'They'll Do It Here in the Homeland': Rubio on Moscow Attack and ISIS-K

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The horrific attack in Moscow at the Crocus concert hall on Friday has prompted a flurry of reactions, not least of which is Vladimir Putin insisting Ukraine is to blame, despite the terror group ISIS-K claiming responsibility for the carnage. 

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On Sunday, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Jonathan Karl on ABC News’ “This Week” to discuss the incident as well as the likelihood of further such attacks. Rubio, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, pointed to similar attacks carried out by ISIS-K and also warned this is something that could happen in the U.S.

From their exchange: 

KARL: Let’s start with what happened in Russia. First of all, no doubt that this was ISIS-K? 

RUBIO: Yeah, I mean, they’ve claimed responsibility. They were warned this was going to happen. ISIS-K/ISIS-Khorasan is largely the Afghan wing of ISIS. It’s reconstituted itself, as we warned would happen when we had this disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. One of the reasons why we didn’t want to withdraw precipitously is because you gave them operating space to reorganize themselves and plan externally. 

And since that time, they’ve attacked inside of Afghanistan; they are responsible for the Abbey Gate — the loss of 13 Americans, service people right outside the gate of the airport. They conducted an attack inside of Iran not too long ago, and now, this one in Russia — and they’ll do it here in the homeland. And…I think we should be very concerned, as the FBI Director confirmed to me, that there is a…trafficking network out there that specializes in moving people — they do it for profit, moving people and migrants around the world, including across our southern border, who have links to ISIS. 

I think common sense tells you: If they run a trafficking network of people, they would most certainly use it to move operatives into the United States. So, I’m not claiming there’s an imminent threat to the U.S., but I am saying that border situation and the existence of that network is a threat to the United States. If they could do what they did in Moscow in the United States, they would do it in a heartbeat — they want to do it. 

KARL: And…it’s extraordinary that they’ve taken on two of our main adversaries, Iran and Russia, and also the United States, in what seem to be pretty sophisticated, or at least deadly effective attacks. How concerned are you that they are kind of in the growth industry here? 

RUBIO: Well, they’re — if you think back to the end of 2020, under the Trump administration, ISIS was basically out of business. I mean, they were down to less than a thousand fighters or so forth, and now they’ve reconstituted themselves. And part of it is once we leave in Afghanistan — we’re no longer there to conduct regular strikes — they can now operate openly. No matter how much the Taliban wants to take them on, they can’t; they don’t have the capability to do it. And these guys have found a place to operate from. They need real estate, they need land, they need places where they can organize and do external plotting. Now, it’s a lot easier for them to get into Iran; it’s a lot easier for them to get into Russia and do these things. But their aspirations go beyond Russia and Iran — they would love to do what they did in Moscow here inside the United States. And it’s something we have to be very vigilant about, when we have a border in which nine million people have come across in the last three years.

Rubio also spoke to the ongoing calls for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas War, as well as rumors that he may be on the shortlist of vice presidential picks for former President Donald Trump. But that initial segment highlights an issue that many Americans — particularly those on the right — have been sounding the alarm on for years now: A porous open border poses a significant national security threat to the U.S. But, hey, as long as the masses crossing it carry the promise of votes and extending Democrat power, it’s all good, right? 


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