Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Marco Rubio | War on Terrorism | homegrown | extremists

Marco Rubio: US Must Track 'Homegrown Extremists' in Advance

By    |   Thursday, 23 October 2014 10:58 PM

The United States must turn its attention to tracking "homegrown extremists before they take action" in America, Sen. Marco Rubio warns.

On the stump Thursday for New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein a day after a deadly shooting in Canada left one soldier dead, the Florida Republican called domestic terrorism "a real threat that we're going to have to put a lot of time into."

"We’ve never confronted something like this before," he told a group of about 40 New Hampshire residents, Buzz Feed reports.

"We’ve been warning about it, but it is real. You don’t have to get on a plane anymore and go to the Middle East. You can be radicalized in your own home on the internet.”

"Sometimes it will be uncomfortable because they will be American citizens, people who have grown up here their whole lives who don’t fit the profile of people we’ve often thought of as a terrorist," he added.

"[I]t’s no reason to be paranoid," he said "The enormous majority of people you will interact with will not be a homegrown violent extremist, but it only takes one. While we debate our civil liberties, which are important and we should protect them, we also have to have the capability of identifying threats before anything happens."

Rubio's comments illustrate how Americans' focus has changed in a year – from debates about the overreach of domestic spying by the National Security Agency to concern about domestic terrorists triggered by the Boston Marathon bombing and the recruiting by the Islamic State group (ISIS) of fighters from around the globe, including the United States.

"We have to have the surveillance capabilities, not to spy on Americans, but to understand if someone is visiting these online sites, if someone is starting to post things on Facebook and Twitter that shows their leaning with extremists, if someone is starting to show up at mosques and say extremist things, that there is a way for us to identify them and potentially prevent an attack before they happen," Rubio said.

Rubio also slammed President Barack Obama for seeming to equivocate about terrorism.

"Is it true that the enormous majority of people who identify with the Muslim faith are not terrorists? " Rubio asked. "Of course it is. It’s important for those countries to condemn this for what it is."

"But we cannot ignore that this is terrorism," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The United States must turn its attention to tracking "homegrown extremists before they take action" in America, Sen. Marco Rubio warns.
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Thursday, 23 October 2014 10:58 PM
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