U.S. sees spike in domestic terrorism cases

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U.S. authorities are reporting an increase in homegrown terrorism cases in December, marking the first increase in such incidents over a two-month span.

The spike was noted in a report by the House Homeland Security Committee, which said that authorities had arrested four people last month on charges of providing aid, comfort and material support to ISIS. That brought the total number of cases related to homegrown terrorism to 150 since 2013, the committee said in its monthly Terror Threat Snapshot. [Threat Snapshop here]

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the collapse of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria was not the end of the organization. He said ISIS maintains its ability to conduct external operations and thus remains a “severe threat” to the U.S. and its Western allies.

“Given the loss of its safe havens, ISIS has shifted its attention toward cyberspace to recruit, radicalize, and provide guidance and instructions for carrying out attacks,” McCaul said in a statement. “In this new year, we must continue to work with our allies across the globe to crush ISIS fighters wherever they may be and defeat ISIS in cyberspace.”

December also saw the first attempted suicide bombing in the United States inspired by ISIS, when a Bangladeshi national living in New York City detonated a pipe bomb at a bus terminal near Times Square, wounding four including himself. Authorities identified him as Akayed Ullah, 27. [source]

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