‘Next 9-11 in the making’ if Iraq collapses, says Sen. Lindsey Graham

A highly agitated U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., emerged from a top-secret Armed Services Committee meeting with Pentagon brass, fearful that another 9-11 was in the works.

“The briefing was chilling,” Graham said Thursday in an interview aired on C-SPAN. “Iraq is collapsing as I speak. The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is an army and not a bunch of hoodlums. They have a very specific agenda, and that is to create an Islamic caliphate.”

Graham wondered whether the impending threat mattered to the United States and if so, what the country was prepared to do about it. He said there was no way the Iraqis could stop the bleeding without the assistance of American air power.

ISIS forces on Thursday overran Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, capturing more than $429 million from Mosul banks, beheading scores of residents and seizing hundreds of Iraqi soldiers, before marching toward Baghdad and taking control of an area the size of Portugal, according to the International Business Times.

Abandoned Humvees and heavy weapons were now flowing into Syria, and Baghdad could become the next battleground, Graham warned.

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He is most worried about threats to the U.S. ally of Jordan, he said, quoting the FBI director as saying, “the pipeline for the next 9-11 attack on our homeland will likely come from Syria” and “there are numerous American citizens who have gone to Syria for jihad.”

Graham told a throng of reporters that if President Obama did not correct his policies in Syria and Iraq, “we are going to be in a world of hurt.”

 “What I heard today scared the hell out of me,” Graham said, urging Obama to explain his strategy for going forward.Sen. John McCain then stepped in, calling for Obama’s National Security team to resign and for Gens. David Petraeus, Jack Keane and James Mattis to explain how they plan to stop ISIS and salvage Iraq.

Watch the C-Span video here.

Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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