SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Fourth District Congressman Steven Palazzo just returned from a trip to the Middle East. Palazzo, along with members of the House Armed Services Committee, made stops in Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Morocco.
On Friday, Palazzo told WLOX News about meeting with the prime minister of Israel, King of Jordan and other leaders. He said he learned their mounting concerns about the growing threat of the radical Islamist group ISIS following the beheading of two American journalists.
Palazzo said ISIS is a clear and present danger and they need to be crushed.
"It's extremely dangerous. They're well trained. They are well organized. They are well funded. They are self financing. This isn't money coming from outside this Islamic, the Muslim world. They have control over money that they've taken from banks. They have control over oil fields, where they are smuggling oil. They are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars a month."
After a week long congressional trip to the Middle East meeting with allied leaders, the congressman said they believe America took too long to recognize ISIS isn't only a danger to Middle Eastern countries, but they could extend worldwide.
"This is not just about a geographical area. This could spread globally and we've seen manifestations of Al Qaeda, whether its Boko Haram, Al Nursra, or these other terrorist groups. They are pretty much everywhere," Palazzo said.
Palazzo said leaders in Jordan and Eygpt and the Arab League want America to join them in a coalition to help defeat ISIS.
"You can't expect America to fight everybody else's wars. They need to build a strong coalition among the Arab Nations. This problem is in their back yards. The thing is we want to keep it in their back yard," said Palazzo.
He expects America to play a more covert role against ISIS and said the US will be assisting the Arab nations where needed.
You can see Congressman Palazzo's entire interview on WLOX News This Week Sunday morning at 8:30. He talks about America's border problem and President Obama's counter terrorism strategy.