Va. Homeland Security chief in contact with feds after ISIS pledges D.C. attack

Posted at 5:42 PM, Nov 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-16 20:00:28-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- While at least 15 governors across America have ordered a stop to the federal government's plan to accept Syrian refugees, Virginia is not on the list.

Governor Terry McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy emailed this statement:

"The Governor and his public safety team are in constant communication with federal authorities about all refugee resettlements, including those involving refugees from Syria. Every refugee who is settled in the U.S. undergoes intensive security screening, and the Governor has asked Secretary Moran to ensure that every proper precaution is taken to keep Virginians safe."

Several Republican lawmakers disagree.

“The Governor and the Commonwealth of Virginia have the opportunity to take a proactive measure in ensuring the safety of our citizens," said Delegate Todd Gilbert. “By putting a two year pause on refugee resettlement, we can ensure that all of the necessary steps are being taken with regard to clearance checks."

The news comes on the same day as ISIS released a new video promising an attack on Washington D.C.

With Virginia's proximity to the nation’s capital, McAuliffe has ordered his Homeland Security Secretary to communicate with federal authorities.

Coy said:

"The Governor is following the tragic events in France and sends his deepest condolences to all people affected by those senseless acts of terrorism. Nothing is more important to the Governor and his team than keeping Virginians safe. He has asked Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and his team to maintain close contact with federal and local authorities in order to ensure that we are taking every step we can to protect our communities."

But technology expert Patrick Siewert said the advent of new apps allow terrorists to go "dark" easier.

"Some are easy to crack, some aren't," Siewert said.

"When you lose the ability to track where your bad guys are going its almost game up at that point," Siewert added.

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