LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An al-Qaida splinter group that aims to establish an Islamic state called a caliphate and reportedly has over $2 billion in cash and assets could threaten terror attacks against the U.S., Senator Barbara Boxer said Friday.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports Boxer met with reporters at Los Angeles City Hall downtown to weigh in on what government officials have described as a growing threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Calling for support from the international community, Boxer said she supports President Barack Obama’s Aug. 7 decision to authorize targeted air strikes in Iraq,” adding that she believes the “current fight against ISIS is not a continuation of the war in Iraq.”
She also blamed the war in Iraq for fostering the conditions which spawned ISIS – which Boxer described as “perhaps the most dangerous terrorist group the world has ever known” – after it “exacerbated the long-simmering sectarian divisions in that country.”
The group, also referred to as the Islamic State or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has targeted ethnic and religious minority groups, including the Yazidis who have been forced to flee to the mountains in northwest Iraq to avoid death.
A gruesome video released by ISIS earlier this week appeared to show the beheading of U.S. photojournalist James Foley.
Boxer, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said other nations, as well as the United Nations and NATO – an alliance of 28 countries including France, the United Kingdom and Germany – should “do more to address this crisis.”
“It needs to be a combination of intelligence and resources,” said Boxer. “Certainly the whole world has something at stake here, and the whole world will step up to the plate, I believe it.”
Boxer also pledged her support for a coalition strategy of delivering arms and supplies to Iraqi and Kurdish troops to help stop the advance of ISIS.
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a bulletin instructing local law enforcement to be on alert for possible attacks within the United States in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against ISIS.
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