Rep. McCaul on terror busts: We've been very lucky

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 17, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Look at this, though. We have got a far more ominous threat.

And this is like a life-and-death threat, the FBI just busting a 20-year-old student in New York City, the complaint alleging Munther Omar Saleh plotted to build and detonate a bomb for ISIS.

Now, officials say the target may have been the George Washington Bridge, a second arrest made this afternoon in Staten Island, New York.

Meanwhile, in Phoenix, officials now say that a suspect in that Garland, Texas, terror attack planned to join ISIS, and an attack on the Super Bowl early this year at Arizona was apparently one of the things he was cooking up.

Now, a prosecutor calling Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem off-the-charts dangerous.

To House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul.

Chairman, good to have you back with us. This is scary tough.


CAVUTO: And I always think we are lucky with a lot of this stuff, because either the feds or others stop it before anything bad happens. But we won't always be this lucky.

MCCAUL: We have been very lucky, the good work of the FBI and Homeland Security, but they only have to be right one time. We have to be right 100 percent.

We stopped the Garland attacks. We rolled up this guy who had aspirational goals to attack the Super Bowl. Now, the latest one in New York is of particular concern. He was planning to devise an explosive device that he learned to make over the Internet.

What is happening, Neil, is a new sort of wave of terrorism coming from out of Syria from these terrorists that have Twitter accounts and then followers in the United States that they can activate almost like sleeper cells in the United States. And it's one of the biggest threats on the horizon that we see.

CAVUTO: Chairman, do you link or have authorities linked a lot of these to ISIS or these individuals who are saying or we suspect are linked to ISIS, when they might just be lone nuts?

MCCAUL: Well, in the majority -- in the cases I have just mentioned, we can connect communications from overseas in Syria to these individuals in the United States.

And I think that's the problem, is that, you know, Neil, it's one thing for a jihadist to travel from the United States to Syria and Iraq, train, join ISIS, and then come back and pull off a terror plot.

In the -- with the age of the Internet, they can activate people who are already in the United States without the necessity to travel. And I think that is what is really terrifying, is I think you're going to see more and more of these small-scale attack attempts. And as you mentioned at the outset, when the one case goes undetected, as it very likely could, then we're going to see a terrorist attack here.

CAVUTO: What I was alarmed about in these cases, Chairman, is this idea of you always worry about the supporting network for terrorist hits. In other words, these guys in Texas and in this individual's case, the one rounded up, it was -- it was his material support to those guys.

And so they don't have to be the -- you know, the ones who carry out the crime as much as the support network for those who do.


And I think you're seeing a conspiracy over the Internet from Syria to the United States to multiple actors in the United States. Like, in the Boston case, you had two other individuals involved with that. They are going to be small conspiracies and small-scale attacks.

But given the volume and the chatter that's out there on the Internet, online, that's what concerns FBI and Homeland Security officials the most, because you can't stop it all. And the other factor is the ability for them to go into what we call dark space or secure com, where we have absolutely no ability to monitor the communications, even if we have a court order to do so.

CAVUTO: All right. We will watch very closely, Congressman. Chairman, thank you very, very much, Mike McCaul of the fine state of Texas.

MCCAUL: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

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