In the wee hours of July 4, FBI counterterrorism agents in the Boston area scrambled to thwart the last of a string of Islamic State terror plots they feared could be conducted during the patriotic holiday or soon after.
Just weeks earlier, an agent and Boston officers had shot and killed an ISIS sympathizer on the same streets, right before he boarded a bus armed with a military-style knife and plans to attack cops and behead a woman.
Officials familiar with the bureau’s preparations, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said Director James Comey has put a brave public face on the bureau’s fight against ISIS that masks significant tensions behind the scenes with the Obama administration.
Bureau officials are deeply worried they don’t have enough resources to track a growing number of radicalized Americans inspired by the Islamic State, with more possibly entering as President Obama opens the borders to thousands of Syrian refugees.
Those fears are also shared in Congress, where support is building for a measure by House Speaker Paul Ryan to temporarily halt any new refugees from entering the country.
Rep. Blake Farenthold, Texas Republican and a member of both of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, told a Washington Times radio show Tuesday that the U.S. government does not have the resources to screen a new wave of Syrian refugees for terror ties as the administration has promised.