- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 28, 2015

Key members of Congress said Sunday said the threat posed by homegrown terrorists has increased exponentially, right on the cusp of the July 4 weekend, as a trio of vicious terror attacks on three continents last week underscored the Islamic State’s ability to work worldwide through web-based calls to jihad.

Nearly 40 people were killed at a seaside resort in Tunisia, a man was decapitated at a chemical plant in France, and a bomb blast killed at least two dozen people in Kuwait on Friday, after Islamic State leaders called for attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.

That has lawmakers worried about a so-called lone wolf attack on U.S. soil, because of the convergence of Ramadan, Independence Day and the first anniversary of the Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

“There’s great concern. I would say there’s probably more concern now than at any time since September 11th,” Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, told ABC’s “This Week.”

Lawmakers and analysts said it was difficult to tell if the trio of overseas attacks were coordinated attacks or coinciding independent responses to the Sunni extremist group’s push for violence.

Authorities said the gunman in Tunisia, a 24-year-old graduate student named Seifeddine Rezgui, appeared to be targeting foreign tourists.


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In a phone call Sunday on the Greek debt crisis, President Obama offered his condolences to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after a German citizen was killed and another one wounded in the attack.

Meanwhile in Kuwait, the man who blew himself up at a Shiite mosque was identified as a citizen of Saudi Arabia. In France, The Associated Press reported 35-year-old Yassine Salhi admitted to killing of the manager of the transportation company that had employed him outside Lyon since March.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, said the attacks are part of a trend — terror groups leveraging technology to reach around the globe like never before.

“This is not bin Laden with couriers now. This is a new generation of terrorists using the Internet in a very savvy way to attack the West and also get in the homes and in the basements in the United States to radicalize individuals and then call them up as sleeper cells to attack Americans,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

The congressman said he is working on legislation that would prioritize the de-radicalization of people who already live in the U.S.

“It’s not the priority now. We want it to be in the future,” he said.

Mr. McCaul said there’s been an uptick in “chatter” about possible attacks over the July 4 holiday, And while people ought to enjoy their parades and other events, he said they should “remain vigilant during these celebrations.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday the U.S. should bomb oil fields controlled by the Islamic State, telling CNN that is the terror group’s main source of funding.

Others took a more nuanced approach.

“What we’re going to have to do is disrupt the ISIS narrative,” Michael Hayden, the former director of the NSA and CIA, told Fox, using a common acronym for the group.

“Right now, they look as if because they’ve been so successful on the battlefield, it looks like they are acting as the will and hand of God. I think we need to turn that around. We need to inflict battlefield defeats on them in their homeland, so that they’re not nearly as attractive to these kind of folks globally,” he said.

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