Hours until President Obama’s address to the nation on the Administration’s next step in Iraq and Syria, Democratic Sen. Al Franken and his Republican challenger Mike McFadden have continued their focus on terrorism abroad and recruiting at home.
In a statement released Wednesday, McFadden maintained his stance against sending ground troops to the Middle East to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). He remains in favor of U.S. airstrikes.
“If defeating ISIS requires our military to strike targets in Syria, the President should seek Congressional approval for these strikes, have the support of our allies, and ensure that strikes are conducted without coordinating with the Assad regime.”
McFadden’s statement comes the day after he supported a bill by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann to revoke the passports of U.S. citizens fighting with or assisting ISIS and other terror organizations. 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, and grand jury proceedings are underway to determine who is behind the terrorism recruitment efforts.
Last week, Franken called the Obama Administration’s lack of a strategy to take on ISIS “troubling” and called on Attorney General Eric Holder to focus Department of Justice resources on recruiting at home.
“ISIL is a barbaric terrorist organization that needs to be stopped from harming the United States. Sen. Franken wrote to the Justice Department last week to make sure that they are taking every step to identify, track and apprehend individuals fighting with ISIL.” Franken spokesoman Alexandra Fetissoff said.
Asked whether Franken backs Bachmann’s proposal, Fetissoff said: “The State Department already has the authority to revoke passports but Sen. Franken will look at any proposal that would make sure that individuals fighting with ISIL cannot return to this country.”