Date
14 December 2017
Officers patrol Times Square on the eve of US Independence Day. The FBI says terrorist plots around the July 4 weekend were disrupted with the arrest of Islamic State sympathizers. Photo: Reuters
Officers patrol Times Square on the eve of US Independence Day. The FBI says terrorist plots around the July 4 weekend were disrupted with the arrest of Islamic State sympathizers. Photo: Reuters

FBI: July 4 plots by Islamic State followers thwarted

Islamic State-inspired terrorist plots around the July 4 weekend were crushed with the arrest of more than 10 people in the month before the holiday.

FBI director James Comey said authorities disrupted efforts to kill people likely in connection with July 4 but did not give the number of such attempts.

Also, a national security source is quoted by Reuters as saying multiple overseas plots by Islamic State sympathizers were been halted in recent days.

The FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security had warned local law enforcement to be on alert for attacks around the July 4 holiday, according to Reuters.

No such attacks occurred.

The warning coincided with a call by Islamic State leaders to followers to do what they could wherever they could to carry out violence on behalf of the militant group.

Comey described the tactic as “crowd sourcing terrorism” and said the FBI had accepted the heightened state as the “new normal”.

Some of those arrested were communicating with Islamic State via encrypted data, a US security source said.

The FBI has pressured tech companies to remove encryption that gives users privacy protections that cannot be broken by law enforcement.

Comey said dozens of people influenced by Islamic State have “gone dark” and disappeared from the FBI’s watch because of encrypted data.

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RA

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