DHS Secretary, Counterterrorism Chief Didn't Say 'Islamic Terrorism' Once During Congressional Testimony

By Mairead McArdle | October 30, 2015 | 2:59pm EDT
Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson testifies before Congress on Oct. 21, 2015. (House Homeland Security Committee)

(CNSNews.com) -- The words "Islam", "Islamic", or "Muslim" were not used even once by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson or Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, while they were testifying before Congress last week on terrorist threats to the nation.

During the full House Homeland Security Committee hearing October 21 on “Worldwide Threats and Homeland Security Challenges”, Rasmussen referred to Islamic terrorists 32 times – but by other names.

Terms he used to refer to Islamic terrorists included: "terrorists," "terrorist groups,""terrorist actors," "ISIL-inspired terrorists," "terrorist organizations," "foreign terrorist fighters," "foreign fighters," "violent extremists," “extremists,” "extremist terrorist actors," "violent extremist actors," and "extremist actors."

Johnson likewise referred to Islamic terrorists 21 times using other terms such as "violent extremism" to describe the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known as ISIS, and Al Qaeda, two Muslim groups that use their religion to justify bloody attacks on Christians and Westerners.

“Given the nature of the evolving terrorist threat, countering violent extremism in this country is as important as any of our other key missions. Building trusted partnerships with diverse communities is essential to successfully countering violent extremism and curbing threats to the safety of our country,” Johnson said.

“While the scale of the capabilities of these violent extremist actors does not rise to the level that core al Qa’ida had at its disposal at the time of 9/11, it is fair to say that we face more threats originating in more places and involving more individuals than we have at any time in the last 14 years,” Rasmussen told the committee.

Johnson referred to "right-wing extremism" and "domestic terrorism," in both his verbal and written testimony while discussing internal terrorist threats. He did not specifically mention “Islamic terrorists” even though a video purportedly released by ISIS last year specifically threatened the U.S.: “I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established… And God willing, we will raise our flag in the White House.”

Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. (House Homeland Security Committee)

An al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen approvingly cited Major Nidal Hassan, who is on death row for killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009, as an example of “immersing oneself deep into enemy lines to inflict damage of attain Shahada [martyrdom]” for the purpose of “attaining Allah’s pleasure.” 

Also testifying at the hearing was FBI Director James Comey, who warned that “ISIL has used that ubiquitous social media to break the model and push into the United States into the pocket[s] - onto the mobile devices of troubled souls throughout our country in all 50 states a twin message: ‘Come to the so-called 'caliphate'... and if you can't come, kill where you are’.”

However, committee chairman Michael McCaul, (R-TX) did refer to members of ISIS as “radical Islamists” and stated that they are “recruiting online across borders and at broadband speed.” 

Related: White House Avoids Mentioning That 21 Beheaded Christians Were Christians

Related: Al-Qaeda Encourages ‘Lone Jihad’ Attacks, Promises Virgins in Paradise

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