The New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies around the nation are increasing their surveillance of ISIS supporters in the U.S., in part to aid the FBI which is struggling to keep up with a surge in the number of possible terror suspects, according to law enforcement officials.
The change is part of the fallout from the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas earlier this month. The FBI says two ISIS supporters attempted a gun attack on a Prophet Mohammad cartoon contest but were killed by police. One of the attackers, Elton Simpson, was already under investigation by the FBI but managed to elude surveillance to attempt the foiled attack.
FBI Director James Comey told a group of police officials around the country in a secure conference call this month that the FBI needs help to keep tabs on hundreds of suspects.
As a result, some police agencies are adding surveillance teams to help the FBI monitor suspects. Teams of NYPD officers trained in surveillance are now helping the FBI’s surveillance teams to better keep track of suspects, law enforcement officials say.
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has said he wants to add 450 officers to the force’s counterterrorism unit, partly to counter the increasing domestic threat posed by ISIS sympathizers.