By Karen Yourish and Josh Williams
None of the people accused of plotting attacks received specific direction from the Islamic State abroad, according to the evidence presented in legal documents and other public information that were analyzed by The New York Times and the Center on National Security at the Fordham University School of Law.
The Islamic State has demonstrated an ability to coordinate attacks in Europe from the Middle East. But the United States has yet to see any of those types of attacks. Instead, attacks in the United States have been “lone wolf” strikes.
“While ISIS remains a brutal and lethal force abroad, its operational reach to the United States has been negligible at best,” the center’s director, Karen J. Greenberg, said. In addition, nearly half of the arrests followed undercover investigations by the F.B.I., and most of the individuals were caught early on.
Although the domestic plots are alarming and increasing in frequency, Ms. Greenberg said that the driving force among those in the United States inspired by the Islamic State had been foreign fighting. A third of those accused were allegedly discussing or plotting an attack in the United States; the rest were allegedly trying to travel abroad to fight for the Islamic State, or trying to help others travel.
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