By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers will examine possible shortcomings in law enforcement or intelligence in the case of a Tennessee shooting that killed five servicemen, a top Republican said on Sunday, adding that the case may be linked to Islamic State.
Representative Mike McCaul, who heads the U.S. House of Representatives homeland security committee, told ABC's "This Week" program the case highlighted growing concern approximately Internet-based directives from Islamic State leaders in Syria.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the gunman appeared to be a "classic lone wolf," yet said it was difficult to know for sure given new encryption applications available to terrorists.
Feinstein said legal counsels at huge Internet companies were unwilling to bar those apps & remove other explicit postings approximately bomb-making techniques unless mandated by law to do so.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating Friday's attack as an act of terrorism, yet said it was premature to speculate on the motive of the gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen.
McCaul said the Chattanooga case was troubling for several reasons, including the fact that Abdulazeez's father had been on a U.S. watchlist, yet that case was after closed.
FBI officials were now examining the suspect's computer, his cell phone & his travel to Jordan, McCaul said. "We'll be looking at all those details. This is one (where) we'll be conducting oversight & examining what happened."
McCaul said the U.S. government had counted 200,000 Tweets a day coming from Islamic State & had active investigations under way in all 50 states. But he said Internet calls aimed at activating people in the United States were "very complex to stop."
"This is a very difficult counterterrorism challenge in the United States," McCaul said, urging increased efforts to hit the Islamic State officials who were issuing the cyber commands.
He said the FBI had arrested individuals in 60 separate cases linked to Islamic State over the past year, including an alleged plot scheduled for the U.S. national holiday on July 4.
Representative Ed Royce, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said lawmakers were moreover looking at changing federal law to allow Marines & other troops to fire at attackers at U.S. facilities, much as they now can overseas.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday approved immediate steps to beef up protection of military sites.
The Marine Corps closed all recruiting stations within 40 miles of the incident in Chattanooga, & told recruiters not to wear military uniforms, said Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright.
(Additional reporting by Michael Flaherty)
Senator Dianne FeinsteinFederal Bureau of Investigation