Tags: Emerging Threats | Exclusive Interviews | Homeland Security | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | Middle East | MidPoint | Syria | War on Terrorism

Jihad Watch's Spencer: Gen. Dempsey Understates ISIS Threat

By Sean Piccoli   |   Monday, 25 Aug 2014 03:29 PM

A statement by the highest-ranking U.S. military officer that Islamic State terrorists won't strike anytime soon inside the United States is premature — and designed to divert attention from his own role in allowing the threat to grow, Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer told Newsmax TV on Monday.

Spencer told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had "no basis" to play down the chances of either an imminent attack or a plan for one, given the evidence that the terrorist group is, in some capacity, "already here."

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"Active Islamic State jihadists who have crossed over into the United States already, or their sympathizers . . . we don't know which," said Spencer. "We know they are holding up signs in Ferguson, Missouri, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., saying 'ISIS is here' or [displaying] the flag of the Islamic State in front of landmarks, including the White House."

Spencer said it's a short step from threat-laced tweets to the mounting of an actual attack by the group, also known as ISIS.

"That is what they are planning to do," he said. "Whether they have crossed over now, or they have people here who are on their side, is really immaterial. The fact is that the Islamic State is already here."

Spencer said that all it takes for a terrorist act to occur on U.S. soil is one person who "does indeed have no connection whatsoever to the Islamic State, except that he believes the same way, shares their sympathies," and, inspired by ISIS' threats against the United States, decides "that it is time to strike."

He said these are awkward realities for Dempsey, who told reporters Sunday that unlike al-Qaida in Yemen, he has seen no indications of "active plotting against the homeland" by ISIS.

Dempsey has also said ISIS cannot be defeated without direct military action against its positions in Syria, where it also holds captured territory in addition to large swaths of Iraq. But on Sunday, Dempsey said no such action is imminent in Syria as long as ISIS remains a "regional," Middle East threat.

Spencer said Dempsey obviously "doesn't want there to be panic."

"At the same time," he said, "the Obama administration in general — and that includes people like Dempsey in this case — they have been caught flat-footed by the rise of the Islamic State after the Obama administration's precipitous withdrawal from Iraq in fulfillment of campaign promises that Obama made. The Islamic State is their baby.

"It wouldn't be there if the American troops were still there," said Spencer. "They have to downplay, denigrate, deny, and obfuscate the magnitude of the threat the Islamic State poses, simply to try to throw off the scent . . . people who are going to put together that this is all their fault, and they have made this happen."

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