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U.S. Rep. Tom Cole: Combating the roots of terrorism

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole: Combating the roots of terrorism

While our nation continues to mourn the innocent lives that were lost in the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, our leaders are pushing to know more details as each day passes. And each day, another disturbing truth is revealed. Unfortunately, the conversation has strayed from the shooter’s clear, ISIS-inspired motive. The blame has shifted the from shooter’s mind, to the shooter’s gun. The root of this evil is terrorism, and we must do everything we can to stop it.

Almost immediately, the shooter was identified as Omar Mateen. Shortly after, it was revealed that he had been investigated by the FBI not once, but twice, and had been included on their terrorist watch list. Following an investigation, the FBI concluded that he did not pose a real threat, and he was removed from its watch list. This blind obliviousness cannot happen again. The threat lies with those who seek to reject American ideals, and any suspicion must be identified thoroughly, and investigated fully. Slipping through the cracks will only increase the risk of more loved ones taken from families too soon.

In addition to reviewing how and why the Orlando shootings happened, we must be diligent in holding the FBI accountable for its practices and actions. For anyone this suspicious to slide by without regard to their past is extremely detrimental to our efforts to keep our nation secure.

Our suspicions were confirmed once a harrowing 911 call was released by the FBI, where the shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS, and identified himself as an enemy of the United States. Initially, the details of the phone call were left out - significantly, the claims of radical Islam. It is frustrating to see that our government cannot acknowledge a real threat when they see it. Time and time again, this Administration has refused to recognize that acts of terrorism like these are committed in the name and service of radical Islam, and to ISIS. The evidence is clear. The Administration needs to stop cowering from this evil, and to start identifying those who want to cause harm, before it materializes.

Although we cannot bring back those 49 innocent victims, we can bring justice for them through our fight against terrorism at home and abroad. In order to do so, it is imperative that Congress step forward with solid legislation to begin defeating our enemies before they have a chance to strike. I’ve introduced legislation to authorize the use of force against ISIS, with faith that it will initiate the efforts to take this fight to the enemy. We must utilize our resources to prevent another act of terrorism. Our nation will not stand for enemies on our soil. The root of terrorism can be, and will be, defeated.

Read the full article: http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/othervoices/u-s-rep-tom-cole-combating-the-roots-of-terrorism/article_0f49b029-0b56-5ab3-b51a-580faffd0bd4.html