Senate Intel chairman calls Obama ISIS ‘containment’ comment a ‘joke’

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 by

( The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence characterized President Obama’s recent comments that the terror group ISIS was “contained” in an unflattering way recently, calling the comments a “joke” in the wake of the Paris attacks.

“It’s proven that ISIS is in 30 different countries… they’ve got a reach that goes throughout Europe and North America,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., on the “Fox News Sunday” program. “So to talk about containment is really a joke.”

In fact, Burr went on to say, “we’ve got to stop talking about containment.” Rather, “we’ve got to start talking about elimination of the terrorist threat,” he said.

And while the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria may be geographically contained in their region, “their efforts around the world to project terrorism and to commit terrorism is as robust today as it’s ever been,” Burr said.

He noted that there are no specific, credible threats at the moment to Americans at home or abroad, but the North Carolina Republican nevertheless stated that assurance is not entirely useful.

“For the past 12 months there have been more threads of threats both here at home and around the world than we’ve seen since 9/11,” Burr said, adding that he would like to see the formation of “whatever coalition will eliminate ISIS.”

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The day before the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, which ISIS claimed responsibility for and in which 130 people were killed, Obama said in an interview with ABC that the terror group was growing but that it was essentially “contained.”

“I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Thursday for an interview that aired the morning of the attacks.

“What is true, from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria. They’ll come in. They’ll leave,” Obama said. “But you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.”

In November, as reported by, Burr noted that the Paris attacks were most likely directed by top ISIS leaders in Syria, hinting that U.S. intelligence agencies have uncovered a direct link between the terrorist organization’s headquarters and Western targets.

Further, he told The Wall Street Journal, that his panel was set to review a number of U.S. policies in a bid to determine whether there should be changes made in order to better protect Americans from terrorist attacks. Included among policies the panel plans to review is the visa waiver program, which permits people with European passports to visit the U.S. without a passport.

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