Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | james lankford | isis | domestic | attack | threat

Sen. Lankford: Nation on Watch for July 4 'Lone Wolf' ISIS Attacks

By    |   Thursday, 02 Jul 2015 09:08 PM

With the possibility of the Islamic State (ISIS) attacking the United States during the July Fourth holiday, smaller assaults are more of a concern than large-scale ones, Sen. James Lankford said Thursday.

"The greatest concern is actually the lone wolf," the Oklahoma Republican told CNN. "It's the individual that just decides to be inspired by ISIS and what they've done.

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"ISIS is very outspoken about how much they hate our freedom, who we are as Americans," Lankford told Wolf Blitzer. "July Fourth is one of those natural dates: While we're celebrating freedom, for them to find some way to poke us in the eye."

The Obama administration said this week that law enforcement should be on high alert over the July Fourth weekend for terrorism, following coordinated attacks last week by ISIS in the Middle East and Africa. Several former administration officials said that the warning should be heeded by the administration.

While Lankford told CNN that he knew of no specific threats planned by ISIS this weekend, U.S. officials are working along the mindset of the May 3 fatal shooting of two gunmen who opened fire at a contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.

ISIS would encourage such attacks in order "to inspire an individual, who would be able to drive across multiple states to be able to shoot and attack on a small scale," the first-term senator said. "That's the greater threat, and they’re also harder to be able to track."

ISIS terrorists are far different from al-Qaida and other groups because of their Internet savvy, Lankford said.

"They're reaching out on social media — telling people, 'It's a holiday. We ought to kill people. Here's ideas on how to do it. Here's places to be able to go.'

"They're not looking to send people," he added. "They're looking to inspire people living in our midst. They're looking for the same radical jihadi-type mindset and tell them, 'Join us in the worldwide fight and engage.'"

Unfortunately, however, the continuous warnings about terror threats and related issues have become the new normal in the United States — but only temporarily, Lankford said.

"It is for now. We're a nation that is still at risk — and there is the sense among Americans that we can sit back because we're pulling out of Afghanistan, we're out of officially Iraq," he said.

"But Americans need to understand that there are people around the world that really do hate us, that really do hate our freedom. It's difficult for us to be able to process because we're such a nation that has great care for people around the world.

"We do such incredible charity around the world," Lankford added. "We have this perception that we leave them alone, they leave us alone. We know clearly from radical Islam that is not true.

"We are still a nation at risk — and it is extremely important that we can still continue to defend ourselves and our families."

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With the possibility of the Islamic State (ISIS) attacking the United States during the July Fourth holiday, smaller assaults are more of a concern than large-scale ones, Sen. James Lankford said Thursday.
james lankford, isis, domestic, attack, threat
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2015-08-02
Thursday, 02 Jul 2015 09:08 PM
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