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Sen. Joe Donnelly meets with FBI, receives briefing on terror threat in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS – Days after a Brownsburg teenager was arrested on federal terrorism charges, U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) met with FBI officials, looking to be briefed on Indiana’s current terror threat.

“My job is to work with the FBI, to ask them challenging questions,” Donnelly said after the meeting.

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, with a focus on emerging threats nationwide, Donnelly said FBI agents in Indianapolis are working around the clock, oftentimes on overtime, to investigate and monitor Hoosiers deemed a potential threat.

“This is making sure you’re running down every lead,” he said. “Making sure we know who are the people we’re concerned about, that the people who may be out there thinking about this, that we’re trying to find out every avenue of information.”

Donnelly wouldn’t identify how many Hoosiers have risen to the FBI’s radar but noted no state is immune to a potential homegrown attack, specially after the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub two weeks ago.

Hours before in downtown Indianapolis, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer issued a cautious warning to America’s mayors Sunday, who are gathered for the 84th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors.

‘We live in a new world,” Dyer said. “A world that any one of our cities, any one of our cities, could be the site of this kind of international mass casualty event.”

Donnelly said both resources and the FBI’s ability to investigate Americans were discussed during the closed-door meeting, specifically encryption and agents’ access to intelligence on Americans under investigation.

“The need for resources to be able to make sure we can continue to track,” Donnelly said. “What can we do within the constitutional framework of this country to also be able to obtain more information regarding some of the things that are being discussed?”

Donnelly said conversations of both resources and authority will be ongoing both with federal officials and Congress.