Stressing the need to stop the “kill, kill, kill” message of terrorists on the Internet, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday that ISIS is rooted in 11 U.S. states.
That comes after a message posted online last week threatened that the group has “71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire.”
Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committe, told NBC that the social media onslaught from jihadists is “putting the lone wolf in a position that that’s never happened before… and that is, you know, you do it and we take credit for it.”
“The evil, the beheadings, the individual doesn’t see,” she said. “So you make the contact and you pursue that contact and then the individual goes out and puts forth an attack.”
“ISIS is now has a presence in 11 states. It’s unlike AQAP, it’s unlike the old al-Qaeda. It’s both a fighting force, it’s an occupying force, it’s a governing force.”
Feinstein added that ISIS is “reaching out to put together that caliphate.”
“And in the process behead or shoot anyone whose religion differs or differs with what they’re doing. It’s a force that we really haven’t seen before,” she said. “We have to begin to cope more seriously with it. That includes social media.”
She stressed that if the FBI can’t keep up with the phalanx of jihadis using social media, “they just have to come to the President and Congress and they are going to get the resources.”
“I mean this is a matter of prime defense of the homeland. It would come first,” the senator vowed.
“Director Comey has said in their 56 field offices, they have investigations in every one. It takes 30 agents to surveil one person. So it’s an amazingly intensive personnel issue. Having said that, I really think we need to take a look at this.”
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) told MSNBC this morning that the feds battling online jihad “are making some progress as far as slowing it down.”
“For instance, Facebook and Twitter will take it down when it actually reaches a incitement of violence level. But again, by then, it’s already been up a while. It’s — mainly what we have to do is find a way to get it at the source, to get it before it makes it,” King said. “And that’s going to be tough but it is being worked on, I can tell you that.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who’s especially active on Twitter, last week ripped federal authorities for a weak response to Twitter jihad.
“I was shocked at what we are doing in counter-messaging. I want to pass this iPad around to my colleagues. If you know anything about social media, the one thing you should look at is the engagement of people on our social media feeds,” Booker said. “And it’s laughable. Three retweets, two retweets.”