Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Senate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform MORE (R-Ark.) warned Wednesday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seems to be winning its fight against the West.
He also argued that the attempt by two men to shoot up a “Draw Mohammed” event in Texas was inspired by the terror group.
“There is an investigation ongoing, but there is no doubt if we just looked on social media that this was an Islamic State-inspired attack, regardless of whether it was an Islamic State-resourced or planned attack,” he said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”
“And that’s in part because the Islamic State seems to be winning right now, so they are appealing to disaffected youth all around the country who want to be with what they see is the winning force.”
ISIS has claimed credit for an attack by two gunmen at a Texas event asking participants to draw the Muslim prophet, despite many Muslims viewing that as offensive. U.S. officials are currently investigating the claims of any direct connection. Both gunmen were the only people killed in the shooting.
Cotton added that ISIS is “actively trying to inspire attacks” on the homeland, which underscores the need for government surveillance programs.
“That’s one reason why it is so important that we reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, which would help stop these exact kind of attacks,” he said of the controversial surveillance measures that expire by June.
Congress is currently working on the reauthorization, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling for a clean reauthorization of the entire program, while others have por forth measured reauthorizations or proposed that it be scrapped all together.
One of the main programs set to expire is Section 215, which authorizes collection of “any tangible thing” that’s “relevant” to a terrorism or espionage investigation.