HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continues to threaten national security in the United States as the group grows in northern Iraq.
U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) was in Huntsville Wednesday to attend the Space and Missile Defense Symposium at the Von Braun Center.
The House Intelligence Committee Chairman hosted a town hall forum fielding questions from all over the country regarding missile defense and national security and spoke out about the militant group.
“This is a whole new threat,” said Rogers.
ISIS is an offshoot of al Qaeda.
Its growing power in Syria and Iraq, coupled with its tense relationship with other rebels, has national leaders worried.
“Now you have this very unhealthy competition between al Qaeda organizations and this group called ISIS,” said Rogers. “Both want to get points on the board with a western style attack, so the competition is on and we are in those gun sights. This is as dangerous as it gets.”
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) also shared his concern at the symposium.
“I’m sick and disheartened over what’s happened in Iraq,” Sessions said. “I don’t believe it had to have been this way.”
The extremist group has built momentum in fighting government forces and establishing an Islamic state in the Middle East.
The group has also gained a reputation for brutal rule in the areas that it controls.
President Obama stepped up U.S. military presence in Iraq to curb the group’s expansion.
“This is a threat to our own national security interests and we ought to act like it,” said Rogers, “and that doesn’t mean the 101st Airborne needs to go back in, but it means we ought to empower our allies with the right equipment that they can take the fight back to these folks.”
Rogers says something needs to be done to stop ISIS, and fast.
“If we don’t get a disruptive activity to ISIS in days, weeks, months is probably too long, we are going to face a very serious consequence here in the United States or our European allies.”