By Nick Gass
Rep. Peter King said Sunday that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant poses a direct threat to the American homeland and is now more powerful than Al Qaeda was on Sept. 11, 2001.
Responding to comments by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on NBC's "Meet the Press," the New York Republican said the group doesn't just threaten stability in Iraq. "They are more powerful now than Al Qaeda was on 9/11," he said, noting the loss of many of his constituents during the dual attacks on the World Trade Center.
Durbin said any U.S. military action beyond airstrikes wouldn't be advisable.
"This is not just Iraq," King added. ISIL is "a direct threat to the United States of America, and what Dick Durbin just said and what President Obama has said, is really a shameful abdication of American leadership."
The 2011 withdrawal of American troops in Iraq and President Barack Obama's lack of desire to take further action reflects poorly upon the current situation, King said.
"What a weak leader," the congressman said. "Can you imagine Winston Churchill or Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman [doing that]?"