PHOENIX — After it was reported that an Arizonan was part of a terrorist group holding hostages at a Kenyan mall, Sen. John McCain said that the United States should be concerned about the impact radical Islam could have on its citizens.
“We are worried about Americans who may be influenced by this radical Islam and I think it’s a concern,” he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Rob & Karie on Monday.
The group that attacked the mall, al-Shabaab, claimed several Americans were part of the jihadist attack. The group has ties to al-Qaida.
McCain said that Americans were given a false sense of security in regards to al-Qaida over the past few years.
“I think it was a mistake to tell the American people, basically after we got bin Laden, that our problems were over,” he said. “Obviously we know that’s not the case.”
McCain said groups like al-Shabaab are a growing concern for the U.S. After numerous American attacks, al-Qaida, once a centrally-based terrorist group, lost numerous leaders and was forced to spread all over the world.
“We have to worry that these organizations are spread all over at least a significant part of the world,” he said.
McCain also said that radical Islam will stick with the U.S. for years because of unrest around the world. When thousands upon thousands of people are forced into resettlement or refugee camps, many look for a way out. One of those ways can be terrorism.
“The socioeconomic conditions are such that it’s a breeding ground for radical Islam and I think it’s going to be with us for a long, long time,” he said.