Pete Hoekstra explains that the Islamic terrorists are gaining ground, as predicted by a terrorism trend study IPT produced last year. We need a unified global campaign to combat this threat--The Middle East needs to step up in terms of resources, and our European alliance needs to understand the root causes.
Gregg Jarrett: Great Britain rattled yet again by a deadly terror attack, this time terrorists targeting London Bridge, killing at least six people before being shot dead by police. Joining us now on the telephone is Pete Hoekstra. He is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He represented Michigan's 2nd District from 1993 to 2011. Congressman, thank you for taking the time.
Pete Hoekstra: Good to be with you. Thank you.
Jarrett: If the frequency of attacks is a measure of terrorists' success, are they gaining ground?
Hoekstra: They really are. We completed a study at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a group that I am now affiliated with, show really that in the last five years, not only the frequency of attacks, but their lethality, has increased dramatically, from around you know the results being roughly 3,500 people per year globally losing their lives to now 30,000 people per year losing their lives as a result of radical jihadists.
Jarrett: What are we and other countries doing wrong?
Hoekstra: We're really, I think as your last guest said, we've provided them safe-havens. You know they've used their bases in Iraq, Syria, and in Northern Africa, specifically in Libya, not only to wreak havoc in the region there, but to use it as a base to export this terrorism throughout you know spreading into Asia, other parts of Africa. And with the, a ripe environment in Europe with the large number of radical Islamic individuals who have moved into those areas in the last you know 10, 15, 20 years, it's ripe, and they're now exploiting those conditions.
Jarrett: We can't control those borders, but you mentioned safe-havens like Iraq and Syria, so what can the United States do there?
Hoekstra: Well, we can do exactly what you know this, you know what Donald Trump tried to do in the last two to three weeks – go to the Middle East. We need the Middle Eastern countries to step up, to contribute funding, to contribute soldiers, and to call on the religious leaders in the region to condemn radical Islamic behavior. We need to get our European allies onboard to recognize this threat and develop a global strategy to confront this threat, whether it's ISIS, whether it's Al-Qaeda, whether it's Al-Shabaab, you know we need a global effort that identifies this threat and goes to its core to eliminate it.
Jarrett: And that means kill the terrorists, right?
Hoekstra: It means kill the terrorists, you know we've had a number of individuals who have you know left Guantanamo Bay, they've gone back to you know deradicalization programs in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East, and we've found that those programs really have been very, very ineffective. We haven't found a way to counter the ideology, to actually get people to change their beliefs back [few words cut out] that is non-threatening.
Jarrett: Congressman Pete Hoekstra. Thank you so much for being with us.
Hoekstra: Yup, thank you.