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National Security Desk / April 19, 2017

Kelly’s Terrorism Warning Comes With Assurance

Don’t expect the administration to look the other way. That in itself is a great comfort.

On Tuesday, DHS Secretary John Kelly spoke before the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, where he revealed that “we still face the highest terror threat level in years.” According to Secretary Kelly, “As I speak these words the FBI has open terrorism investigations in all 50 states, and since 2013, there have been 37 ISIS-linked plots to attack our country.”

“In the past 12 months alone,” he added, “there have been 36 homegrown terrorist cases in 18 states. These are the cases we know about — homegrown terrorism is notoriously difficult to predict and control. … We are under attack from terrorists both within and outside of our borders. They are without conscience, and they operate without rules. They despise the United States, because we are a nation of rights, laws, and freedoms. They have a single mission, and that is our destruction. And I tell you, without exaggeration, they try to carry out this mission each and every single day and no one can tell you how to stop it. No one.”

These are sobering words, but at the same time it’s refreshing to have as the DHS chief a man who won’t shy away from enumerating the reality of the situation. The Obama administration worked so tirelessly to pacify Muslims and leftist constituents that it wrongly and consistently downplayed Islamic terrorism and the threats raised by open borders. For example, last July Barack Obama asserted: “[T]he world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today.” And on multiple occasions he claimed that the Islamic State is not an existential threat.

Americans would much rather know the truth and be alarmed and prepared by it than live in an alternate reality in which the Left acquiesces to a distorted ideology by ignoring the once-unthinkable incursion of Sharia law and Islamists. The same applies to threats like North Korea. Vice President Mike Pence says the “era of strategic patience is over.” When it comes to terrorism, whether domestic or international, the administration’s message is this: The threat is real (consider what just happened in Fresno). But don’t expect us to look the other way. That in itself is a great comfort.

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