Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Federal authorities are ratcheting up terror warnings across the country in advance of this Fourth of July holiday weekend.  

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are asking local law enforcement officials to be prepared for any potential terrorist activity. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says this alert reflects a new kind of radicalization.

John Katko/Facebook

Syracuse-area Rep. John Katko has his work cut out for him as co-chair of the Task Force on Terrorist, Foreign Fighter Threat. The Republican just returned from a trip to several countries in the Middle East to get a sense of where problems might lie.

Katko, as part of an eight-member congressional delegation, visited Israel, Iraq, Turkey and some European countries to get a better idea of the dangers posed by foreign fighters -- those Westerners recruited and trained by terrorist organizations.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

All units at Fort Drum will likely deploy overseas within the next 13 months. That’s according to the military base’s new commanding general, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Bannister. He sat down with local reporters last week to address what’s in store for soldiers stationed at Fort Drum. 

Bannister said the changing nature of the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is changing  the way troops are deployed  at Fort Drum.  They will still go to those countries but they will also go to other strategic locations around the world.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican, is backing the president’s plan to try to root out an Islamic extremist group in the Middle East.

"I think there are some things in life you don’t have a choice," he said. "These people have declared what they mean, what they intend to do, through many different type of media and I think we have to take it very seriously."

Hanna, a moderate conservative from the Utica area, says the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, should be taken to them, before it comes here.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Candidates running for the 24th Congressional District seat, which includes Syracuse, agree there’s no easy answer to the escalating violence in the Middle East.

Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei calls the murders of American reporters in Iraq international crimes and heinous acts. But he says figuring out how to stop the violence perpetrated by the Islamic militant group ISIS is not easy.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he believes President Barack Obama would get bipartisan support if he comes up with a strong plan to deal with the militant Islamic group ISIS, which has taken responsibility for beheading two American journalists.

While in Plattsburgh Wednesday, Schumer said the execution of the second journalist sent shockwaves around the world.