Speculation mounted that the young men possibly could have become radicalized Muslims.
Immigration officials would not comment to the Monitor on the immigration or citizenship status of the suspects because of the ongoing investigation.
But even before some of these details were reported, the sense that the suspects weren’t from the US originally cropped up Friday morning in discussions of immigration reform – everywhere from Twitter to Capitol Hill.
"Given the events of this week, it's important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system," said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa Friday morning as the Senate Judiciary Committee convened the first hearing on bipartisan legislation to remake the US immigration system.
"How can we beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the United States?” he said in his opening statement. “How do we ensure that people who wish to do us harm are not eligible for benefits under the immigration laws, including this new bill?"