By Kristina Wong - 09/29/14 05:47 PM EDT
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the intelligence community had warned President Obama about the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for "over a year."
"This was not an Intelligence Community failure, but a failure by policy makers to confront the threat," Rogers said in a statement Monday.
"For over a year, U.S. intelligence agencies specifically warned that ISIL was taking advantage of the situation in Syria to recruit members and provoke violence that could spill into Iraq and the rest of the region," Rogers said in a statement on Monday, using an alternate name for the group.
Rogers said his committee had formally pressed the administration to act against the terror threat in 2013.
"Additionally, national security experts — both inside and outside the government — repeatedly warned, a year before ISIL’s drive into Mosul, that the Iraq Security Forces faced severe pressure; the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing on that very issue in early 2014," he said.
"And we all knew that former Iraqi Prime Minster Maliki had mismanaged his military and gutted the ISF of its top commanders," he added. "Indeed, over a year ago, our Arab League partners sought U.S. support and leadership for a coordinated effort to address the extremist threat in eastern Syria."
Obama's comments were met Monday by a barrage of criticism from Republicans who said the president was trying to shift blame onto the intelligence community for not acting sooner against ISIS.
Republicans are also looking to make the president’s response to ISIS a campaign issue ahead of November’s midterms with control of the Senate at stake.