DHS Secretary: At Least 40 Americans Who Fought With ISIS Overseas Are Back in the US

Posted: Apr 07, 2015 2:25 PM
DHS Secretary: At Least 40 Americans Who Fought With ISIS Overseas Are Back in the US

At least 40 American citizens that have left to join the fight in Iraq and Syria are now back in the U.S., according to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, raising serious questions about the United States’ counterterrorism strategy here at home.

“As I understand it, of the 180 Americans who have gone overseas to fight in Iraq and Syria, 40 have come back. I assume you're keeping close tabs on those 40?” 60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Johnson in an interview that aired Sunday.

“We have in fact kept close tabs on those who we believe have left and those who've come back. A number have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals. But you can't know everything,” he responded.

While he acknowledged that many had been arrested, it is a bit disconcerting that all of them haven’t been apprehended, given that we know they went to fight with ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

According to a New York Post law enforcement source, however, this may have to do with the fact that most of the Americans joining the Islamic State are in it for the thrill and thus, when they return home are not interested in waging war once back. But, of course, there is no guarantee that’s the case.

[T]he source cautioned that it only takes “one of these nuts” to plant a bomb in New York City.

“And therein lies the problem. That’s our concern. We are tracking them,” says the source.

The FBI wants to know everything about these homegrown psychos.

“We want to find out several things: who these people are, why they went over there, what they were doing over there, and what is their intention when they come home,” the source said.