It's not uncommon for U.S. intelligence officials to see an increase in terrorist chatter--communication between terror groups across the globe--in the days and weeks leading up to the anniversary of 9-11. And it is happening again this year, with the Washington Times quoting a government official as saying they've noticed "a significant increase" in terror chatter in recent days. What makes this year different is the recent rise of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. That group has brought renewed fears of a 9/11-style attack.
Jeffrey Addicott, Director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, says U.S. officials are wise to be on alert. "The probability (of an attack) is certainly heightened because of 9-11 and because of the rise of ISIS," he tells KTRH. "We're hearing a lot of chatter, the Brits have put their country on severe alert and we need to do the same here...our borders are porous and ISIS knows that." In fact, a new Texas DPS report obtained by Fox News says that Texas officials are concerned about ISIS trying to enter the U.S. through the border with Mexico to carry out a terror attack. The concerns are reportedly based on recent social messaging by ISIS.
Addicott hopes U.S. officials will heed the lessons of 9-11 from years past. "That's when we saw the Benghazi attack a couple of years ago, it's no coincidence that it happened on 9-11," he says. Another lesson of Benghazi is that Americans and American interests can be threatened anywhere, not just within U.S. borders. "If we increase pressure on ISIS, you can expect our interests not just here in the United States to be targeted, but our ambassadors, our consulates, our annexes that are spread across the Middle East in various countries," says Addicott. As of now, U.S. officials say while they have seen an increase in terrorist chatter, there are no specific threats.