Rick Perry: It’s possible ISIS has crossed southern border
August 21st, 2014
02:38 PM ET
1 month ago

Rick Perry: It’s possible ISIS has crossed southern border

Washington (CNN) – It’s a “very real possibility” that individuals with the extremist group ISIS may have crossed into the United States at the southern border, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday, though he added he doesn’t have any evidence.

Because the border is insecure, Perry said that “individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be” taking advantage of the situation. “I think it's a very real possibility that they may have already used that,” he told an audience at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“We have no clear evidence of that,” he continued.

Perry said Texas has seen historic levels of individuals from countries with terrorist ties recently, including three Ukrainians arrested on a ranch in West Texas in the past two months, he said.

Perry used the argument to frame the broken border situation as a matter of national security.

“We need to have clear and compelling forces, both law and enforcement and otherwise, to send the message that the border is secure,” the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate said.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told CNN on Friday that there was no evidence that the terrorist group is sending operatives across the southern border.

"I’ve seen no indication that they are coming across the border with Mexico," Kirby said on "New Day." "We have no information that leads us to believe that. That said, we do know they have aspirations to hit western targets, and it's something...we've got to take seriously and we have to try and be ready for it."

Officials have expressed concern about American citizens and westerners who have joined ISIS. Those individuals are holding passports that allow them to enter the U.S. legally.

ISIS, a Sunni Muslim extremist group that refers to itself as the Islamic State, has waged a rapid campaign across Iraq this summer seizing towns and villages and targeting Christians, minority sects, and Shia Muslims.

In his remarks, Perry called for a more robust response to ISIS in Iraq, saying the Obama administration’s recent actions have been inadequate.

“When they talk about limited airstrikes, they place a great emphasis on the word 'limited,’ yet clearly more airstrikes are necessary,” he said. “Nothing less than a sustained air campaign to degrade and destroy ISIS forces is required.”

Asked by a reporter in the audience if he would support combat troops on the ground, Perry said, “all your options have to be open.”


Filed under: Iraq • Rick Perry
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Tony D

    Why wouldn't they just walk across our southern border? We have entire convoys of drug mules getting across! Instead of Mexicans with massive loads of marijuana and drugs, picture radical Muslim terrorists with explosives and weapons. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.

    August 21, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. PaulCat

    Rick, you are trying to hard.
    Some things you say really sound stupid.

    August 21, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "though he added he doesn’t have any evidence."

    Oh, dear ... shame on you, Rick Perry. Shame. On. You.

    August 21, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Tone

    What a dolt are Republicans competeing with each other to see who is more stupid?

    August 21, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Tone

    Is like they are saying that i am going to idiot my way for the presidential nomination.

    August 21, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Longtimer

    No evidence, no information, just fear- from the guy just indicted for corruption.

    August 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Tony D

    Don't worry. I'm sure the Obama administration has already gotten it all figured out. If it happens they will blame somebody else, probably Mexico, or the border states. It will also be referred to as cross border work place violence. No such thing as terrorism anymore as Obama has clearly stated he has taken care of that problem.

    August 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. ????

    Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde could have crossed the border and we wouldn't know.

    August 21, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Gary

    Ricky, I think your an idiot, and I do have evidence of that.

    August 21, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Ted Cruz looks like an ISIS member to me. He's not American.

    August 21, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. voted worst president ever 2014, liar of year 2013

    Yeah i mean liberals your right why would a terrorist just walk in through mexican border dahh these republicans are so stupid. ... This is exactly why terrorist love liberal especially when the liberals are in charge in usa

    August 21, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. salty dog

    Tony D, ever wonder why you delve so deeply into fantasy? I don't.

    August 21, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    Be scared. Be very scared. Repubs. are the only ones who can protect you. The Home of the Brave ?

    August 21, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Dean

    Obama reminds me of O. J. Simpson. He's searching for members of ISIS on all of the D.C.-area golf courses. Go get 'em, Barack!

    August 21, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. salty dog

    Did he see how big their calf muscles are, from carrying 100 lb. bags if explosives,,gotta love these clowns.

    August 21, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    smith
    @Dm40-WOW, you didn`t read my comments. I will do this slow for you. Warning shots against people bad anyplace anytime. Warning shots to scare off a wild animal ok in the country side where no one is likley to get hurt and bad in the city where the chance of someone getting hurt increases alot. This isn`t hard.
    -----

    Didn't the officer who shot Brown miss a few of his shots, smith? If I'm not mistaken, a house (or two) had been hit by the officers stray bullets. Thank goodness a child wasn't injured or killed as well by this same officer's erratic shooting in a residential area that was, one assumes, filled with people going about their daily business.

    smith
    @Lynda- Your way off. Im talking the dangers of warning shots. Your talking about something completely different..smh
    -----------

    Am I? I thought you were discussing stray bullets injuring the innocent. Apparently, I was mistaken. And also, apparently, regular folks shooting warning shots in a residential area or law enforcement shooting at someone and missing in a residential area (both scenarios risking the hitting of innocent bystanders) depends upon who is doing the shooting. Your consistent espousing of what's good for the goose isn't necessarily always good for the gander is once again coming through. I sincerely doubt many of our law enforcement folks CAN shoot accurately while on the run; including both the perp and the officer running at (or away from) each other.

    August 21, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    The scare tactics by the right wing are amoral.

    Following 9/11, some Democrats had called for a shoring up of the southern border, but Republicans were going to war in Iraq. Not that it would have made much of a difference to the hijackers. They had entered the country legally. Why run the risk of getting caught and drawing attention to yourself?

    August 21, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. salty dog

    Well, he does need a good distraction right about now, here it is, right on time too!

    August 21, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. riff raff

    Do they have WMD? I mean, you may as well go big.

    August 21, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. sonny chapman

    The Fear Card: Brought to you originally by Bush/Cheney. The guys asleep at the wheel on 9-11-01.

    August 21, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    republicants may be the cause of Jaysus being crucified. It is a very real possibility. Though I have no proof or evidence whatsoever, I think it is a very real possibility they may have been involved.

    republicants may have caused the Holocaust. It is a very real possibility. Though I have no proof or evidence whatsoever, I think it is a very real possibility they may have been involved.

    republicants may be in league with an alien war fleet sent from the planet Myrg Ahg wol to destroy us all. It is a very real possibility. Though I have no proof or evidence whatsoever, I think it is a very real possibility they may be involved.

    republicants may be the cause of Global Warming (with this kind of hot air). It is a very real possibility. Though I have no proof or evidence whatsoever, I think it is a very real possibility they may have been involved.

    Hey, this is fun!!!! I might just switch over to the republicant party where you can just say whatever stupid crap comes to mind, state it unequivocally as a fact with no proof, evidence, or anything to support it (like an derwood issa 'investigation') and the dittohead rubes will fight to the death to defend the 'facts'.

    You guys absolutely slay me... tommy g, dean, the just (whatever) sisters, tony d old age voter, rick mcderwood.... you missed your calling.

    As lemmings.

    August 21, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. it must be said

    They are probably already here and thanks to the Obama administration that gave them taxpayer funded plane and bus rides all across America, they will be well positioned. So can Obama then be charged with aiding and abetting terrorists when they do strike?

    August 21, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    sonny chapman
    Be scared. Be very scared. Repubs. are the only ones who can protect you. The Home of the Brave ?
    -----------

    In which case, shouldn't Governor Rick Perry - THE man in Texas - be working on finding out who these ISIS folks are and arresting them instead of trying to scare the bejesus out of his fellow citizens?

    August 21, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. jrsgta

    Rick perry another dumb Texan gov.

    August 21, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. anthony78

    Over 200 of the ISIS members are legal US citizens (whose passports are being held by ISIS).
    WHY... WHY would they come back into the country through the southern border when they can easily stroll in legally thru New York via Europe.
    Fear monger much, Rick "Ooops-Felon" Perry?

    August 21, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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