“A widespread phenomenon, a global ideology,” that's what U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said is happening with people joining Isis and committing deadly terrorist acts.
“It's hard to imagine in a place as peaceful as Central Texas to have anything like this, but there are investigations here, we are looking at people and individuals, I can't get into a lot of these matters. It can happen anywhere, any place, any time,” he said.
Two Central Texas men have been sentenced in the last 6 months for their dealings with Isis. The FBI said 23-year-old Rahatul Khan from Round Rock, was recruiting people to travel overseas to support terrorist activities, including committing violent Jihad. Part of that group was 24-year old Michael Wolfe from Austin, who was sentenced on similar charges.
“We've stopped a lot of bad things, that's the good news. I work with the FBI and Homeland Security to make sure that those things don't happen,” Rep. McCaul said.
But there are more people possibly involved with Isis that U.S. officials know about. Rep. McCaul said “We have active cases in all 50 states, and a total of about 900 investigations across the country.” There may be some they don’t know about.
“It's the one that you don't know about. That's what keeps me up at night. Chattanooga is a very good example of a case we didn’t have the flags and warning signs,” McCaul said.
Rep. McCaul said it's not always going to be the FBI agent or Homeland Security officials that catch these people.
“It's probably going to be the Austin Police officer on the street, or the local faith based community out there in the community, or just anybody watching what's going on in the neighborhood. That's when we detect the early warning signs.” He said we as a community need to watch for those early warning signs. “The Boston Bomber was kicked out of his mosque for being so radical, and yet that was never reported to anybody in the community beyond that mosque.”
But he said people should not live in fear. “I would say go about your daily lives or they win.”