Homeland Security chairman: Foreign fighters a threat to US

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on Sunday that Europe should tighten its travel restrictions. 

While on CBS's “Face the Nation,” McCaul told host Bob Schieffer that the terror attacks that happened last week in Paris could happen in the U.S. 

"These individuals were actually on a no-fly list and still traveled to Yemen and back,” he said of the gunmen, who launched a targeted attacked on the weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.    


“We had the woman, the female terrorist, leave and go to Syria. But she's on a no-fly list. So I think Europe has to strengthen and tighten its travel restrictions, but we need to look at protecting this country because I see it as a real threat.”

Though he said he thinks the no-fly lists in the U.S. work well, McCaul said the government needs to better identify people who have traveled over to countries like Syria and Yemen to train to be foreign fighters.

“How do we keep them off of airplanes and restrict their travel?” he asked.

“Western Europe, again, is more lenient in their travel restrictions. And we have a visa waiver-free system where they can fly in the United States without even having a visa. We need to look at all sorts of things like that. But mainly, it's driven by intelligence.”

McCaul, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he’s launching an investigation to look at security and defense gaps that might exist as they pertains to foreign fighters. 

"This is the most successful foreign fighter terrorist attack that we have seen to date." said of the week's events in Paris.