The presence of the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) in the United States can be felt in all 50 states, according to the director of the FBI.
FBI Director James Comey told the National Association of Attorneys General that ISIS is a “chaotic spider web” that avidly uses social media to radicalize people across the United States.
“We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states,” said Comey, adding, “This isn’t a New York phenomenon or a Washington phenomenon. This is all 50 states and in ways that are very hard to see.”
He made those comments as the FBI arrested three men in Brooklyn, New York for attempting to provide support to ISIS.
Comey said his agency is investigating suspected ISIS supporters who reside in all 50 states.
“Those people exist in every state. I have homegrown violent extremist investigations in every single state. Until a few weeks ago there was 49 states. Alaska had none which I couldn’t quite figure out. But Alaska has now joined the group so we have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states,” Comey said.
“ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song with their slick propaganda through social media,” the FBI Director added.
In describing the jihadist group’s message, Comey said, “Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here, fighting for our so-called caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.”
The FBI director noted that the message “resonates with troubled souls, people seeking meaning in some horribly misguided way.”