McCaul: ISIS winning propaganda war

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on Sunday that three lone-wolf attacks in Canada and New last week showed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was winning an online propaganda campaign.


"They are waging a campaign of war against the west and the United States and these are three examples just last week of where they're winning," he said on ABC's "This Week."

McCaul said the lone-wolf attackers were often "people in a basement radicalizing over the Internet," and that they would be "very hard to stop."

"It's like finding a needle in a haystack and then getting them out of that radicalization toward a deradicalization path," he said.

The Obama administration's former top counterterrorism official, Matt Olsen, agreed, and said while concern over homegrown terror plots are not new, propaganda by ISIS poses additional concerns.

"The propaganda we see from ISIS does give us additional concern because they're very good at putting out their message online and seeking to, you know, have their supporters carry out attacks wherever they are," he said on ABC.

Olsen stopped short of agreeing with Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) in calling for stepping up surveillance on Muslim communities in the U.S., and called for greater community involvement within mosques.

He pointed at Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was kicked out of his mosque. That was not reported to state and local authorities, however.

"Had there been, just maybe we could have stopped that particular bombing from happening," he said.