- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday that the Islamic State is “actively trying to inspire attacks” in the U.S. by recruiting disaffected youths who view the terror group as a winning force.

Appearing on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” the Arkansas Republican argued that there is “no doubt” the two slain gunmen who attacked a Muhammad cartoon drawing contest Sunday in Texas were inspired by the Islamic State.

“There is an investigation ongoing, but there’s no doubt if we just looked on social media that this was an Islamic State-inspired attack, regardless of whether it was an Islamic State-plotted or -resourced or -planned attack,” Mr. Cotton said, The Hill reported.

“And that’s in part because the Islamic State seems to be winning right now, so they are appealing to disaffected, alienated youth all around the country who want to be with what they see is the winning force,” he said.

The terror group has claimed credit for the attack outside the free-speech event in Garland, organized by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative, that left two suspected jihadis dead and a security guard injured. U.S. officials are currently investigating the Islamic State’s claims of any direct connection.

Mr. Cotton argued that the group is “actively trying to inspire attacks” in the U.S., which provides justification for renewing provisions in the controversial Patriot Act.

“They are telling Westerners in Western Europe or North America, ‘Stay home, attack your homeland. Don’t come to Iraq and Syria’ — That’s one reason why it’s so important that we reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, which would help stop these exact kind of attacks,” he said.

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