Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Terrorists at Home a Growing Worry; Security Officials Say Some Former ISIS Fighters Have Returned to U.S

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Terrorists at Home a Growing Worry; Security Officials Say Some Former ISIS Fighters Have Returned to U.S

Article excerpt

Byline: Clifford Davis

As the Mayport-based USS Philippine Sea joined other Navy ships and Air Force planes pounding terrorist targets inside Syria on Tuesday, administration officials admit some former ISIS fighters have returned to the U.S.

On the same day, the ex-wife of the "DC Sniper," John Allen Muhammad, spoke at Mayport. His rampage 12 years ago sparked its own terror campaign, nearly shutting down Maryland, Northern Virginia and the nation's capital for days.

Mildred Muhammad's appearance was a reminder of the home-grown terror threat as U.S. agencies grapple with new terror worries about attacks at home.

Government officials and intelligence experts have cited numerous times in recent weeks that they believe those sympathetic to ISIS and other Islamist fundamentalist groups will try "lone wolf" attacks on U.S. soil.

"I worry about individual members of ISIS coming back into the United States," said Richard Kerr, former deputy director of intelligence and acting director of the CIA. "Remember the fellow who was shooting people with the rifle in the Washington, D.C., area?"

In 2002, Muhammad killed at least 10 people, targeting his victims at random.

"He really scared the hell out of us," Kerr said. "One guy, actually it was two, he really scared the hell out of us, and we had to put an enormous amount of people into dealing with him."

During her appearance at the base, Mildred Muhammad addressed the topic of domestic violence. The pair divorced in 2000 after her husband became abusive.

"I didn't have any idea he would become that violent," she said. "I had no idea."

There is no doubt, however, about the violent intentions of ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliated groups.

Senior government officials say they're already here.

Citing an estimate by the National Counterterrorism Center that about 100 U.S. citizens have gone to fight for the group, an administration official told Time and Reuters reporters Monday the number "includes those who've gone, those who've tried to go, some who've come back and are under active - the FBI is looking at them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.