Pete Hoekstra: Western Leaders Refuse to Address Enduring Threat from Radical Islam

Brian Lilley: Kill them and spit in their faces. Run them over with your cars. This the new video from ISIS with threats against Canada and other Western nations. The propaganda video was posted online by the terrorist group calls on Muslims to use whatever means necessary to kill Canadian civilians, police, members of the military. The video shows footage of the terrorist attacks in Ottawa, Montreal It also calls for American, French, British and Australians to be killed as well. I want to read off an RCMP internal email that I received talking about the video. It says ‘The nine-minute video instructs to kill in any manner or way however it may be, not to ask for anyone’s advice and not to seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.’ The RCMP internal email went on to say ‘Given the recent terror attacks in France and in Canada, this new threat should be taken seriously.’ Pete Hoekstra is former Congressman and former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He joins us now from Washington. Congressman I have to ask you is this more of the same or is this to be taken seriously? I can tell you that Prime Minister Harper was giving a speech yesterday and my colleagues that were there say they haven’t noticed that kind of visible level of security in quite some time.

Pete Hoekstra: Well I’m just wondering how long the people in Canada, the United States are going to stand for their leaders who refuse to recognize this ongoing and continuing threat from radical Islam whether it’s ISIS, whether it’s al Qaeda. The threat is real, it is enduring and all they seem to do is play bunch ball, running from one attack to the next and trying to gauge whether it’s now a new level or a new heightened security level. The bottom line is we’ve known for a decade that these radical jihadist groups want to attack us and they want to attack us in the homeland.

Lilley: Prime Minister Steven Harper last week saying that the international jihadist movement has declared war on the whole world and specifically open, tolerant, democratic societies. That rhetoric is good in comparison to the Obama administration which won’t use rhetoric like that, in comparison to our opposition leaders that still refer to these things as criminal activity. But beyond the rhetoric what do you actually do to tackle this? We had three arrests in the last few days here in Ottawa of people trying to join terror groups, but what is the larger issue at play?

Hoekstra: Well the larger issue at play is number one you need to do what you can do to maintain security at home. The second thing is you need to take a look at what’s going on internationally. NATO, it wasn’t that long ago that they went into Libya, they overthrew the government of Muammar Gaddafi and then they left. Libya now on the northern coast of the Med, on the northern part of Africa, is now basically a lawless state. It has training grounds for ISIS and other radical jihadist groups. It is exporting terror from Libya into the soft underbelly of Europe. It is exporting terror to the Middle East and it’s exporting terror down to the other parts of Africa. And the NATO leadership has no plan to confront this radical trend in Libya. They have no strategy to confront ISIS in Iraq. They have no strategy to confront ISIS in Syria. And these are the breeding grounds, these are the things that let radical jihadists convey the message that they are winning and why other people should be joining them.

Lilley: And they do continue to receive followers from around the world. According to some reports hundreds a week coming from foreign countries around the world to join. Let me ask you this. You and I both opposed the Libya mission saying it could go badly. It did because they went in, they bombed and they walked away. Maybe they shouldn’t be doing anything in Libya. But you can’t just continue to go around the world and engage in bombing campaigns everywhere, so is there an answer for containing this or is it just fortress North America as far as your country and mine are concerned?

Hoekstra: Fortress North America won’t work. The borders that we have, they’re just too long, they’re too porous. We have to go back to the root cause, the root locations of where these groups are training, preparing their attacks against the West. They cannot have a safe haven. NATO has to recognize they have to live with the consequences of what happened in Iraq, what happened in Libya, and now need to develop strategies to fix those. It’s not just ok to say, well you know what we made a mistake in Libya. I’m sorry, that is now a safe haven for radical jihadists that threaten so many other parts of the world. You have to come up and develop a strategy and a commitment to bring some sense of stability and normality and security back to Libya and other places where ISIS and al Qaeda now control large pieces of geographic territory.

Lilley: All right Congressman we’ve got about 30 seconds left, it might not be enough time. But answer those that say this is all happening because of American military bases in Saudi Arabia and if we just left the Middle east tomorrow this would all go away.

Hoekstra: I thought it was all because of Gitmo. The bottom line is radical jihadists they believe in their mission which is to convert the rest of the world to Islam. And if we don’t to Islam they have the right and responsibility to attack us and kill us. It’s much more than about a military base.

Lilley: All right Congressman great talking to you al always. We’ll chat soon I am sure.

Hoekstra: Thank you.

This article originally appeared at the Investigative Project on Terrorism.


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