The US government is warning about potential terrorist attacks on home soil after the arrests of some 30 Americans who allegedly unsuccessfully planned to carry out "lone wolf" plots like this one, inspired by ISIS. The FBI arrested each of the individuals on terrorism-related charges this year, the Los Angeles Times reports. In response, authorities boosted security at military bases and federal buildings, plus increased surveillance at airports, railroads, shopping malls, and other locations that could be targeted. FBI Director James Comey notes "hundreds, maybe thousands" of Americans are watching ISIS recruitment videos on social media, while "disturbed people" are communicating with recruiters via smartphones. "It's like the devil sitting on their shoulders saying, 'Kill, kill, kill,'" Comey says.
After the shooting in Garland, Texas, US Northern Command increased security at all military bases, citing the fact that more Americans are communicating with ISIS. However, officials also noted military personnel were the subject of specific threats. Most of the 30 Americans arrested this year hoped to aid or join the terrorist group and many were contacted via social media or cellphone chat programs. One recent arrest came Thursday when a former interpreter for the US military in Iraq was caught attempting to fly to Syria from Texas. He had previously used Twitter to "pledge obedience" to the group. "As a numbers game, it is pretty easy for ISIS to reach out to a very large number of people using a very robust social media presence," a fellow at the Brookings Institution says. "I suspect we should see more plots going forward."