Graham: 'Only a matter of time' before next ISIS attack

Graham: 'Only a matter of time' before next ISIS attack
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCriticizing Trump’s ‘unsung success’ in Puerto Rico is valid — empty rhetoric is not Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing Ken Starr says 'I trust Brett Kavanaugh' over allegations that are 'so wildly out of character' MORE (R-S.C.), a potential 2016 presidential contender, says unless the U.S. changes its policies, it's "only a matter of time" before the next attack like the one attempted Sunday at a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas.

“What does Paris and Texas have in common? The people who did the attack in Paris and Texas were on a watch list. Our system is failing,” Graham said Wednesday during an interview with Fox News’s “On The Record,” referring to the January shooting at the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 11 dead.

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“If President Obama doesn't take the fight to these guys in Syria and Iraq, to disrupt their networks, they are going to here,” Graham added.

He said that 1,000 foreign fighters are traveling to Syria each month to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and that regional allies like the president of Kurdistan have expressed alarm that the U.S. has no strategy for dealing with the regime under Bashar Assad.

“If you ask me, the next mass casualty event to come to our country, which I think is highly likely, it's one of these foreign fighters and their friends who have gone to Syria, to be trained to come back here with a Western passport,” Graham said. “Those on the front lines are doing the best they can, but President Obama's foreign policy has failed on multiple fronts. It is only a matter of time now, I believe, unless we change our policies that we will have a big attack in this country directly related to Syria.”

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the weekend incident where two gunmen started shooting at an event outside of Dallas held by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which gave a prize to the best drawing of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

U.S. officials have not confirmed the terror group's claim in Sunday’s attack.

Republicans have pounced on the incident to argue that Obama’s policies have badly weakened U.S. national security.

Graham said the extremism inspired by groups like ISIS is “a cancer that’s growing everywhere.” He vowed that if he were in the White House he would work with Arab counties to defeat the Assad regime because terror groups “today are large, rich and entrenched. What we need to do is make them small, poor and on the run.”

He said radical Islam is “running wild and we don't have the strategy to contain it, and that's a formula for disaster.”