According to AFP, US authorities are closely tracking some of the 100 Americans estimated to have fought with the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East who are believed to have returned home, a senior US official said Monday (September 22).
The revelation came before President Barack Obama travels to New York on Tuesday (September 23) to chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the threat posed by Western fighters who have signed up to fight for the jihadists and could pose a security risk in their home countries.
The number of roughly 100 US citizen IS fighters who have pledged their allegiance to the brutal and violent terrorist franchise "includes those who've gone, those who’ve tried to go, some who've come back and who are under active" surveillance by the FBI.
"They have passports. They can come back here," Kerry told MSNBC.
US officials have so far said that though the are deeply concerned by the prospect that IS could seek to conduct operations inside the United States or on the soil of its Western allies, they know of no current active plots targeting the US homeland.
COMMENT: Last week, however, police in Australia said they had foiled a plot by IS jihadists to carry out "demonstration executions" in the country.
The prospect that IS fighters could mount attacks on US soil if the threat is not addressed has been used by the Obama Administration as a key argument in its drive for the formation of an international coalition to go after the group in Iraq and eventually in Syria.
The group, which has carved out territories in both Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded three journalists, two of them American and one Briton and has threatened to kill other hostages.