The Fusion Intelligence Center in Charleston has been on top of classified information coming in daily on ISIS and keeps tabs on how close the terrorist organization’s activities might be to the Mountain State.
While it could not get into specifics about locations or how many people, the Fusion Center said ISIS is training and recruiting members here in the United States; close enough to be concerned. The center has monitored people with terrorist ties passing through here.
“Our role is receiving information,” Director Thomas Kirk said.
Even before it’s made public, the Fusion Center has access to classified information from all over the world.
And if you think Steven Sotloff is the last American to die, brace yourself. Those two brutal killings, James Foley first and then Sotloff, are just the beginning, Kirk said.
When asked if there was anything he could say about the second video, compared to the first one, Kirk smiled and replied, “No,” since all of the information is still classified.
Kirk could not reveal much, but said investigators are comparing the voices on the two ISIS execution videos, the scenery, the hand holding the knife and the eyes of the man wearing the black head covering.
“You’re looking for things to authenticate what is the difference between this one and the last one,” Kirk said. “The texture of the sand, the type of rocks, the way the wind blows, the garb that’s being worn.”
It took almost a day to authenticate the video was of Sotloff.
President Barack Obama vowed justice will be served, but he offered few details as to just what he is prepared to do next.
“Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists,” Obama said.
Here at home, the Fusion Center had disturbing details on ISIS movements.
“There are areas in the United States that are not too far from here, that have very large populations that are being recruited for ISIS right now,” Kirk said. “There are people associated with Al Quaida, there are people on the Terrorist Watch List who do travel through West Virginia, whether it’s through the airports or through the roads.”
And as for those gruesome murders? Kirk said he believes it’s going to continue to happen for a while.
“Because of the shock, to us, it’s about the most shocking thing you could ever see,” he said.
Kirk said the world saw a similar pattern happen with Osama Bin Laden with the killings and the videos. But eventually, Bin Laden was killed. ISIS may be a little better organized than Bin Laden was, but the tracking technology the United States has now is so much more sophisticated, ISIS leaders may have a harder time staying hidden for long.