Rep. McCaul: ISIS 'Would Love to Hit The US'

Sunday, 24 Aug 2014 12:44 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Islamic State represents "the greatest threat since 9/11," House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said Sunday, and the beheading of journalist James Foley has alerted Americans to the threat ISIS poses.

"In their words, 'we'll drown Americans in their own blood. We'll raise the black flag of al- Qaida over the White House,' " the Texas Republican representative said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Story continues below video.

ISIS is intent on expanding its external operations not only to Europe, but "they would love to hit the United States of America," McCaul said.

There has been a call to expand the United States' efforts against ISIS, and McCaul said that if President Barack Obama is considering that action, his administrations should be in consultation with Congress.

"So far, they have, under the War Powers Act," said McCaul. "Once that period of time expires, we believe it's necessary to come back to Congress to get additional authorities and to update, if you will, the authorized use of military force."

Meanwhile, McCaul said the United States should not bear the burden of defeating ISIS alone, as "we have allies that can bring a lot of pressure on ISIS."

Further, the fight against ISIS can't be won with just a containment policy, said McCaul.

"This administration, thus far, has only dealt with containment," said McCaul. "We need to expands strikes to ultimately defeat ISIS. I would rather eliminate them there than in the United States."

ISIS poses a threat to the United States' homeland security even now when its focus is on establishing its Islamic caliphate and "tens of thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world [are] pouring into this safe haven that's now been established," said McCaul

The fighters include "hundreds of Americans with western passports," said McCaul, which would allow them to travel to western Europe and the United States.

On Aug. 14, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) announced on its Al-Manbar website that it supports ISIS' efforts in Iraq, reports The Yemen Times, and McCaul said Sunday that the alliance just expands ISIS' reach.

AQAP is "the premier al Qaida bombmaker," said McCaul, and the alliance adds to the threat of expanded terror attacks.

"I think the FBI, and Homeland Security officials believe it's real," said McCaul. "That's why they sent out a 'be on the lookout' to state and local officials."

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