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Vern Buchanan says Brussels attack demands plan of action

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Terror attacks in Brussels Tuesday morning should serve as a wake-up call that the Obama administration needs to release its overdue plan to defeat ISIS, says U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan.

The Sarasota Republican points out that the government has already missed a congressionally-mandated deadline of Feb. 15 to submit a detailed plan to defeat the terrorist organization.

“The attack … in Belgium is further evidence that ISIS is a growing threat to the United States and the global community,” Buchanan said in a statement. “And yet despite the tragedies in the Middle East, Paris, San Bernardino and now Brussels, the administration still has not released its strategy to defeat ISIS.”

Mike Morell, who served as acting CIA director under President Obama, said today the Islamic State controls more territory in the world than ever before and that ISIS is “winning.”

Coordinated terrorist attacks took place at a metro station and international airport in Belgium’s capital. Among the wounded are three U.S. Mormon missionaries who were seriously injured in the airport blasts, according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Following the attack, ISIS supporters took to social media to celebrate, CNN reported.

The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which requires the administration to submit a strategy to defeat ISIS by Feb. 15, 2016, was signed into law by President Obama last year.

Buchanan is also urging the U.S. House to immediately take up his legislation to keep terrorists out of America by screening the social media accounts of foreigners seeking entry into the country. The Social Media Screening for Terrorists Act, (H.R. 4301), directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to vet all public records, including Facebook and other forms of social media, before admitting foreign travelers and visa applicants into the country.

“ISIS is relentless in their use of social media as a propaganda tool,” Buchanan said. “We must do everything in our power to screen these social media sites to safeguard Americans.”

Buchanan’s bill, introduced after reports surfaced that one of the terrorists behind the San Bernardino killings had pledged support to Islamic Jihad using Facebook, mirrors legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican.

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