Although U.S.-led coalition air strikes have had some impact, U.S. Representative Peter King said Sunday on a major national network that Da’esh terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “is probably right: ISIS is stronger.”
Speaking on the weekly Fox News Sunday cable news talk program, the New York Republican Congress member was blunt in his assessment of a video message released this weekend by the Da’esh leader. “Hear the good news that our state is doing well,” despite the air strikes, Abu Bakr says in the video. “The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets,” he adds.
“I would expect al-Baghdadi to say that,” King said. “We’ve had some impact, but unfortunately overall he is probably right. … ISIS is stronger.”
A former chairman and still a member of the House committees for Homeland Security and Select Intelligence, King is a 12-term member of Congress. He also warned on the program that it is clear that it “has become clear” to intelligence officials in “the last several months” that Da’esh intends to carry out attacks in the U.S.
King called – again – for better surveillance of mosques in the U.S. following a similar call by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in the wake of the Dec. 2 terrorist massacre in San Bernardino, California, and the Paris terror attack on Nov. 13.
Da’esh claimed responsibility for the attack in Paris; the Muslim husband-and-wife team that carried out the attack in California allegedly pledged their loyalty to ISIS just prior to carrying out the massacre in San Bernardino.
Critics can “cry all they want,” about civil liberties violations, King said, “But the fact is, [this] is where the threat is coming from.”
The lawmaker cited those Americans who are willing to sacrifice U.S. national security on the altar of “blind political correctness” when discussing surveillance in mosques. King pointed out that one of the Boston marathon bombers had been ejected from a mosque after two outbursts – but no one in the mosque had bothered to warn any law enforcement agency.
“If they had known that in advance, you combine that with the fact that the Russians had already told us to be on the lookout for him, we could have possibly prevented … the bombing,” the lawmaker said. As many as 264 people were wounded and three were killed in the April 2013 terror attack.