Military and law enforcement officials in US Southern Command are growing more concerned about the threat of home-grown terror in the region and the inability of countries in the region to handle the threat, SOUTHCOM Commander Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly said Jan. 8. ISIS has shifted its message from calling on prospective fighters to go to their self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria, and instead to stay at home and “do a San Bernardino,” Kelly said, referring to the Dec. 2, 2015, attack where shooters who claimed allegiance to ISIS killed 14 people. SOUTHCOM has monitored a few “very, very radical” mosques in the Caribbean and is working with countries, such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, to help monitor any possible terrorists. “We do the best we can to help them,” Kelly said at a Pentagon briefing. “Even just a few of these nuts can cause an awful lot of trouble down in the Caribbean because they don’t have an FBI. They don’t have law enforcement like we do,” he said. (Video of the briefing.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.