Police have arrested more than twice the number of domestic ISIS terrorists and sympathizers in the first eight months of this year than they charged in all of 2018.
The FBI and local police departments have arrested 24 people for ISIS-related offenses as of Sept. 3, according to data assembled by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism (POE). That arrest count—which includes individuals who attempted to travel to fight for the group overseas, provide material support for its efforts, or kill Americans in a terrorist attack—dwarfs the 11 arrests made in 2018. Authorities are on pace to exceed the 38 arrests made in 2017.
Andrew Mines, the research fellow responsible for the statistics, emphasized that a “small sample of individuals” prevents scholars from reaching statistically significant conclusions from his data set. Nevertheless, he said the uptick could be related to a shift in ISIS strategy as it transitions from a territorial entity focused on Syria and Iraq to a more decentralized terrorist organization.
“ISIS’s messaging received a revamp with the end of the physical caliphate,” Mines told the Washington Free Beacon. “They were taking a lot of hard hits throughout 2018 but with this kind of steady decline and now this resurgence through different affiliates through the globe, the messaging now is both remaining but also expanding, spreading throughout the globe.” – READ MORE