ISIS — the al-Qaida splinter group that has captured city after city in Iraq — is proving itself to be a bold, in-your-face terrorist group that poses a major threat to the U.S. and all of Western civilization, Sen. John Barrasso says.
"Our homeland [is] in direct threat. We are the target and my concern is the safety and security of the people of the United States,'' the Wyoming Republican told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
Story continues below video.
Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349
and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now
"The area that they have taken in Syria and Iraq is larger than the state of Indiana and when you see their commander go to the pulpit to preach … this is very different than what Osama Bin Laden did where he took to hiding out.
"They are emboldened, they are out in public and feel they have control of a large enough area that he can come out in public in that way. This is going to be a religious effort to go after the entire western way of life''
Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized President Barack Obama's decision to pull all U.S. troops from Iraq, which has led to the rise of ISIS.
"Whenever the United States leaves a vacuum bad actors move in and it emboldens and invites them to move in and we have done that,'' he said, noting the Obama administration's tepid response to other world hotspots.
"When he makes threats about Russia when they invade the Ukraine with forces that are causing disorder there and the threats turned out to be empty that emboldens others.
"It emboldens not just in the Middle East, it emboldens Russia, it emboldens China, it emboldens North Korea, so it's a global thing.''
And that includes the current strife between Israel and Hamas.
"Hamas, a known terrorist organization, when they hook up with the Palestinian Authority as they have done and the president is trying to pressure [Benjamin] Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, to make concessions to the Palestinian authority [which is] combined with Hamas … it just shows additional Barack Obama administration weakness.''
Barrasso said he cannot support Obama's request to Congress for $3.7 billion in aid for the U.S. border crisis.
"I want to see what his plan of action is. The president apparently doesn't believe he needed to go there. He did need to go to Texas for fundraisers … but he wasn't interested in visiting the border,'' he said.
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.