Family Security Matters
Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Mich.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is “one plane ticket away from U.S. shores” and that terrorists carrying European passports could get into the United States without a visa.
“Oh, it’s a very real threat,” Rogers said of the threat to the United States from ISIS.
“You saw the very barbaric behavior,” he said. “And one of the problems is it’s gone unabated for nearly two years, and that draws people from Britain to across Europe, even the United States, to go and join the fight. They see that as a winning ideology, a winning strategy, and they want to be a part of it. And that’s what makes it so dangerous. They are one plane ticket away from U.S. shores. And that’s why we’re so concerned about it.”
Host Chris Jansing asked: “But we’ve heard the Pentagon say that, right now, they are not in a position to launch an attack on the United States. Is there any credible intelligence that ISIS is either planning that or has the capability to do it?
“Well, I’m going to dispute that,” said Rogers. “So we know that, and the number 2,000 of Westerners with Western passports is low. Intelligence has a very different number and it’s much higher than that. And the very fight between Al Qaeda [and ISIS} that allowed ISIS to separate from Al Qaeda in Syria was the fact that they wanted to conduct Western-style operations.
“Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, said, ‘No, we want you to focus on Syria,'” said Rogers. “That’s what started the fight. This notion that they were too barbaric is almost laughable given that Al Qaeda flew airplanes and slaughtered 3,000 people on 9/11. It was all about direction, control of those individuals.
“What they [ISIS] were saying at the time was we have a lot of people who have passports that could go to Europe and then to the United States without a visa waiver, meaning they wouldn’t have to apply for a visa,” said Rogers. “The only way we would know is by looking at who was riding on those airplanes, and that might not be enough.