Kerry to Royce: ‘Pledging Allegiance to ISIL Is Not Necessarily Joining the Fight’


On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), that “Pledging allegiance to ISIL is not necessarily joining the fight.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) responded by asking, “So we’re going to wait until they kill a bunch of people before we attack them. Is that what you’re saying the administration’s fight is?”

Kerry replied, “No. We are going to and see whether or not they are in fact, really joined in the fight against ISIL.” He explained his belief, and the administration’s policy, that “a group that simply embraces the ideology, pledges allegiance is not necessarily fighting for, alongside, or against the United States and our associated forces.”

Among other issues discussed were the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Ireland, and Russia’s rampant propaganda campaign throughout the region and beyond. Kerry’s requested $1.3 million to confront Russian propaganda was met with positive reaction from Chairman Royce.

Rep. Royce pointed out in his opening statements Iran’s long-held disdain for western civilization, with chants of “Death to America” and Death to Israel.” He also said that “Iran has continued to stonewall intentional inspectors concerning its past bomb work,” which Royce explained was a critical component in assessing the U.S.-Iran negotiations going forward. Kerry agreed, and expressed interest in meeting with Royce again to discuss those issues at greater length.

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