Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said President Barack Obama’s speech on counterterrorism last week was “disturbing” in that it ignored threats to the homeland while continuing a narrative that al-Qaida has been greatly diminished.
McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Obama’s rhetoric “defies the reality in terms of the threat level that we’ve all been briefed on.”
The president has decided on a narrative that al Qaida is on the run and defeated and that the United States can declare victory and return to a pre-9/11 mentality, McCaul said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
McCaul said that while the core of al Qaida has been “denigrated tremendously,” Obama diminishes the threat to the homeland.
“Al Qaida has evolved into a franchise global movement, if you will, that inspires and also is very tactical,” McCaul said. Evidence of their work has been seen in Egypt, Libya and Syria, and Jordan and Saudi Arabia could be next, he said.
“This Arab Spring could be turning into a winter that, I think, poses a great risk to the homeland as well,” McCaul warned.