House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — The Quad confab House passes sweeping defense policy bill After messy Afghanistan withdrawal, questions remain MORE (R-Mich.) said Sunday that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “one plane ticket away from U.S. shores.”
“One of the problems is it’s going unabated for nearly two years, and that draws people from Britain, across Europe, even the United States to go and join the fight,” Rogers said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
“They see that as a winning ideology, a winning strategy and they want to be apart of it, and that’s what makes it so dangerous,” he continued. “They are one plane ticket away from U.S. shores and that’s why we’re so concerned about it.“
Concerns about ISIS rose this week when the group released video footage of the beheading of an American journalist.
Rogers said Sunday that U.S. intelligence has shown ISIS members were determined to eventually strike in the United States.
“The very fight between al Qaeda that allowed ISIS to separate from al Qaeda in Syria was the fact that they wanted to conduct western-style operations,” he said.
“This notion that they are too barbaric is almost laughable given that al Qaeda flew airplanes and slaughtered 3,000 people on 9/11,” Rogers continued. “What they were saying at the time is that we have a lot of people who have passports that could go to Europe and then to the United States without a visa waiver, meaning they wouldn’t have to apply for a visa. The only way we would know is looking at who was riding on those airplanes, and that might not be enough.”
Rogers added that his concerns about ISIS were exacerbated by the fact that the group had thousands of members of who hold passports from U.S. and European countries.
“We know the [Obama administration’s] number 2,000 ... with western passports is low,” he said. “Intelligence has a very different number and it’s much higher than that.”