They are among us, appears to the message being delivered to America this Thanksgiving holiday. As Fox News reports, elite FBI teams are tracking at least 48 "high-risk" ISIS suspects within the U.S., as Republican Senator Dan Coats, who is on the Select Committee on Intelligence, said "there is a very significant number of people that are on suspicious watch lists, under surveillance... it's almost overwhelming."
Surveillance squads are following the men and women, who are believed to be radicalized, 24 hours a day in case they are planning acts of terrorism. At least a dozen highly trained agents work on each case, meaning far more than 500 are involved in tailing the suspicious individuals. As Fox News reports,
“There is a very significant number of people that are on suspicious watch lists, under surveillance," Republican Sen. Dan Coats said.
Coats, who sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence, would not comment on specifics, but said the around-the-clock surveillance is a major commitment for the bureau. "The FBI together with law enforcement agencies across the country are engaged in this. It takes enormous amount of manpower to do this on a 24-7 basis. It takes enormous amount of money to do this," Coats explained.
These elite FBI teams are reserved for espionage, mob violence and high-priority terrorism cases, like a joint terrorism task force case last June, where a 26 year old suspect Usaama Rahim, was killed outside a Massachusetts CVS. When a police officer and FBI agent tried to question him, the Boston Police Commissioner said Rahim threatened them with a knife, and was shot dead.
With at least a dozen agents assigned to each case, providing 24/7 coverage, this high level of surveillance reflects the severe risk associated with suspects most likely to attempt copycat attacks after Paris.
"It is a big resource drain. Yes it is. Almost overwhelming," Coats said when asked about the demand placed on the FBI. "There will be a lot of people over the Thanksgiving weekend that will not be enjoying turkey with their family. They'll be out there providing security for the American people and the threat is particularly high during this holiday period."
Last week, in a rare public appearance with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey would only say that "dozens" of suspected radicals have been under "tight surveillance."
"Together we are watching people of concern using all of our lawful tools. We will keep watching them and if we see something we will work to disrupt it," Comey said.
Contacted by Fox News, an FBI spokesman had no comment on the high risk cases, nor the use of elite surveillance teams.
* * *
But apart from that (and the global terror alert) get out there and spend, spend, spend America - or the terrorists have won!