WASHINGTON, DC — The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has been linked to “29 terrorist plots or attacks” against the West nearly a year after President Obama called the jihadist group a “JV team,” revealed House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX).
As ISIS stormed Iraq in January 2014, President Obama dismissed the brutal jihadist organization as a junior varsity (“jayvee team”) terrorist group.
“A year after the president called ISIS the ‘JV team,’ the organization can draw on over 20,000 foreign fighters and has been linked to 29 terrorist plots or attacks targeting the West,” said Chairman McCaul in his opening remarks at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing today. “And the day the president said the global war on terror was effectively over was the day al Baghdadi created ISIS.”
“ISIS now controls territory the size of Belgium, governs millions of people, draws on billions of dollars in revenue, and commands tens of thousands of foot soldiers,” he added. “Terrorist safe havens have spread across the Middle East and North Africa.”
The chairman went on to note that ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly terrorist attack at a museum in Tunisia, which is located next to Libya where the jihadist group has established a presence.
McCaul said, “The gunmen involved had received training in Libyan terror camps.”
Nearly 20 people were killed in the attack.
Furthermore, the Texas Republican pointed out that ISIS, a Sunni group, has also claimed to be behind the coordinated attack against two Shiite mosques in Yemen, which he said, “killed more than 150 people.”
“Yemen’s instability has led to the evacuation of our remaining forces and will further empower extremists,” he added. “This situation is alarming given that al Qaeda’s premier bomb-makers in [Yemen-based] AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] have been targeting the homeland and Western interests for years.”
“Over the past year, Islamist terrorists have struck Western cities, including Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Copenhagen, and Brussels. We have witnessed the reach of extremists here at home as well,” noted McCaul. “An Ohio-based ISIS sympathizer was arrested in January for plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol. Last week, an ISIS-aligned hacking group posted the names, photos, and addresses of 100 American service members, calling their ‘brothers residing in America’ to attack these individuals.”
Today’s House panel hearing was titled, “A Global Battleground: The Fight Against Islamist Extremism at Home and Abroad.”
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