Homeland Security Committee Chair: ‘You Cannot Defeat an Enemy You Refuse to Acknowledge’

May 9, 2013 - 11:38 AM

Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, held a hearing on May 9, 2013 on the Boston Marathon terror attack that left four people dead and scores injured. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – In his opening statement at a House Homeland Security hearing on the Boston Marathon terror attack, committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said that the “radical jihad movement is alive and well” and warned that “you cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to acknowledge.”

“From the attack at Fort Hood, to the tragedy at Benghazi, the Boston bombings are our most recent reminder that we must call terrorism what it is, in order to confront it,” McCaul said. “You cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to acknowledge.”

McCaul said that despite the Department of Homeland Security’s knowledge of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s trip to the Chechen region of Russia, intelligence and law enforcement agencies were not able to prevent the bomb attack by Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

“Almost nine months after Tamerlan returned, he and his brother Dzhokhar, executed the largest terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11,” McCaul said. “This demonstrates that the radical jihad movement is alive and well around the world and in the homeland.

McCaul said the same failure to “connect the dots” led to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on U.S. soil that killed 3,000 people.

“My fear is that the Boston bombers may have succeeded because our system failed,” McCaul said. “We can and must do better.

“Equally concerning is the emerging narrative which downplays the spread of the global jihadist movement.” McCaul said, citing recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and abroad, including the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.

“We must call terrorism what it is, in order to confront it,” he said. “You cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to acknowledge.”

McCaul also praised the “acts of heroism” in the wake of the attack.

“Just as tragedy often exposes weaknesses, it also reveals our character,” McCaul said. “The acts of heroism in Boston in the minutes and days after the attack made us all proud to be Americans.”