Rep. Mike McCaul: Beheadings Signal Time for Syria Airstrikes

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 07:08 PM

By Greg Richter

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The beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff is a "wakeup call" for America to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, says Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

In what McCaul described as "a very chilling, disturbing video," Sotloff was beheaded by a man who appeared to be the same executioner of journalist James Foley two weeks ago. He was left-handed and had a British accent.

The Texas Republican, appearing on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," said there are believed to be between 100 and 200 Americans fighting for ISIS and other terrorist groups in the Middle East. Several hundred more are believed to have passports to European countries.

"Those numbers are very alarming to me," McCaul said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has raised his country's terror alert, and has moved to revoke the passports of British citizens who are believed to have joined ISIS.

McCaul acknowledged there has to be a balance between security and privacy, but said Cameron is facing a more imminent threat in his country. He said he would encourage President Barack Obama to take actions on behalf of the United States, but said he should focus on eliminating the threat overseas rather than allowing them to come to the United States.

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