FBI: ISIS poses greater threat than al Qaeda

FBI: ISIS poses greater threat than al Qaeda
© Getty Images

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants are a greater threat to America than al Qaeda, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday.

“The threat that ISIL poses to the United States is very different in type and kind, in type and degree, than al Qaeda,” Comey said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum, using the government's preferred acronym.


“ISIL is not your parents’ al Qaeda, it’s a very different model and by virtue of that model it is currently the threat we are worried about in the homeland most of all.”

Comey said that the threat keeps him up at night and compared it to searching for invisible needles in a “nationwide haystack.”

“We are trying to find needles in that haystack and a lot of those needles are invisible to us either because of the way that they are communicating or they haven’t communicated or touched a place where we can see them.”

Comey added that with al Qaeda, would-be supporters would have to search for hidden videos from terrorists or write to them and hope for a response. But ISIS’s use of social media has changed that.

“They have adopted a model in a way that takes advantage of social media in a way to crowd-source terrorism,” he said, adding that Twitter helps to sell the group’s message of “poison” to either join the caliphate or “kill where you are.”

In May, former CIA deputy and acting Director Michael Morell had said that ISIS wasn't in the top three most dangerous terror groups to the U.S.