Terror threat highest since 9/11, says former intel chairman

The threat posed by radical jihadist and militant groups is as “great” today as any time since the 9/11 attacks, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Monday.

Radical Groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) represent a “monolithic threat” to the United States, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said, and are operating with impunity in Yemen, Libya and the the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

There’s a “huge ungoverned area that has become a playground for jihadists,” Hoekstra said.


The former lawmaker’s comments at the National Security Action Summit in Washington, D.C. came the day after President Obama said the U.S. intelligence community underestimated the threat from ISIS.

“Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” the president said on “60 Minutes.”

Hokestra said that by not taking action earlier the Obama administration had left America’s role in foreign affairs “diminished” and provided terror groups “momentum” that would allow them to recruit more fighters in the future.

"There’s nothing more attractive … than to join a winning team," he said.