- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sen. Dianne Feinstein argued Monday that the Islamic State is indeed expanding, despite President Obama’s declaration just one day before the Paris attacks that the terror group had been contained.

“I have never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding,” the California Democrat said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports, using the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

“They just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country. And I think we have to be prepared,” Ms. Feinstein said, the Daily Caller reported. “I think hopefully France will go for a Chapter 5 which will bring NATO into it. Hopefully we will work with our allies to put together the kind of coalitions and attack plans in more than one place at a given time.

“There’s only one way we are going to diminish them and that is by taking them out, because they are growing,” she continued. “They are in more than a dozen countries now. They are sophisticated. They have apps to communicate on that cannot be pierced even with a court order. So they have a kind of secret way of being able to conduct operations and operational planning. So we should take this very, very seriously.”

Asked how many group troops are needed to defeat the Islamic State, Ms. Feinstein said, “we certainly need more than 50 special ops and we need the ability to really make a difference on the ground.”

“They are on the march,” she said of the terror group. “And it is important to recognize this and prepare to deal with it with action. And candidly, I don’t think bombing runs alone, we’ve done about 8,000 now, can really make a difference.

“We need to be able to work with Russia and Iran, if they will work with us, in the Syria area. We need to be able to get a political solution to Assad so that all of everyone’s attention can be directed to ISIL.”

The president was widely criticized following the attacks in Paris for his claim that the terror group had been “contained,” and he has since tried to clarify the comment.

“When I said that we are containing their spread in Iraq and Syria, in fact they control less territory than they did last year,” Mr. Obama said Monday during a press conference from the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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