War with Isis: US on high alert as it investigates hundreds of links to terror group across 50 states

Authorities examine increase of lone wolf attacks and the use of social media, as they seek to create a 'vigilant community'

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The US is currently investigating hundreds of cases with possible links to Isis across all 50 states in the country, according to a senior official.

There have been no major attacks linked with Isis in the US, but John Carlin, Assistant US Attorney General of the National Security Division, said the country is on heightened alert. In the last two weeks, 10 individuals have been arrested over terrorism cases.

“[Isis] wants individuals to conduct attacks inside the US and they are doing everything they can to achieve that goal”, said Mr Carlin during a visit to London.

There has been a noted increase in the past four to six months in “franchising” by Isis as they encourage lone wolf attacks, said Mr Carlin.


The increase of lone wolf attacks and the use of social media meant the US was being more open in its approach to investigating such cases, as they seek to create a “vigilant community”.

“In a lot of these cases, the parents don’t know what the kid is doing in the basement. They don’t see it, because it’s online,” Mr Carlin said. If they know what to look for, he said, “they may be the first to discover or see these signs of radicalisation”.

Well over 60 per cent of recent Isis-connected arrests in the US were of people aged 25 or younger, and a significant percentage juveniles, said Mr Carlin, adding: “They [Isis] are deliberately... targeting children.” Mr Carlin said the terrorists’ growing use of social media needed confronting: “We need to work to find a system that can work at the speed at which the threats are.”