U.S. in ISIS crosshairs as the 4th of July approaches

Even before three terrorist attacks on three different continents occurred yesterday, U.S. counterintelligence and law enforcement officials had been sounding the alarm of possible terrorist attacks in the U.S. over the 4th of July weekend.

NBC News:

The threat "is based on both intelligence and analysis," the intelligence and law enforcement sources said, declining to go into detail.

The analysis of the threat is based in part on the "new normal" of ISIS planning, which uses social media to encourage followers worldwide to attack on both small and large scales.

Information regarding the Fourth of July threat came before Friday's terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, the intelligence and law enforcement officials said.

While authorities have no proof that the terror attacks in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East yesterday were coordinated in any way, they almost certainly were inspired by ISIS propaganda.

Fox News:

If the attacks were indeed an answer to ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's recent call for savagery, it would represent a hideous perversion of Islam's most holy period, which began June 17 and ends July 17.

“While we’re still working to determine whether the attacks were coordinated or directed by ISIL (Islamic State), they bear the hallmarks that have defined ISIL’s violent ideology or those inspired by such hatred. There is no doubt that ISIL poses a continuing threat, and we remain concerned about its ability to direct or inspire attacks beyond Iraq and Syria,” A U.S. official told Fox News Friday.

Jihadists should make Ramadan a time of "calamity for the infidels ... Shi'ites and apostate Muslims," Al-Adnani said in a recent audio message. "Muslims everywhere, we congratulate you over the arrival of the holy month. Be keen to conquer in this holy month and to become exposed to martyrdom."

The attacks followed a familiar pattern, which is why authorities are fingering ISIS:

The attack in France occurred first, Friday morning in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, northwest of the Alpine city of Grenoble. Two suspects dressed as deliverymen crashed a car into an industrial gas plant operated by Allentown, Pa.,-based Air Products & Chemicals, stormed inside and killed at least one person. The head of the victim was left on a fence, with Arabic phrases scrawled on it and ISIS flags nearby, Sky News reported, citing French legal sources.

The unnamed victim was a businessman at a local transportation company and the boss of a man arrested in connection with the attack.   

Nearly simultaneously, a gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle on a beach in Sousse-- a Tunisian coastal town popular with tourists-- killing at least 37 and wounding 36. The Health Ministry said the dead include Tunisians, Brits, Germans and Belgians.

A third attack killed at least 25 and wounded more than 200 in a Shia mosque in Kuwait City, the  Ministry of Interior said. A suicide bomber purportedly from ISIS affiliate Najd Province targeted Shiite worshippers after midday prayers at the Imam Sadiq Mosque in the residential neighborhood of al-Sawabir in Kuwait's capital, Kuwait City. It was the first terrorist attack in Kuwait in more than two decades.

That attack in France could have been much worse if the terrorists had succeeded in blowing up dozens of gas cannisters stacked outside.  They rammed but failed to detonate more than a couple of them.

The FBI informs us that there may be hundreds of radicalized Islamic State supporters in the U.S.  Given what just happened overseas, it would appear to be a safe guess that it's no longer a question of if we get hit, but rather when.