On the day Congress reconvenes, U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden’s campaign has reprised its criticism of inaction in Washington, particularly his Democratic oppnent Al Franken.
McFadden’s latest charge comes on the wake of a Star Tribune report that proceedings are underway to determine who is behind efforts to convince Minnesotans to fight in the Middle East. Federal authorities say upward of a dozen Somali men and three women from Minnesota have fled the country to fight alongside or aid extremists in the Middle East. The Republican investment banker hopes to unseat Franken.l
Last week, following the second beheading of an American journalist by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Franken called the Obama Administration’s lack of a strategy to take on ISIS “troubling” and asked Attorney General Eric Holder to focus Department of Justice resources on recruiting at home. McFadden said the efforts were too little, too late.
“As Senator, Al Franken has prioritized issues such as ‘net neutrality’ rather than concerns that extremists groups are recruiting from out of our own back yard. Our leaders need to have their priorities straight,” McFadden said in a statement. “This recruitment has been occurring for years, yet Sen. Franken has kept his head down and has only recently begun to address the situation.”
On the day Congress returns to session from its summer break, McFadden urged a bipartisan effort “to combat attempts by terror-related organizations to recruit young Americans to fight against freedom.”
In a statement, Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff deflected McFadden’s criticism, saying Franken has spent years focusing on battling terrorism at home and abroad.
"We're delighted with Mr. McFadden's newfound concern with terrorism. We note that last year, he was the only candidate who hid from the press rather than state his position on Syria, and just a few months ago, actually fled from a voter who asked him his position on the PATRIOT Act.” She said. “Senator Franken has been working on these issues since his first FBI briefing on terrorist recruitment in our communities soon after joining the Senate in 2009."