Rogers: ISIS, al Qaeda competing to be 'premier terrorist organization'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersOvernight Defense: Trump impeached for second time | National Guard at Capitol now armed, swelling to 20K troops for inauguration | Alabama chosen for Space Command home Top Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-Mich.) on Sunday called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) "a clear and present danger to the United States of America."

In addition, Rogers said he believed the U.S. is in greater danger now than before 9/11.

"Before 9/11, there were single-level threat streams coming to the United States. So, pretty serious. Obviously they got in and conducted the attacks on 9/11. Now you have multiple organizations, all Al Qaeda minded, trying to accomplish the same thing," he said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."


"Thousands of individuals now signing up with [ISIS] to fight their jihad in Syria and Iraq have Western passports," he said.

He said both ISIS and al Qaeda are competing to attack the U.S. and the West in order to become the "premier terrorist organization."

"And guess what? That means we lose at the end. If either one of those organizations is successful, we lose," he said.

He added that there were some "interesting relationships" between al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen and core al Qaeda.

"That is an attack that many believe is going operational, and that's what we should be worried about," he said.

Rogers said ISIS, which has claimed broad swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, now holds land the size of Indiana and has tanks, helicopters, heavy weapons and as much as $1 billion in precious metals and currency. In addition, he said, it's been selling oil on the black market for about $1 million per day, according to some estimates.

The U.S. has increased its air campaign in Iraq in recent days, conducting nine airstrikes on Saturday and 14 on Sunday.

Rogers said the strikes were helping Iraqi Kurdish fighters "make some real progress" near a strategically important dam near Mosul.

"Fighting still continues as of this morning, but it looks like they're starting to gain the upper hand and pushing those [ISIS] units, the terrorist organization units, back away from the dam," he said.

But Rogers said the U.S. needed to expand its response to ISIS into Syria.

"You're not going to solve the [ISIS] problem in Iraq without dealing with the Syria problem," he said. "We should absolutely play a role there."