BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A bigger threat than ever. The FBI says it has no way of stopping ISIS from recruiting thousands of Americans through social media.
Rick Ritter spoke with the director of the FBI and has the alarming details.
The FBI’s director was visiting Baltimore. He says it’s obvious more and more Americans are engaging with ISIS online–conversations that are far from easy to uncover.
One video after the other, ISIS continues to flood social media with their heinous acts of terrorism.
“The terrorism threat we face today is very different than it was, certainly, 15 years ago,” said FBI Director James Comey.
Comey says social media is exactly what the terrorist group is zeroed in on.
“They move the people they are tasking, trying to enlist to kill people, they move them to an encrypted–end to end encrypted–mobile messaging app so we can’t see them,” he said.
Comey spent several minutes talking about ISIS at Baltimore’s FBI field division, saying for his agents trying to uncover those messages, it’s like trying to find a needle in a nationwide haystack.
ISIS members searching desperately for troubled souls in the United States to lure to their side.
“If they find someone who doesn’t want to travel, they try to convince them to kill where they stand and to kill people in uniform–either law enforcement or the military,” Comey said.
Vernon Heron with the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security acknowledges it’s difficult for agents to dig for information and still protect citizens’ privacy.
“I think they need to be able to demonstrate to the American public what this data is being used for–and it’s used specifically to stop a terrorist attack,” said Heron.
A frightening reality they don’t yet have an answer for.
“I do not have an easy solution, but I want to make sure the American people know about this and that we as a democracy talk about it,” said Comey.
When asked what his message was for the American people, Comey says if you see something out of the ordinary–tell authorities–it could end up saving a life.
The director went on to address some policing concerns in Baltimore, saying it’s a difficult time in law enforcement and officers need to work on improving relationships with the community.