FBI director says ISIS recruiting in every state — including Utah

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-22 08:55:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- FBI Director James Comey claims the terror group ISIS is actively recruiting in every state in the nation, including Utah.

Speaking to reporters at the FBI's regional headquarters here after a meeting with state and local law enforcement officials on Tuesday, Comey said ISIL (also known as ISIS) is using social media to reach out to "troubled souls" all over the nation to recruit.

"What ISIL brings to us is a crowd-sourcing of terrorism using social media in a way that al Qaeda never imagined," he said.

FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters at the agency's regional headquarters in Salt Lake City.

FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters at the agency's regional headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Comey said ISIS is very advanced at using social media to attract candidates.

"Their message is travel to the Caliphate, their so-called Islamic wonder world. Join us here in Iraq or Syria, and if you can't travel, kill somebody where you are. Kill somebody in uniform, preferably in the military or law enforcement, but just kill somebody," he said.

Asked about the recent murders of U.S. Marines in Chattanooga, Tenn., Comey said investigations were ongoing into the suspect's associates and communications to determine if it was terrorism. Speaking to the broader issue of ISIS outreach, Comey said the FBI has investigations under way in every state to determine the group's reach.

"In every state, we have investigations trying to understand where people are on the spectrum, from consumers of this poison to actors on behalf of this organization," he said.

Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires said they were aware of ISIS's very active social media presence and attempts at recruitment. However, Squires said he was unaware of any active terror threat involving ISIS in Utah.

"The potential remains in every community throughout this country, unfortunately," he said.

Squires urged people who see anything suspicious or believe something might be wrong to report it to law enforcement to investigate -- even if it turns out to be unfounded.

"That message we know is being delivered here in Utah," he said. "We request the public to report if they see something that doesn't look quite right."