WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there is no credible threat to the United States following the Paris terror attacks, and that investigators have found no links between the attackers and the U.S.
Appearing before reporters alongside Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey said he was aware that the Islamic State group and its supporters regularly issue propaganda in videos and magazines boasting about their plans and capabilities. But, he said, “that is not credible intelligence.”
The FBI is closely tracking dozens of people whom agents are concerned could be particularly prone to violence, Comey said. In response to the Paris terror attacks, agents are giving extra scrutiny to individuals who “might be tempted to be a copycat,” but have not seen any evidence of Islamic State supporters dispatched to the U.S. for the purpose of committing attacks.
“The risk with a troubled soul who is consuming the propaganda is that they might try and copy that which they saw in Europe,” Comey said.
Separately, Lynch said the Justice Department opposes congressional legislation that would put up barriers to Syrian refugees seeking to enter the United States and would oblige the heads of the FBI and Homeland Security Department and the director of national intelligence to certify to Congress that each refugee “is not a threat to the security of the United States.”
“From a law enforcement perspective, the bill presents us with an impracticality and impossibility,” Lynch said. “To ask me to have my FBI director or other members of the administration make personal guarantees would effectively grind the program to a halt, and would essentially not provide the safety and security that I really think is the concern of everyone looking at this issue.”
The attacks in Paris have stoked global fears about the flow of foreign fighters from Western nations in and out of Syria. U.S. officials are aware of roughly 250 people who have traveled or attempted to travel there from the United States, Comey said, although the number has slowed considerably in recent months for reasons that aren’t clear.