Republican Congressman John Shimkus was asked about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) on Tuesday, and in his response he stressed that the Sunni Islamic radicals advancing across the Middle East weren't part of a terrorist cell but an army.
"ISIS is not just a small al Qadea cell — it's the al Qaeda army. Picture the al Qaeda terrorists who plotted and conducted the attack on September 11. Now you have an army of those who may take over Iraq," the congressman from Illinois informed TellDC.com, a website that allows Americans to ask questions of their elected representatives.
"There is a threat as long as al Qaeda or ISIS is able to grow and expand, fulfilling the promises of what al Qaeda in essence promised years ago, which is continued attacks on the homeland," he continued.
On Monday President Obama sent 275 U.S. military personnel to Iraq to protect the U.S. embassy and its staff in Iraq from ISIS. The terrorist group has taken large swathes of the country in recent days, including Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry has also suggested that Washington would be open to military cooperation with the Shiite Muslim government in Iran if it would stop ISIS's territorial gains.
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