House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul argued that the situation with ISIS “far surpasses” that of pre-9/11 Afghanistan on Thursday’s broadcast of “The Lead” on CNN.
“If you look at pre-9/11 in Afghanistan, this far surpasses what we had, the situation in Afghanistan, and it just took the 19 hijackers to pull off what they did. When you’re talking about tens of thousands of these foreign fighters, that is a very serious concern. It’s the largest convergence of radical Islamists in a caliphate area, I don’t think we have ever seen anything like this in our lifetime, so when that threat environment is so high over there, so too to the homeland” he stated.
McCaul also reacted to testimony by Michael Steinbach before his committee that the ISIS foreign fighter problem was “not even close to being under control,” by saying “we don’t have adequate intelligence on the ground in Syria to properly determine how many of these foreign fighters we really have on our hands. We know what we do know. But, I think there’s a lot more that we don’t, and I think these numbers are, quite honestly, very deflated, I think the actual number’s probably a lot higher in terms of both Americans and foreign fighters from Western Europe that have traveled to the region. That is why I’m so concerned, not only in what’s happening over there, but in terms of protecting the homeland, making sure we keep these individuals outside the United States.”
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