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Lawmakers: Islamic State Groups Wants to Hit US


Lawmakers: Islamic State Groups Wants to Hit US

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Cities in the United States and Western Europe are being eyed as Islamic
State militants’ future targets and President Barack Obama needs to
take action, U.S. lawmakers say.
Without offering specifics on any threats or suggestions on how to
confront them, the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence
committees on Sunday prodded the White House to work to prevent the
Islamic State extremists from launching attacks on U.S. soil. The
bipartisan pair of lawmakers shared a dire warning about the Islamic
State group, which now has control of vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, has
killed civilians from that region and beheaded American journalist
James Foley.
“This is a group of people who are extraordinarily dangerous,” said Sen.
Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Senate
intelligence panel. “And they’ll kill with abandon.”
In a separate TV interview, the leader of the House Intelligence
Committee warned the leaders of the Islamic State, sometimes called ISIL
or ISIS, are looking for a spectacular attack that would help them
raise money and recruit more fighters.
“ISIL would like to have a Western-style attack to continue this notion
that they are the leading jihadist group in the world,” said Rep. Mike
Rogers, R-Mich.
The pair of lawmakers, who have access to some of the nation’s most
sensitive secrets and receive regular detailed briefings from the
nation’s spy agencies, offered dire predictions of an attack on the
United States or its European allies if the militants are not
“They have announced that they don’t intend to stop,” Feinstein said.
“They have announced that they will come after us if they can, that they
will, quote, ‘spill our blood.'”
The threat, Rogers said, could include Americans who have trained with
Islamic State fighters. He said there are hundreds of Islamic
State-trained Americans who can return to the U.S. with their American
“I’m very concerned because we don’t know every single person that has
an American passport that has gone and trained and learned how to
fight,” Rogers said.
Rogers said U.S. intelligence agencies were tracking the Americans who
are known to have traveled to the region. If they helped Islamic State
fighters, he said, they should be charged under laws that prohibit
Americans from aiding terrorists.
The top Democrat on Roger’s intelligence panel, Rep. C.A. Dutch
Ruppersberger of Maryland, was more skeptical. He said more needs to be
known before judging whether Islamic State extremists plan to commit
terrorist acts in the U.S. any time soon. The group’s priority now seems
to be to hold on to territory it has gained rather than export
“It is extremely urgent, but you don’t just rush in,” he said.
It was a view shared by Rep. Adam Smith, a Washington state Democrat on
the House Armed Services Committee: “We can’t simply bomb first and ask
questions later.”
Feinstein spoke to NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Rogers appeared on “Fox News
Sunday.” Ruppersberger was on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Smith was
interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

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