The “No Credible Threats” Narrative That Preceded The California Massacre

Over the weekend, ISIS described the couple who massacred 14 people in Southern California, Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, as “supporters” of the terror group. ISIS’ al-Bayan Radio also related that they, “pray to God to accept them as martyrs.”

U.S. investigators believe the California couple had multiple attacks planned, given the cache of weapons found at their home. Authorities are also looking into who Malik’s contacts in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are.

On Sunday, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said U.S. intelligence had no advance information about the San Bernardino terror attack and acknowledged “it’s almost impossible to stop it all.” The GOP Rep said on Fox News: “We didn’t see this coming. You can’t stop it all. … It’s almost impossible to stop it all.”

Following the attacks in Paris, FBI Director James Comey announced there was no credible threat of an attack on U.S. soil similar to the ones in Paris. Similarly, last Thursday President Obama said in an interview that he is confident the U.S. is safe from a Paris-style attack from ISIS and that American law enforcement is well equipped to protect the nation during the holidays.

CNN military analyst, former intelligence officer and retired Air Force Lt., Col. Rick Francona has commented that ISIS’ acknowledgment of Malik and Farook as supporters doesn’t mean that someone from the group ordered it.

But, somebody did order ISIS supporters to make attacks in the U.S.–repeatedly. Although not always specific to a particular location within the U.S., there have been threats issued directly from ISIS and ISIS-affiliated media.

In October 2014 ISIS spokesman Muhammed al-Adnani said this in a video address:

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be.” He emphasized taking initiative and not waiting for instructions: “Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers.”

Last month, GhostSec, a counterterrorism group within the Anonymous collective, came across two documents online which were authored by Adnani. The first document was posted online, via the ISIS-affiliated Al Battar Media Foundation, on the same day as the Paris attacks and is entitled, “They Kill and Are Killed.”

In the communication, Adnani threatened revenge: “And remember O Jews, and remember O cross, our nation lives by his blood. The more our blood flows, stronger and more powerful we become, by Allah, you do not kill a single person among us, without dozens of others by his blood come to life in his place.”

He also wrote that the most bloody battles are forthcoming. And, in addition to calling President Obama a fool, Adnani also made this declaration: “Soon you Obama! States will be cursed until they will remain. Beware! United States!”

ISIS supporters have been asked to take the fight directly to the streets of the US and Europe by murdering civilians at random as was done in the horrific murder of Lee Rigby, the British Army soldier who was run down and hacked to death in a London street  by two jihadists.

In April, pro-ISIS media group, Rabitat al-Ansar, posted the names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of Americans, Canadians, and others online, to suggest to ISIS supporter who they should target.

The intel team within GhostSec has indicated that they have come across numerous threats to the U.S. homeland, which are immediately communicated to the authorities. These are threats which emanate directly from within ISIS or via ISIS-affiliated media. The authorities are aware that credible threats exist. But, ostensibly due to not wanting people to panic, the Obama administration has not been candid in regard to the level of danger present.

McCaul commented on Fox News that the United States intelligence community must do “a much better job of identifying early radicalization.” He also emphasized that officials are dealing with a massive amount of information, which includes 200,000 daily ISIS-affiliated tweets.

Even so, the Obama administration needs to be more forthcoming in regard to potential threats–because ISIS has been consistent about backing its threats up with action.

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