U.S. terrorism officials and experts outside government are predicting Sunday’s terror attack in Texas could be the beginning of a series of “lone-wolf” terror operations on American soil that could plague the remainder of President Obama’s time in office.
“ISIS has figured out it can get … a lot of attention for even a relatively low-level attack,” Jessica Stern, Harvard University lecturer and co-author of “ISIS: The State of Terror” said, according to The Hill.
The widespread publicity of the thwarted assault emboldened ISIS, which claimed credit for the attack, The Hill reported.
“There is a robust response to this,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “This is something that this administration is keenly aware of and we are aware of the threat it poses to the American people.”
According to The Hill, the Obama administration is conducting anti-terror pilot programs in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis – St. Paul. The president requested $15 million for the programs that uses partnerships between law enforcement, clergy and families to address “radicalization at the local level.”
Last month, six men from Minneapolis’s Somali community were arrested for trying to join ISIS overseas, The Hill reported.
Republican lawmakers – GOP presidential hopefuls in particular – argue these programs aren’t enough to stop the growing problem of homegrown terrorism.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chastised the Obama administration for failing to “connect the dots” after it was discovered U.S. officials had been monitoring one of the gunmen killed in Sunday’s attempted massacre for having ties with terror groups, according to The Hill.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker warned there will be more attacks and lambasted Obama and top 2016 Democratic presidential contender, Hillary Clinton, during a speech in Michigan on Monday.
“I’d rather take the fight to them before they bring the fight to us,” Walker said.
“That’s what’s at stake in the next election. We can continue down that path and have a third term of Barack Obama’s policies and that’s what we’ll get with Hillary Clinton.”
Stern offered an entirely different perspective, saying the fight against homegrown terrorism would be more effective coming from private citizens and companies.
“The government can do more, but it’s so much more credible when it doesn’t come from the government,” she said.
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