Reports Tuesday that the Islamic State burned to death 45 people in Iraq just days after posting a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians proves that "we're witnessing atrocities that were reserved for the Dark Ages," Los Angeles author Johnnie Moore told Newsmax.
"Just as soon as you think it can't get worse, it gets worse," said Moore, whose book detailing ISIS' persecution of non-Muslims is to be published next month. He is a former senior vice president of Liberty University.
"My concern is that it's going to get worse and worse and worse," he said.
Pete Hoekstra, the former Michigan congressman who once chaired the House Intelligence Committee, said the deaths clearly reflect an emboldened Islamic State.
"What the radical jihadists are learning is that for much of the West, the response is temporary, and it is restrained," he told Newsmax.
"It's one thing to go after these folks with limited airstrikes — but if you really want to stop these folks, everyone agrees that you've got to get boots on the ground, you've got to find these folks, and you've got to either capture them or kill them.
"It's not a complex formula, but that doesn't happen," Hoekstra said.
Local Iraqi authorities said Tuesday that terrorists had burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi.
Col. Qasim al-Obeidi, a local police chief, told BBC News
that he believed some of those murdered belonged to security forces. He said he did not know who was killed or why they were burned to death, and his report could not be immediately confirmed.
ISIS captured much of the town, which is near the al-Asad air base about 100 miles west of Baghdad, last week. U.S. Marines are stationed at the base, providing training to Iraqi soldiers.
Al-Obeidi told the BBC that a compound that housed the families of security personnel and local officials had been attacked by ISIS jihadists. The police chief turned to the international community for help.
The alleged murders come after several videos have been posted on social media in recent weeks showing ISIS terrorists committing numerous atrocities: the torching of a Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, 26, who was captured after his plane crashed in Iraq on Christmas Eve; the parading of 17 caged Kurdish fighters
through the streets of Iraq, all clad in orange prison garb; and the beheadings of the 21 Coptic Christians
over the weekend.
In addition, the Obama administration and the family of U.S. aid worker Kayla Mueller confirmed her death
by ISIS earlier this month. Mueller, 26, of Prescott, Arizona, was the last-known American hostage to be killed by the jihadists. She was captured in August 2013.
"We're witnessing a vacuum of power in the region that is allowing literally the most horrific actors in modern times to have all the power and all the opportunity that they want to exhibit as much horror as they want," said Moore, the author of the forthcoming book, "Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard."
"It's going to take a global response and global solutions, and the entire world is going to have to do everything in their power to stop it," he said. "It's amazing that in just a few days, we've seen a whole century's worth of horrific things happening and they're not going to stop until they're stopped," Moore said.
Perhaps the greatest danger is that ISIS could eliminate Christianity from the Middle East, he said.
"We're watching a once-in-a-thousand-year assault on Christianity in the region. These are harmless people. … That's why they're so easy to kill.
"Here we are in the modern world, and we're allowing all this to happen, these people to be picked off, one by one," Moore said. "It's not inconceivable that Christianity can be eradicated from the place of its birth after surviving thousands and thousands of years.
"In the 21st century, it could all be gone," he said.
Hoekstra slammed the Obama administration for its weak response to ISIS.
"The message to ISIS from the West is that it is mostly talk and bluster and very little action," he said.
Both Hoekstra and Moore told Newsmax that the immediate solution is to send lethal military weapons and related support to the Kurds and Sunni Muslims in the region.
"They all are begging for additional equipment and training from the United States," Hoekstra said. "They’re not asking for troops. They're not asking for American boots on the ground.
"They are saying, 'Give us the training and the equipment, and we will move the scourge of ISIS from Iraq and Libya.' It doesn't clear the whole problem, but it sends a clear message," he said.
"Now, we need to do everything we can to help them, whatever it is," Moore said. "Like we did with Ebola — it's all hands on deck.
"If we don't handle it, we're going to see more of what we've seen in France, in Belgium, in Toronto, and in this country. It's got to be rooted out and handled.
"The experts are the people in the region," he added. "We have to work with those who peaceably deal with their neighbors."
The BBC report came as the Obama administration convened a three-day summit
at the White House on countering violent extremism.
The event, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, is expected to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, and inspiring others — particularly disaffected young people.
The conference is designed to share best practices and emerging strategies to prevent extremists from carrying out violent acts. President Barack Obama will address a related gathering on Wednesday.
Hoekstra noted reports that State Department officials had recommended that the U.S. fund economic development efforts in the region.
"Excuse me, but a lot of the studies and research have shown that a lot of these people are coming from middle-class families," he said, referring to ISIS fighters. "They're not coming from families in despair.
"I don't have much hope in this conference."
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