House Intel Committee Chair: US In More Danger Now Than Before 9/11 Attacks
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee warns that the United States is in more danger now than before the 9/11 attacks.
Speaking to CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., stated the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, along with other terror groups, have made the U.S. more vulnerable.
“Before 9/11, there were single-level threat streams coming to the United States. So, pretty serious. Obviously they got in and conducted the attacks on 9/11. Now you have multiple organizations, all al Qaeda-minded, trying to accomplish the same thing,” Rogers told CBS News. “Now you have two competing terrorist organizations, both of them want to get their credentials to the point where they can say, ‘We are the premier terrorist organization.’ Both want to conduct attacks in the West for that reason. And guess what? That means we lose at the end. If either one of those organizations is successful, we lose.”
Rogers slammed the White House for not dealing with terror groups like ISIS, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Boko Haram.
“The threat is so wide and it’s so deep. We just didn’t have that before 9/11,” Rogers told CBS News, adding that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy “has caused the spread and danger of these organizations.”
Rogers added that the U.S. should arm moderate rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in an effort to combat ISIS.
“We should absolutely play a role there. One thing we’re watching [ISIS] do is attack those same rebel groups who are fighting Assad for control. They want control of certain areas, certain resources,” Rogers told CBS News. “They have a long-term plan about where they’re going that would establish their caliphate from Beirut to Syria through Iraq. So they have a different attitude about when Assad goes down than these rebel groups. Does it mean that we can find and facilitate some of these groups that would be at least more friendly to the United States? Absolutely.”
Obama is taking a two-day break from summer vacation, returning to the White House Monday to receive a briefing from the National Security Council on the crisis in Iraq, among other issues, including the Ferguson protests.
In Iraq, Iraqi and Kurdish forces reported gaining back control of the country’s largest dam from Islamic militants after two days of airstrikes.
CBS News reports that U.S. fighter jets carried out at least 16 airstrikes against ISIS targets over the weekend.
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