McCaul 'stunned' at Kerry's estimate of jihadists among Syrian rebels

McCaul says he's learned in various briefings that the number of jihadists migrating to Syria to take on the government there is closer to 50 percent.


The chairman said he was "quite frankly stunned" when that number was disputed at a House Foreign Affairs committee hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Leaving the high-profile hearing, the Texas Republican said the rebels are "a majority now jihadist, so my concern is going into this situation that anything we do at this point to empower the jihadists  — which I thought al Qaeda was the enemy – concerns me from homeland security perspective."

Ask if he didn't believe Kerry, who said that jihadists made up between 15 percent and 20 percent of certain groups, McCaul replied, "No, I do not agree with that. "

"The reporting I've seen and the briefings I've received, is that the majority of the factions of rebel forces that are extremists outweigh the moderates," McCaul said.