ISIS terrorists, whose brutality is shown in public beheadings towards those with different religious beliefs, slavery of women and destruction of any religious symbol or temple to which it disapproves, could be inside the US says Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Rick Perry on ISIS presence in the U.S.
Speaking at a Heritage Foundation conference on border security and immigration reform, Perry, a former presidential candidate, said “It’s a very real possibility” that terrorists from ISIS have already entered the US.
Although Perry said there was “no clear evidence” terrorist recruits had entered the US illegally, he connected the dots with a number of violent crimes committed by immigrants, according to a press report.
“I think there is the obvious, great concern that — because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across — that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be,” he said in the speech.
Perry focused on the threat posed by ISIS, the Islamic State, a relatively small group of fighters who, significantly outnumbered and outgunned, managed to overrun Iraqi military forces and now control significant portions of Syria. The group recently executed journalist James Foley by cutting off his head, a video of which served as a warning in an apparent attempt to intimidate the US government into backing down from military action.
Perry didn’t appear intimidated.
“They need to be eliminated, and they need to be eliminated now,” Perry said. “All options have to be open” in confronting the threat.
Perry: America needs to attack the ISIS
America needs to engage in a “sustained campaign” to destroy ISIS, Perry said. This translates into more air strikes, special operations, intelligence activities and advisory support for Iraqi forces, as well as airlifting heavy weapons to the Kurds.
While he didn’t discuss a future occupation of Iraq or “nation building,” Perry did say that confronting ISIS means that use of American combat troops, boots on the ground, is not off the table.
Perry, governor of a state that borders Mexico, has frequently called for more security on the US Southern border. He said the US should add additional security forces and drones on the border to stop undocumented entry into the US.
Perry is currently fighting what he has said is a politically motivated criminal indictment for government abuse of power. The issue emanates from the governor’s efforts to force Rosemary Lehmberg, a county district attorney, to resign after she was arrested and charged with drunken driving. After being arrested, Lehmberg was belligerent with police, saying “do you know who I am? Do you know what you are doing?” to arresting police officers. Perry vetoed $7.5 million destined for the Public Integrity Unit, an organization intended to fight corruption, which Lehmberg headed, which is the basis of the charge against Perry.