Inhofe Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Belgium

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the three terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium today:

“We stand in prayer and in unity with the people of Belgium and the families of those who were killed in these barbaric attacks. While the attacks are most likely in response to last week’s arrest of Salah Abdeslam who was involved in the terrorist attacks in Paris late last year, radical Islamists are conducting acts of terrorism on a regular basis across Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. No country and no citizen is off limits. These recent events must continue to propel the global community to stand together in the fight against radical Islamic extremists.  

“Unfortunately, I fear this situation will get worse before it gets better. Europe’s porous borders have allowed the growth of radical elements inside Western countries over the past decade. Now with the rapid evolution of ISIL, the West is also being confronted with how to manage and respond to a migrant refugee crisis. As National Intelligence Director James Clapper has testified, ISIL is ‘taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow,’ adding that ISIL is ‘skilled at phony passports so they can travel ostensibly as legitimate travelers.’ With more than 38,000 foreign fighters pledging allegiance to ISIL, to include nearly 7,000 of those coming from Western countries, the United States must continue to reassess and tighten our own security measures and vetting process of individuals looking to enter the country. The United States must also continue to work together with Europe and all our allies to preserve democracy and protect our freedom-loving citizens. 

“I urge the president to set aside his rhetoric that global warming is the biggest threat we currently face and instead recognize and stand up to the reality of the serious threat of radical Islam. This is what the president should have been discussing with the global community during his visit to Paris this past December. Instead, he has downplayed Benghazi, called ISIL a JV team and said ISIL was ‘contained’ hours before the attacks on Paris. He also wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees into the United States and is working hard to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, releasing most of these terrorists to countries around the world and bringing the remaining terrorists to a prison on U.S. soil. The president's policies are weakening our nation’s security at a time when we face the most dangerous world in modern day history. It is time for an administration that will rebuild our military, protect our borders and execute a clearly-stated strategy against radical Islam in coordination with our allies across the globe.”