Foreign Jihadists Flocking In Unprecedented Numbers (20,000) To Join Islamic State In Iraq And Syria; Representing A Clear And Present Danger To The United States, And The West
While the Obama administration is urging “strategic patience,” and downplaying the threat from the Islamic State — and, apparently more worried about polar bears than beheadings — various news outlets are reporting that foreign fighters are streaming into Iraq and Syria in unprecedented numbers. Upwards of 20,000 new recruits from 90 nations around the world,, including as many as 3,400 from Western nations have flocked to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks — a number Nick Rasmussen, Director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center said was “without precedent, far exceeding the rate of foreigners who went to wage jihad in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia — at any other point in the past 20 years.” U.S Intelligence now believes that as many as 150 Americans “have tried; and, some have succeeded in reaching the Syrian war zone,” — U.S officials told the Homeland Security Committee — in testimony prepared for a Congressional hearing today (Wed., Feb. 11, 2015).
The testimony and other data, was obtained by the Associated Press; and confirmed by an intelligence official who spoke to CBS News. Of course, these 3,400 Westerners, including some 150 Americans, have Western and/or, U.S. passports — which could allow them to travel back to the U.S., Europe, and other Western nations — and potentially carry out acts of terrorism. U.S. officials acknowledge it is hard to track these individuals, with Michael Steinbach, the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counter-Terrorism stating: “Once in Syria, it is very difficult to discern what happens there. This lack of clarity — remains troubling.”
Some estimates now put the Islamc State numbers as high as 50,000; and, a clear and present danger to the U.S. and the West. National Security Advisor Rice’s statement that there is “no existential threat” to America, arguing that climate change is just as much a threat to our well being as the Islamic State notwithstanding, it is clear that the U.S. and the West has an immediate and potentially existential threat — as jihadists have long desired to detonate a tactical nuclear weapon somewhere here in the U.S. homeland. FYI, I posted an article this past weekend on the probability that a tactical nuclear weapon could be smuggled into/or assembled here in the United States.
This POTUS and White House remain out-of-touch with the magnitude of the threat that the Islamic State poses to America and the West; and, one canb only hope and pray that this White House comes around in a much more serious and profound way — to confront this threat — or, the consequences could be grave. V/R, RCP