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U.S. Security Officials Warn ISIS May Attempt Attack This Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- High-ranking U.S. intelligence officials are ringing the alarm that Islamic militants may attempt to carry out an attack right here on U.S. soil this year.

Ava-joye Burnett with the warning from those leaders, who are very concerned.

One of those top officials says in his 50-plus years in intelligence work, he's never seen it this bad.

Top security officials told Congress that ISIS is working hard to attack America--a major concern in 2016.

In 2015, five service members died after a shooter attacked them at military facilities in Chattanooga; and then in December, a husband and wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

Investigators say they were inspired by ISIS.

And now in 2016, top intelligence officials strongly believe America is still vulnerable.

"ISIS leaders are determined to strike the U.S. homeland," said National Intelligence Director James Clapper.

But National Security experts say average Americans can play a major role in stopping terrorist attacks here on U.S. soil.

"The most effective weapon against terrorism is the average citizen keeping their eyes and ears open," said Michael Greenberger,University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.

Greenberger also says law enforcement should continue to work together to preempt a terrorist strike.

"I think law enforcement agencies all across America realized after September 11 that we had to do things different, we had to do thing better--and we've done that," said Det. Nicole Monroe, Baltimore City Police Department.

Officials are also concerned about the role social media could play in recruiting people to support extremists.

Baltimore police say people are taking the advice to speak up. The department says it has gotten a lot of calls reporting suspicious activity and packages.

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