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Gingrich: Crucial radical Islamist battlefield is U.S.

- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 29, 2010

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Thursday said the greatest threat to national security is radical Islam, but the greatest battlefront for that threat is at home.

"This is not a war on terrorism ... this is a struggle with radical Islamists," Mr. Gingrich told a group of about 200 people at the American Enterprise Institute.

In his "America at Risk" speech, he drew comparisons to the U.S.' situation in World War II and the Cold War, calling for today's leaders to use some of the same strategies from those earlier conflicts.

The problem is that many leaders are "sleepwalking" and don't face the Islamic threat, said Mr. Gingrich, who is widely thought to be a possible contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

He did not limit the war to the fighting in the Middle East, saying there are two additional, more important fronts: the United States and Europe. He noted that 54 jihadists have been arrested in the U.S. on terrorism charges since President Obama took office.

"Every one of these instances constitutes a breakdown in national security," Mr. Gingrich said.

He emphasized that such talk does not demonize all Muslims.

"Let me draw a sharp distinction between those Muslims who live in the modern world and those Muslims who would radically change the modern world," he said. "The people who want to worship God in their own way and live under American law - we're not in the fight with them," Mr. Gingrich said in an interview after the speech.

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