Rep. Mike Rogers: ISIS Is 'One Plane Ticket Away From U.S. Shores'

Sunday, 24 Aug 2014 01:45 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is "a very real threat" to the United States and the group is "one plane ticket away from U.S. shores," says Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

"One of the problems is it's gone unabated for nearly two years, and that draws people from Britain to across Europe, even the United States, to go and join the fight," Rogers said on NBC on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

"They see that as a winning ideology, a winning strategy, and they want to be a part of it," he explained to NBC's Senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing. "And that's what makes it so dangerous."

"They are one plane ticket away from U.S. shores," he added. "And that's why we're so concerned about it."

Story continue below video.

Rogers said that while "we have a better system" of protecting the country defensively than we did on 9/11, "we are not configured, our intelligence services and our Department of Defense, to be more disruptive" to ISIS.

"The reason ISIS is so successful is there was nothing deterring them for years," he explained. "So they recruited, they financed, they trained."

"We might be okay if we continue the posture that we're in from a defensive posture," he added.

The man behind the killing of American journalist James Foley is believed to be British former rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.

The danger of such recruits is that British and other European citizens are able to travel to the United States without a visa.

"What's dangerous, think of this: If that's a British citizen, we believe it was, you have somebody that was watching and participating in the whole exercise of making that video," the Michigan Republican said on "Meet the Press.

"That individual goes back home and, is again, buys one plane ticket, they're in the United States," he explained.

"We may or may not know who that individual is," the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said. "That's what's so dangerous about this, and why we can't let them continue unabated."

Rogers said that "we have the capability to defeat" ISIS, the question is if we "have the political will" and "policy to do it."

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