Homeland Security Chair: 'Greatest Threat We've Seen Since 9-11'

August 25, 2014 - 7:26 AM

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) - The Islamic terrorists trying to carve their own state out of Syria and Iraq "present the greatest threat we've seen since 9/11," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Sunday.

Although McCaul advocates expanded air strikes, he also said this is not just America's problem: "I believe that America, the United States, shouldn't bear this burden alone. We have regional allies, both Muslim allies and European allies, that can bring a lot of pressure on ISIS," McCaul told ABC's "This Week."

"And I don't think you're going to...win this with a containment policy alone. This administration thus far has only dealt with containment.

"We need to expand these air strikes so that we can ultimately defeat and eliminate ISIS, because I would far prefer to eliminate them over here than have to deal with them in the United States."

McCaul sees particular danger in the "tens of thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world," including Americans, who are coming to the ISIS/ISIL safe haven to train, then returning to the U.S. or other Western countries:

"And then you couple that with their now newly formed alliance, announced a couple of days ago, with AQAP in Yemen, which is the premier al Qaeda bomb maker, now you have a threat to airplanes blowing up and also the traditional sort of Times Square bomber that we saw in New York. So I believe the threat is very real."

McCaul called the beheading of American James Foley a "turning point," and he said President Obama should get congressional authorization if he expands U.S. strikes on ISIS/ISIL.

"We believe that the administration should be in consultation with Congress. So far, they have, under The War Powers Act. But once that period of time expires, we believe it's necessary to come back to the Congress to get additional authorities and to update, if you will, the (authorized) use of military force."