FBI Says ISIS Arrests Helped Prevent July 4th Attacks

The arrest came over the past 4-6 weeks.

“I do believe that our work disrupted efforts to kill people, likely in connection with July 4th,” Comey said Thursday of the arrests, which occurred during the past 4-6 weeks.

Comey declined to identify specific July 4th plots, but confirmed that the bureau had launched a broad campaign aimed at disrupting ISIS sympathizers in the days leading up to the holiday.

He said the suspects were inspired and directed by an unprecedented social media campaign carried out by ISIS, which has 21,000 English-language followers —- many inside the United States.

Comey said that social media has changed the way terrorist organizations recruit.

“It’s very different and much more effective at radicalizing than your grandfather’s Al Qaeda model,” he said.

ISIS is more unpredictable and unstable than Al Qaeda, which puts greater emphasis on long term planning and strategy into its attacks, according to the FBI director.

He also raised concerns about “going dark,” in which members of ISIS encourage supporters to switch to encrypted messaging to communicate with the group.

The domestic threat posed by ISIS is cause for great concern because of its effort to inspire “nearly random acts of violence” in every state, said Comey.

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