The former director of the National Counterterrorism Center on Sunday said France's efforts to ban the so-called burkini, or Muslim swimsuit for women, could result in people connecting with the message of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).


"Banning the burkini doesn't produce terrorists," Michael Leiter said on ABC's "This Week."

But he said people who already feel somewhat disconnected with their society could be drawn to the terrorist group.

"It does make the people who are already alienated, who are already disenfranchised, in many cases, economically disenfranchised in a place like France, in many of those neighborhoods, and make them say, 'Ah, ISIS's message is true and real,' " he said.

"We can't be French and Muslim at the same time. And that's exactly what ISIS wants that population to think."

Last week, France's highest administrative court suspended a local ban on the full-body swimsuit.

The bans were implemented in dozens of French towns to promote secular values.

Those who violated the ban were charged by French police for not "wearing an outfit respecting good morals and secularism."