McCaul: North Africa Terrorist Safe Havens Are Direct Threat to U.S.
Media Contacts: Mike Rosen, Charlotte Sellmyer (202) 226-8417
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released the following statement in regard to the rise of Al Qaeda in North Africa:
Chairman McCaul: “I condemn the terrorist attack in Algeria in the strongest terms and I am actively monitoring the situation.
“Leading up to 9/11, terrorist groups were left alone in lawless safe havens in Afghanistan to recruit, train, raise funds and build logistical networks to conduct attacks against the United States. While our military efforts have scattered and decimated the core of Al Qaeda's operations and leadership, terrorist franchises such as those that attacked the BP facility in Algeria have found new safe havens allowing them to reconstitute. Today, North Africa is the next frontier in the War on Terror.
“The terrorist attack in Algeria, stemming from the continued rise of Al Qaeda in North Africa, should present a renewed call for vigilance to our Intelligence Community and the Department of Homeland Security both at home and abroad. Al Qaeda's North African franchises have become emboldened by our timid response to Benghazi, have gained significant wealth by ratcheting up kidnappings for ransom, they use this wealth to fund operations against the West and have reach inside the United States.
"Al Qaeda in North Africa is a security threat we cannot afford to underestimate. The mission of these Islamist extremists to kill Americans and disrupt our way of life has not changed, and our efforts to defend the homeland must reflect this reality.”