New strategy by terror groups like ISIS/ISIL is a game changer
Top FBI agent in San Antonio says new strategy by terror groups like ISIS/ISIL is a game changer.
Since October the calls to FBI headquarters in San Antonio reporting possible terror threats have increased at a rate three times then normal.
That according to Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, who runs the Division that also covers Austin and Waco. Wednesday Combs said the majority of the calls turned out to be nothing, but he also admitted real security threats link to ISIL in Central Texas have been identified.
"I feel very confident in telling you though the cases that I know about and the cases we are working I feel good about," said Combs.
There is no information indicating a specific threat to any location which is why, despite the active investigations, SAC Combs is not discouraging people from taking part in any holiday celebration. He does, however, want people to be more aware of their surroundings.
Tourist, like John Hillard, who was at the Alamo Wednesday told FOX 7 he is not changing plans or how that handle themselves in public.
"Anytime we go out we are more cautious about what's going on keeping an eye on our boys and just trying to be more aware," said Hillard.
As the tourist walked around the historic sight and along the Riverwalk, they were being watched, but it didnot seem excessive accordig to Jeff Wendling who was visiting from Kentucky.
"We've noticed a lot of police presence here in San Antonio so we've felt safe here,and we didn't notice much difference at the airport either."
To provide added protection the FBI is now part of local security packages that are in place across Central Texas. Agents will be working New Years, among the crowds along the River Walk as well as monitoring the January 2nd Alamo Bowl.
The recommendation to be more vigilant comes after Terror attacks in San Bernardino California and Chattanooga. The incidents according to analyst represent a change in strategy by terror groups like ISIS/ISIL.
"The way ISIL is using the internet it has changed the ballgame," said Combs.
Now self radicalism is being done through propaganda easily found on the web. The process is typically done behind closed doors, but Combs says there are red flags a neighbor may notice.
"Not normal behavior,this is Texas we all have guns we all go hunting, but if your neighbor all of a sudden has never never been to a firing range and he is going three times a week and has never owned a gun and now owns 20 of them that's concerning, that's a change in behavior its abnormal."
Combs went on to say he is not asking people to be nosey neighbors, but believes turning a blind eye to suspicious behavior can result in an attack that could have been prevented.