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U.S. Officials: Terrorism Has Gone Viral

On Sunday, top U.S. officials and lawmakers shared concerns over the increasing threat of jihad-inspired terror attacks inside of the United States. Texas GOP Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told “Fox News Sunday," “I think there’s been an uptick in the stream of threats out there. We’re seeing these directives on almost a daily basis. It’s very concerning. Terrorism has gone viral.”

These comments follow the May 3 gun attacks outside a "Draw Muhammed" event in Garland, Texas. One of the gunman's tweets appeared to link him to radical Islamic terror groups. Internet chatter also allegedly tipped off officials about a potential attack. On Thursday, FBI Director James Comey said the attack, shows how difficult things can be for the FBI. He said the Islamic State terror group has thousands of English-language followers on Twitter, including many in the U.S. The group also leads followers into forums, with encrypted communications, that make it hard for law enforcement officials to access. Comey also said, "The siren song sits in the pockets, on the mobile phones, of the people who are followers on Twitter. It's almost as if there's a devil sitting on the shoulder, saying 'Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill,' all day long." Furthermore, he stated “It’s going to get worse, not better. This is very difficult to stop.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on ABC's "This Week" that “We’re very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL’s effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others." California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" "I think [the Islamic State's message] is 'kill, kill, kill.' It's a force that we really haven't seen before, and we have to begin to cope more seriously with it, and that includes social media."

Photo: Vocativ

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