Rep. Michael McCaul Fears an Attack Can Happen 'Anywhere, Any Time, Any Place'

The House Homeland Security Chairman talks to ABC News' Martha Raddatz

ByHAYLEY WALKER
July 19, 2015, 3:17 PM

WASHINGTON — -- In the wake of the shootings at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that left five service members dead, Rep. Michael McCaul warned that acts of domestic terrorism can happen “anywhere, any time, any place.”

“It’s something we’ve been warning about over the last year, and unfortunately we saw it take place in Chattanooga,” McCaul told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.

McCaul, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said on “This Week” that the expansion of the Internet and social media has created a “new generation of terrorists” who can communicate virtually and “activate people in the United States to attack.”

He expressed his concern about the growing rate of radicalization and recruitment online.

"We have about 200,000 ISIS tweets per day that hit the United States," he said. "The chatter is so loud and the volume is so high that it's a problem that's very hard to stop and disrupt in this country."

McCaul said there are active terror investigations in all 50 states, and there have been more than 60 ISIS-related arrests in the past year. While he commended the efforts of law enforcement, he said: "What keeps us up at night are the ones that we don’t know about, and I'm afraid that [Chattanooga] falls into that category."

The alleged gunman, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, traveled in Jordan for seven months, and the FBI is investigating whether he secretly went to other countries beyond Jordan. In addition, the chairman said the FBI was examining the gunman’s computer and cell phone, as well as his father’s past on the FBI watch list in the hopes of better understanding ISIS communication and tactics.

In a press conference on Friday, McCaul called it "unacceptable" for military personnel to be killed at home after surviving tours of duty in overseas combat zones. After the 2014 shooting on Fort Hood he called for an end to the policy against against concealed carry on military facilities.

Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb, who is a former secretary of the Navy and senator, said he agrees with McCaul on that point.

"It is just logical that we should provide them the means to defend themselves if they should be under any sort of attack like this," he said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events