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The California Democrat pondered aloud whether the narrative forming around the Tsarnaevs suggests America is “now facing more what Europe has faced” in recent years, with “an alienation of part of the immigrant population” leading to “self-radicalization.”

That would be a marked shift from the 9/11 era threat of terrorists who “trained overseas or receive material support from overseas and come here to attack us, and I think that will cause us to do some things differently,” Mr. Schiff said.

Other lawmakers warn that international terrorist organizations are increasingly looking to connect with potential operatives living in America.

“I hate to say it, but there are more of these people coming after us, and the new way of hitting America is to do it inside, and there’s efforts afoot by international terrorists to recruit American citizens for their cause and we can’t be right every time,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, has told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“This is the future, and we need to get ready for it,” he said.