Tags: George W. Bush | GOP2016 | ISIS/Islamic State | Jeb Bush | Terror in Texas | Michael Hayden | texas

Hayden Not Convinced on Role of ISIS in Texas Attack

Image: Hayden Not Convinced on Role of ISIS in Texas Attack
(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 12:13 PM

The Islamic State may have claimed responsibility for a weekend attack at a center near Dallas, but retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday that he's not convinced that ISIS actually ordered the incident.

"This wasn't directed by ISIS," the former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "If anything, it was inspired by them. It was trying to put out aspirational directives, that, if that word makes sense, then you get the disaffected who sign up to do these things."

Such events are what's being expected in North America, said Hayden, as ISIS encourages "lone wolf" attacks on targets.

It was not clear in the ISIS statement about whether it had an actual hand in the Texas incident or if the two suspects, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, had pledged allegiance and then carried out the attack on their own. ISIS called the attackers "two soldiers of the caliphate."

According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad and others prophets, including Jesus and Moses — even a respectful one — is considered blasphemous. Drawings similar to those featured at the Texas event have sparked violence around the world.

Simpson had announced his intentions on Twitter, and Hayden admitted that there will likely be even more attacks "unless we are willing to rewrite our social contract about that balance between liberty and security ... this kind of danger might be the cost of doing business in preserving our freedoms."

This week, the French government announced that it was taking steps to broaden its authority when it comes to domestic spying, and Hayden said that it went beyond being the French version of the U.S. Patriot Act.

"The French baseline has always been more invasive than the American baseline," he said. "That's just a product of our two political cultures. But the French are moving forward even more aggressively."

According to The New York Times,  a bill moving through parliament will allow French authorities to install recording devices on private property and in cars; monitor the associates of people under surveillance; and to monitor people in France who communicate with others outside the country. The bill is before the French upper house, where approval is widely expected, the Times said.

Hayden said the French are more aggressive than the United States in such matters, "yet they remain a democracy ... I'm not implying anything by that. They draw this line about public safety more aggressively than we do."

And finally, Hayden reiterated his support for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for the presidency, saying he "represents precisely what we need ... he represents the Republican internationalist tradition and that's spot-on for what the nation needs right now."

Hayden has been asked to be an adviser for Bush's foreign policy team, and said Wednesday that he does not expect him to be a president who follows the lead of his older brother, former President George W. Bush.

"I think the governor is saying he is not running on his brother's record as president," said Hayden. "I'm sure he is going to run against Barack Obama's record as president ... America can't be free unless America is prosperous. America can't be prosperous unless America is strong. I think the governor is kind of in that range."

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The Islamic State may have claimed responsibility for a weekend attack at a center near Dallas, but retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Wednesday that he's not convinced that ISIS actually ordered the incident.
Michael Hayden, texas, ISIS, role, prophet Muhammad
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2015-13-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 12:13 PM
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