ISIS in Kentucky? FBI in Louisville says terrorism investigations are 'open and pending'
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Director of the FBI says there are currently open investigations against possible Islamic State group terrorists in all 50 states.
It's been 14 years since 9/11 and there's now a group in Kentucky working around the clock to prevent the next terrorist attack on U. S. soil.
“Their mission is to prevent the next terrorist attack,” explained Howard Marshall the Special Agent in Charge of Kentucky's FBI Division.
He's talking about Kentucky's Joint Terrorism Task Force, a group that includes the FBI and a group which he says is very active.
“I would tell you since Friday night we have doubled down on our efforts as far as incoming complaints and making sure those are cleared immediately, we have doubled down on our cases, we have deployed surveillance techniques,” said Marshall.
It's hard to imagine, but he's not talking about cases overseas. He's talking about cases right here in Kentucky.
"It's here in Kentucky," Marshall said. "We've learned a lot from that investigation five years ago in Bowling Green.”
Federal agents in Bowling Green arrested two Iraqi men living in Kentucky but conspiring to send weapons, cash and explosives to al-Qaeda in Iraq. Both men are now in prison, but Marshall tells us there are other cases.
“So I'll tell you today we have these issues here in Kentucky that we have open and pending investigations here,” he said.
Are we talking about connections to ISIS?
“It doesn't really matter if they're Al Qaeda, or Isis or Al-Nusra or these other terrorist organizations the goal seems to be the same,” said Marshall.
While he can't tell us specifics, he can tell us his concerns. The fact that encrypted communication techniques are making it more difficult to see what plots could be in the works.
But he calls social media the game changer.
"Absolute game changer -- at least even since 9/11. It's allowed these groups to morph into something I don't think we saw five or 10 years ago," Marshall said.
What Marshall does emphasize is we all have a role to play in preventing the next attack.
“They need to pick up the phone and call us,” he said.
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