A number of high level advisors to President Obama warned a congressional committee on Wednesday that Al Qaeda and ISIS may be competing with one another in a bid to be seen as the stronger and braver terrorist group, and that this rivalry could possibly lead to an attack on the U.S.
The comments came following a question from GOP Rep. Peter King, as Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen expressed concern over the competition prevalent between Al Qaeda and ISIS.
Johnson told the House Homeland Security Committee, “These groups are in competition with one another for attention, for fundraising, for recruitment, and one way to compete is to show that you’re the biggest and baddest group out there. The logic of it is compelling,”
Comey concurred, “You’re not going to be the leader in the global jihad without striking America.”
Historically, the two Islamist organizations have been similar in modus operandi and philosophy, but earlier this year the groups split as ISIS proved to be too barbaric in their outlook, even for Al Qaeda.
Homeland Security Committee chairman Mike McCaul told representatives that the two groups appear to be in competition to see “who is the true heir apparent to [Osama] Bin Laden. It’s a dangerous competition. And the way I see it, is to up the ante, what better way to do that than to attack the West.”
Obama seems to be at least somewhat aware of the threat that ISIS poses to the U.S., as he said in a speech to servicemen at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, this afternoon.
“Whether in Iraq or in Syria. these terrorists will learn the same thing that leaders of al-Qaeda already know: We mean what we say. Our reach is long. If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. We will find you eventually.”
It is hoped by the military advisors that ISIS and Al Qaeda won’t use America as the stage for their little competition for power and recognition, a competition that could prove deadly for innocent Americans.