $1 million per day in revenue and occupies large parts of Iraq and Syria. “We know [ISIS] is capable of, and has, killed Americans in a depraved manner just because they were Americans,” he said. “Their social media is as slick as any terrorist organization I’ve ever seen and they regard us as their principle enemy,” said Johnson.