ATLANTA -- The terrorist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley may be a threat to the United States. FBI Director James Comey who was in Atlanta Friday, met with metro area law enforcement agencies, to alert them to the possibility of attacks here in the U.S.
"It may have gone up a degree with us being in an active fight with ISIL," Director Comey said. ISIL is the Islamic group also known as ISIS.
Comey said there have been no specific threats and he seemed more concerned about sympathizers here in the United States than terrorists in Syria and Iraq. "It's something I worry about all day, every single day," he said.
His concern are heightened by airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic group. He said intelligence is seeing a gathering of thousands of terrorists in Syria and Iraq and many of them are from Western Europe and North America.
"They're going there is very worrisome because in going they make the worst kind of relationships, they get the worst kind of training," he said. "That's very bad. What's worse is the prospect of them coming back."
Surrounded by metro Atlanta law enforcement representatives, Director Comey spoke about the importance of those agencies in the terrorism fight. "Because it is a deputy sheriff and a police officer who is much more likely than an FBI Agent to learn about a Syria traveler getting ready to leave a neighborhood or returning to a neighborhood," he said.
Part of that fight is detecting the home grown violent extremist. Comey described them as troubled souls who are finding training and motivation in their basements, in their pajamas. "That is not a New York thing, or a Washington thing, that's an everywhere thing," he said. "Wherever there's the internet and a troubled person susceptible to that kind of motivation we have that threat."
After meeting with local law enforcement officials Director Comey said people in Atlanta are in good hands. "Atlanta is an international city of the world so you have it all here which means we have all manner of challenges that touch our responsibilities," he said. "But as far as law enforcement is concerned, it's working."