Tags: War on Terrorism | eric holder | radical | islam | war | charlie | hebdo

Holder Dodges Question of 'War with Radical Islam'

By    |   Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:40 AM

Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday maintained that while the United States has "decimated" core al-Qaida, their affiliates, such as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remain a "virulent and viable threat."

AQAP, operating out of Yemen, has claimed credit for the Paris attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo over cartoons that insulted Islam and its founder.

Holder, in Paris for a security summit, appeared on all the Sunday morning news shows except Fox, calling for more international cooperation on intelligence. He announced Sunday morning that another international summit on preventing extremism will be held at White House next month, NBC reported.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that France is at war with radical Islam. Asked on "Meet the Press" whether he agreed, Holder would say only that "we are at war with the terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions."

America is committed to holding them accountable and finding them "wherever they are," Holder said.

That includes a constant evaluation of suspects who are on the radar within the United States, he said. Holder said the American people should feel secure that the United states is keeping track of movements of possible terror suspects, but admitted it is hard to keep up with everyone who might do something.

Lone wolf attacks are his biggest concern, Holder said.

"We don't stereotype, but we are constantly looking at those people to make sure that we are doing all the things that we can to keep the American people safe in stopping them from engaging in the kinds of activities that we saw here in France this week," Holder told CNN.

Still, he said, the United States is committed to balancing the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans.

"We're not going to do anything that you would term a rollback that would endanger the American people," he said.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Holder said there is not yet enough credible information to determine which terrorist group, ISIS or al-Qaida, was behind last Wednesday's deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo publication's staff and subsequent hostage situations.

Either way, he said, the world's countries will need to join forces and intelligence to fight threats.

"One nation cannot by itself hope to forestall the possibility of terrorism even within its own borders," said Holder. "We certainly have worked together quite well with our French allies in a whole variety of ways. Bringing people to justice who are responsible for these acts is certainly something that we would work together with our French counterparts and to the extent there is something more than that, we will certainly consider whatever it is that they would propose, but we stand in solidarity with the French."

But Holder was careful to avoid saying whether the United States will join the French government's call for retaliation for the attacks.

"We'll certainly have to see exactly who was responsible, determine what kind of retaliation would be appropriate," he commented. "We have certainly worked together quite well with our French allies in a whole variety of ways."

The United States has been involved in a meeting with world leaders this weekend and the president of France, said Holder, and "one of the things we have certainly gleaned from these interactions is there is a greater need for us to share information, to knock down these information-sharing barriers so that we can always stay on top of these threats."

Meanwhile, he said he shares concerns voiced this week by Andrew Parker, the head of MI5 and British intelligence, who said al-Qaida and Syria have been planning attacks with mass casualties, but noted that the United States has the adequate resources to detect such threats and disrupt plots.

And while Holder said earlier this year the threat environment is as dangerous as any since the 9/11 attacks, there is not a specific credible threat he can point out.

However, like with the attack on Charlie Hebdo, "we have a very small number of people without huge amounts of planning, without huge amounts of resources inflicting very severe damage. That environment is the one that I was referring to and that environment is still one that gives me great concern especially, especially those we identify as lone wolves."

And like the French, the United States is "at war with those who would commit terrorist attacks and who would corrupt the Islamic faith in the way that they do, to try to justify their terrorist actions," said Holder. "So that's who we are at war with. And we are determined to take the fight to them to prevent them from engaging these kinds of activities."

He noted that President Barack Obama has called for a summit on Feb. 18 to deal with better ways to counter violent extremism and "get to the core and come up with ways we prevent people from adhering to, being attracted to this terrorist ideology."

The Paris attacks show "unfortunately what we're going to have to confront into the future," Holder said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"We have seen these kinds of attacks, or attempts at these kinds of attacks certainly in the United States," Holder. "We've seen things like this in the United Kingdom. We've seen this in Nairobi and Australia and Canada. This is the nature of the new threat that we must confront."

The United States is working with its French counterparts, and Holder said he would defer to them on questions about that probe, including reports that one of the three terrorists involved in this week's attacks may have activated other sleeper cells in France.

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Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday maintained that while the United States has decimated core al-Qaeda, their affiliates, such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remain a virulent and viable threat. AQAP, operating out of Yemen, has claimed credit for the...
eric holder, radical, islam, war, charlie, hebdo
Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:40 AM
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