Tags: MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Scott Perry | ISIS | American jihadists

Rep. Scott Perry: 'How Many More' ISIS Recruits Are in US?

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 04:07 PM

Six Minnesota men charged this week with trying to join the Islamic State could be part of a much larger pool of would-be American jihadists, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Monday.

"We won't know until it's too late," said Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, Iraq War veteran with the Army National Guard, and member of the House committees on homeland security and foreign affairs.

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"While it's great that they caught these individuals, how many more are going unnoticed?" said Perry. "We're counting on agencies like the FBI to be 100 percent correct 100 percent of the time. It's just not realistic."

The six, ages 19-21, were arrested on Sunday in Minneapolis and San Diego and indicted on terrorism charges for attempting to fly to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

A handful of Minnesotans of Somali origin are already there, say authorities.

Perry said while ISIS is recruiting Americans, law enforcement is being hampered by political correctness and civil liberties concerns.

"We do have to be very careful of our civil liberties," said Perry, "but we certainly know to the greatest extent where these individuals come from, where they emanate from, and how they operate in the circles that they operate in.

"It's not just the FBI; it could be your local police," he said of limits placed on anti-terror investigations. "You have New York City, where they're no longer allowed to surveil mosques that are known for terrorist activity. That is clearly wrongheaded and counterproductive to law enforcement at an epic scale.

"And you only need to see the tragedies in the streets, whether it's Boston or whether it's Oklahoma, to remind you of what failed vigilance gets you," he said, referencing the April anniversaries of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the Oklahoma City bombing of 20 years ago.

Perry took issue with arguments made of late that ISIS itself poses little threat on American soil.

"You might not see some core leadership, [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, in the United States any time soon," he said. "But what people fail to recognize that this is an ideology. And whether you call it ISIS, whether you call it Boko Haram, or al-Qaida, it's all of the same mindset and the same ideology that one individual could wreak a lot of havoc, as opposed to hordes with military style weapons running across the Great Plains.

"So people need to wrap their minds around that instance where, if this is happening on an epic scale in other countries, it only takes one individual to destroy many lives and our way of living right here in our local shopping areas or in our neighborhoods," he said. "And that is a very real threat."

Perry also discussed the plight of Americans trapped in Yemen with no evacuation help from the U.S. government while fighting rages between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to a fallen government that was supported by the Obama administration.

"It's just another step in what seems to be a pattern, a long-standing pattern, of failure in foreign policy," said Perry, citing instability across the Middle East and the growing influence of Iran. "Yemen, which was just only months ago decried as a success … and now we can't get our folks out because it's too dangerous."

Asked how a government could leave its own people in a war zone, Perry said: "Well we did in Benghazi and it's become too much of a bother for the administration to discuss … and if they can't be bothered in Libya, why do you think it would be any different in Yemen?"

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Six Minnesota men charged this week with trying to join the Islamic State could be part of a much larger pool of would-be American jihadists, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Monday.
Scott Perry, ISIS, American jihadists
Monday, 20 April 2015 04:07 PM
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