McConnell on Orlando Attack: We Won’t Back Down in the Face of Terrorism
‘It’s no longer an open analytical question whether the followers of ISIL and other Islamic terrorist groups will attempt to strike us here in the West. They have. They will continue to do so. We need to do what we can to fight back so we can prevent more atrocities. That is exactly why, for instance, the Senate needs to be briefed on the President’s counter-ISIL campaign.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida and the need to defeat ISIL:
“Above this Capitol, the American flag flies at half-staff. A symbol of national sorrow—for lives taken far too soon. A symbol of national solidarity—for families left behind, plunged into despair.
“ISIL claims the terrorist who committed this horrific act is ‘one of the soldiers of the caliphate.’ Our intelligence community will work to establish whether this terrorist was directed or inspired by ISIL.
“Either way, I’ll call him what he really is. A coward. A murderer who claimed allegiance to a brutal group that crucifies children and beheads women.
“This terrorist sought to spread fear, and sadness, and suffering. Yet, even amidst the horror, he couldn’t destroy our common bonds of humanity.
“Every act of compassion. Every outstretched arm to a friend. Every calming word to a stranger. A response to his cruel ideology. A reminder of who we are as Americans.
“Let us recognize each act of heroism that night, and let us never forget the debts we owe to first responders—the men and women who rush towards danger and put lives on the line for victims they’ve never met.
“Local law enforcement will continue working with the FBI to determine the exact nature of this crime. We’ll soon find out more details. We’ll learn, for instance, whether this attack was ISIL-directed or inspired. Whether this terrorist was in communication with ISIL in Raqqa or simply following tactics set forth in Dabiq, ISIL’s online magazine, it leads to a larger point.
“It’s no longer an open analytical question whether the followers of ISIL and other Islamic terrorist groups will attempt to strike us here in the West. They have. They will continue to do so. We need to do what we can to fight back so we can prevent more atrocities. That is exactly why, for instance, the Senate needs to be briefed on the President’s counter-ISIL campaign.
“Understanding the President’s plan with respect to ISIL is critical, especially given that the war in Iraq and Syria will outlive the life of his Administration. That’s why we’ve been asking the Administration for briefings on its strategy for a very long time. I expect this will now happen soon.
“We will also be receiving a briefing on the Orlando attack on Wednesday. But today is a day for sorrow and remembrance.
“We saw the face of evil this weekend, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow Americans this afternoon. We grieve for the victims, and we say this to their families and to Orlando. You are not alone. Your nation is here with you. And we won’t back down in the face of terrorism.”
Related Issues: ISIL, National Security, Homeland Security