Ben Watson, The Fiscal Times
During an often heated exchange on Capitol Hill, a State Department official told House lawmakers that the brutal extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is no longer “simply a terrorist organization—it is now a full-blown army.”
“ISIL is worse than al-Qaeda,” said Brett McGurk, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran. “ISIL is no longer simply a terrorist organization. It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.” McGurk’s appearance Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee was his second this year on the growing extremist threat facing Iraq and in turn, the United States.
“Since that last hearing, [ISIL] has done precisely what [the Obama administration] predicted it would: it has taken over most of Western Iraq, it has turned its sights on Baghdad, and it may be preparing to launch attacks against the United States,” said Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif.