NewsMax on January 7, 2015, reported that US Republicans condemned the terrorist attacks at the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed 12 people, and slammed President Barack Obama for creating a world leadership vacuum that has led Islamic militants to become bolder and more brazen. Excerpts below:
“The terrorists see the U.S. retreating from the world and they see a president unwilling to be a world leader,” charged Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Terrorists, and specifically radical Muslim extremists, are at war with the West.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who also serves on the committee, said the attack proved that “radical Islam, through extreme violence and intimidation, is trying to replace our way of life with theirs.”
“I have no doubt they will ultimately fail, but the question is how many will be injured or killed before that day arrives.” Graham said.
House Speaker John Boehner called the rampage “a reminder that we must always be vigilant against the enemies of freedom.”
In a response to the attack in Paris a police raid one gunman was shot dead and the other two were arrested, U.S. officials said. They were identified as French nationals Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, who are brothers, and Hamyd Mourad, 18.
One of the men was identified by an identity card he had left in the getaway car, police said.
According to authorities, one of the brothers had previously been tried on terrorism charges.
Cherif Kouachi was charged with criminal association related to a terrorist enterprise in 2005 after he was arrested before leaving for Iraq to join Islamist militants. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008, according to French news reports.
France was put on the highest terror alert after the rampage, and more than 3,000 police officers hunted for the suspects.
At the White House, Obama condemned the “horrific” assault, calling it a terrorist attack on America’s “oldest ally” and pledging assistance.
But Republicans called on Obama to tighten security procedures to prevent such attacks from occurring in the United States. New York City police responded by increasing security throughout Manhattan.
“Unfortunately, the war on terror is not over, Islamic terrorists are not on the run — and the barbarism perpetrated in Paris continues to threaten the entire civilized world, including America,” said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Inhofe said Obama needed to “lay out a national security strategy, which he has failed to do in recent years, and to end sequestration so that we can provide the necessary resources to achieve that strategy.”
“The United States must redouble its efforts to ensure that our embassies and our borders are protected and secured through fully supporting our military and law enforcement authorities,” he said. “We must work with our allies to prevent future attacks and protect our homeland.”
Graham said Obama’s policies have placed the U.S. “national security infrastructure … under siege.
“President Obama should immediately change his interrogation and detention policies, as we are gradually losing the ability to detect, disrupt and prevent future terrorist attacks.
“I fear we can expect and must prepare for more attacks like this in the future,” the senator said, adding that the Islamic State (ISIS) “is well-funded and has an entrenched command structure that is actively inspiring terrorist attacks throughout the world.
Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, called the attack “an appalling act of barbarity and an assault on the values our alliance stands for.”
“The slaughter of journalists and the law-enforcement officers trying to protect them is an outrage,” he said.