- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 17, 2014

The rise of the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations across the globe has put the U.S. in even greater danger than it was in before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a top Republican lawmaker said Sunday.

Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the Islamic State group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Boko Haram and other groups constitute a “threat matrix” the likes of which America hasn’t seen before.

Asked directly whether he believes the U.S. faces a greater threat than it did before Sept. 11, Mr. Rogers said yes.

“I do, again, only because the threat matrix is so wide and so deep. We just didn’t have that before 9/11,” he said.

Mr. Rogers’ comments come as the U.S. conducts airstrikes against the Islamic State group’s positions in Iraq. The terrorist group has taken control of large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria and has carried out mass executions of Christians and other religious minorities.

The group also has seized Iraq’s largest dam and been described by some U.S. officials as more like an army than a traditional terrorist organization.

“When you have a terrorist organization that holds land the size of Indiana, has tanks, helicopters, they think it has as much as $1 billion in precious metals, currency, and by the way, is selling oil on the black market. … That means you’ve got a severely dangerous organization,” Mr. Rogers said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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