Federal Taskforce Increasing Focus on Domestic Terrorism

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Preventing domestic terror attacks like the one an Adams man is accused of planning has become a big focus for federal investigators.

“In terms of the threat from ISIL, it is, the threat of today is probably as great as it has ever been,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Pete Magnetto said.

But according to Magnetto, the threat of ISIL is not an international threat.

“You don’t need to travel to Syria or Iraq to conduct an attack,” he said. “You can conduct an attack right here in the homeland.”

Magnetto says that’s why the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is so important.

“The JTTF is the unit within the FBI comprised of individuals from other agencies that are charged with combating terrorism, and that is both international terrorism or domestic terrorism,” Magnetto said.

The JTTF was recently used to execute the search and arrest warrants on Alexander Ciccolo on July 4 at his Adams, Mass. apartment – something that could have been very violent.

“You know, something could go wrong,” Magnetto said. “Once you go beyond that door, there’s an unknown there.”

Especially after Ciccolo’s extremist views and threat for attack became apparent.

“That what happened over there certainly dovetails what we’re talking about with the ISIL threat that we’ve certainly seen an uptick in over the past year,” Magnetto continued.

That increase has been keeping agencies at the local, state and federal levels busy.

“It’s no longer you’re waiting for a big event that is from overseas,” Magnetto said. “Someone could get radicalized from halfway across the world right here in the Capital Region, and then just at some point we call it the Flash Bang Concept.”

The Flash Bang Concept is essentially the progression from learning to carrying out an attack.

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