Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Sunday attacks like the ones that took place in Paris killing 17 people last week could happen in the United States. In an appearance on CNN's “State of the Union,” Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said she believes terrorist sleeper cells are operating inside the United States.
“I think there are sleeper cells not only in France but certainly in other countries and, yes, in our own,” she said. “This calls for vigilance. … Hopefully, we can be even more active in terms of doing those things which enable us to find terrorists, see who they’re communicating with and to track that.”
On the same show Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that President Obama has been lax in his response to terrorism. "ISIS right now is winning," McCain said, referring to the Islamic State group that has taken control of large swaths of Iraq and Syria. "We need to go after them. We need to have more boots on the ground. We need a no-fly zone. We need to arm the Free Syrian Army. And we need a coherent strategy that can be presented to the Congress."
His comments mirror those of Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who said on CBS's "Face The Nation," the United States has to better track suspected jihadists returning to Europe to carry out attacks. "We don't have a good handle intelligence-wise who was on the ground in Syria and Iraq and Yemen to identify them, to put them on no-fly lists so they can't get in the country," he said.
Alongside McCaul on the show was Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who said Obama was too focused on "political correctness" instead of getting tough against terrorism.
"We know that, for example, when Maj. Nidal Hasan made his attack at Fort Hood, they called that workplace violence," Cornyn said, referring to the deadly 2009 shooting in Texas. "And they are calling the war on terror 'overseas contingency operations.' We need to call it what it is. Because that's the first step to actually dealing with it on a realistic basis."
The comments coincide with a Rasmussen poll that indicated 65 percent of Americans think similar terror attacks to the Paris assaults could take place on home soil within the next 12 months. However, the administration has said it has no specific information on terror threats.
“I don’t think that we have any information that would indicate, certainly with regard to the homeland, that there is any ongoing threat or any threat that was activated by what we see so tragically here in France,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on ABC’s “This Week.” “With regard to sleeper cells here in France, that is an investigation that’s ongoing and being conducted by our French allies.”