(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michael McCaul, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday that contrary to Secretary of State John Kerry's claim that ISIS is on the run, the terrorist group is “not on the run - they’re on the rise.”
“This is an unprecedented pace of terror in modern times, so to say they’re on the run is absolutely— defies reality. I was just in Cairo in Egypt and up in the Sinai Province, where ISIS is very heavy - Tunisia, Libya. They’re expanding beyond the caliphate now into northern Africa, so they’re not on the run, they’re on the rise,” said McCaul.
McCaul was asked about Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments Tuesday after the terror attack on the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Forty-one people were killed and hundreds wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the airport. The Turkish government blamed the attack on ISIS. Although the terrorist group did not claim responsibility for the attack Tuesday evening, it did issue an infographic commemorating the two-year anniversary of the announcement of the caliphate. It also said it had “covert units” in Turkey and other places.
“Now, yes, you can bomb an airport, you can blow yourself up. That’s the tragedy. Daesh and others like it know that we have to get it right 27/7/365. They have to get it right for 10 minutes or one hour, so it’s a very different scale,” Kerry said. “And if you’re desperate and if you know you’re losing, and you know you want to give up your life, then obviously, you can do some harm.”
“We’d like to know if you feel like the secretary of State that ISIS is desperate, and they’re losing. That’s why they’re doing things like this,” “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade asked McCaul.
“They [the Obama administration] said they’re [ISIS is] on the run for many years, and they’re not, Brian, the fact of the matter, I think the airstrikes have ramped up external operations, which is what you’re seeing now – both in Turkey, and you saw them in Europe. You’re seeing them in the United States,” McCaul said.
“This is an unprecedented pace of terror in modern times, so to say they’re on the run is absolutely— defies reality. I was just in Cairo in Egypt and up in the Sinai Province, where ISIS is very heavy - Tunisia, Libya. They’re expanding beyond the caliphate now into northern Africa, so they’re not on the run, they’re on the rise,” he added.
“I think the intel reports indicate that the caliphate sent operatives into Turkey and to Europe to conduct terrorist attacks during the season of Ramadan. It’s a holy season. I think this has all the hallmarks of ISIS-related attack. It involved an airport just like Brussels. It’s like the sequel to Brussels,” said McCaul.
“It’s a second anniversary of the caliphate. Unlike the PKK, which strikes military, they often strike civilian targets as well, so it’s really a very deadly attack, but you know, Steve, we’re seeing these attacks all too common,” he said.
While McCaul urged Americans to “be careful,” he said, “I would not let the terrorists defeat our ability to travel.”
“There’s a current threat against Europe and France that I would be cautious about last point of departure airports like Turkey. There’s 70 flights per week into the United States. We have ramped up security at these last point of departure airports, but also our airports in the United States, but I would never tell someone not to travel. People ask me that question all the time, and I think if you don’t travel, they win, and I don’t want them to win,” McCaul said.
“I know John Kerry boasts about all the success we’ve been having over there. The fact is, they’ve waited three and a half years to do anything, to take any sort of military action,” McCaul said. “I was in the Persian Gulf on an aircraft carrier watching F-18s going into Iraq and Syria, but we need to ramp this up.
“I remember when Reagan was asked about Grenada. He said well whatever you recommend, double that, because I want to win and get out,” he said. “And the fact is we haven’t done that here. We’ve waited, and delay is not our friend. Delay is our enemy, and this president and John Kerry and the administration have delayed far too much.”