House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul warned Tuesday that Islamic fundamentalists may attempt an attack on the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, claiming the United States is on “a higher state of alert” as a consequence.
The Texas Republican spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about the potential for ISIS or ISIS-inspired terrorists to conduct attacks inside the U.S., particularly after a video showing the brutal execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff was released on Tuesday.
“I think that these chilling videos are a reminder, it’s a wake-up call for the American people as to the threat that ISIS presents, again to the United States,” McCaul said. “They are intent on killing Americans. They would love nothing better than to pull off something in the homeland. And they talk in their own words, ‘We’re in your cities, we’re in your streets.’ And that’s what we’re very concerned about.”
“I think we are on a higher state of alert,” the lawmaker continued. “We’ve had two ‘Be on the Lookout’ notices by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, basically alerting state and locals to look for suspicious activities.”
“Should the U.S., congressman, be taking special precautions coming up in a few days, the anniversary of 9/11, on September 11th?” Blitzer asked.
“Sadly, unfortunately, the answer is yes,” McCaul admitted. “They take anniversaries very seriously, in terms of when they choose to attack in the United States. Al-Qaeda likes to pick anniversaries. They like to pick large sporting events, for instance, like the Boston Marathon. They look at economic damage they can inflict, and political damage. So I think coming up on the heels of this video, now with 9/11 just a couple days away — or a couple weeks — I think we have to be on a high state of alert.”