A recent bulletin from federal law enforcement warning of the potential for a terrorist attack on July Fourth was based on intelligence gleaned from supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a senior House Republican said Wednesday.
The bulletin to local law enforcement came after “intelligence was picked up in various ways indicating something could be happening over the Fourth of July that was initiated by ISIS supporters,” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said during an interview on CNN’s “Wolf Blitzer Reports.”
“There was enough intelligence out there indicating that something could well be planned for the Fourth of July. Now, this is more than just the usual Fourth of July or Memorial Day warning that goes out to stay alert, to keep your eyes and ears open,” according to King, a member of the House Intelligence and Homeland Security panels.
“I mean, going back to dealing with the FBI and Homeland Security over the last two or three weeks, I would say this is the most intense level of concern I've seen, maybe since 9/11,” he added.
The bulletin, issued late last month by the Homeland Security Department, the FBI and the National Counterterrorism Center, does not mention a specific plot, but says the threat should be elevated around Independence Day in case of an attack centered on the holiday or over the recent depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.
"Those who seek to harm this nation take no holiday," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday during a Pentagon press briefing with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.
The terror group has long stated it hopes to recruit so-called “lone wolf” operatives inside the U.S. who can carry out attacks on American soil.
Last week ISIS took responsibility for three separate terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France and the group is believed to be responsible for attacks earlier this week on Egyptian army locations in the Sinai Peninsula.
King noted that while “a significant number of ISIS operatives, ISIS supporters” operate in the New York area, “the entire country has to be concerned,” highlighting the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“I would think any part of the country certainly has to be on their guard against ISIS,” according to King.