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Beltway Confidential

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul says terrorism spreading 'like wildfire'

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Sunday that the threat of terrorism is “spreading like a spider web” and “like a wildfire” in North Africa and the Middle East.

McCaul, R-Texas, speaking with CNN “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley, said President Obama's comment that “al Qaeda is on the run” was a “false narrative” because the threat is increasing.

“As we see this threat all throughout Northern Africa, as we saw Egypt fall, Libya - now Syria is a great culmination of the Sunni-Shia conflict, I personally see [terrorism] spreading like a spider web, like a wildfire through northern Africa and the Middle East,” McCaul said.

“And as that threat increases overseas, so too does it increase to the homeland,” McCaul added.

McCaul is not wrong. While measures taken after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, may have reduced the number of terrorist incidents in the United States, global incidents - especially in the Middle East - have increased exponentially, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

And no amount of Obama administration recategorization of terrorist attacks will change that.

For instance, after the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Obama refused to call the attack “terrorism.”

Further, the administration wouldn't call the November 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood a terrorist attack, in spite of the fact that the convicted perpetrator, Nidal Hasan, admitted he had carried out the shooting because of his jihadist beliefs. Instead, the administration classified the attack as "workplace violence."

And just this year, the administration refused to call the killing by two Muslim converts of a British soldier on a London street in May a terrorist attack, in spite of ample video and other evidence indicating it was done for political reasons.

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