Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN’s Dana Bash on Wednesday that he would be “shocked” if the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris was not at least inspired by ISIS.
Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Bash, “People in your business need to be concerned. You’re soft targets and they hate the idea of being able to tell the story.”
“Are you saying that based on intelligence you’ve learned?” Bash asked.
Graham said the warning was “just based on common sense.” He said, “They’re moving away from military-style targets. They’re beginning to target soft targets.”
He said he thinks the U.S. terror threat level should be raised immediately because copycat threats are likely. “I am convinced there are people already in our homeland ready to do attacks like this.” He said the attack in Paris was an attack on our common values. “Even though it was an attack in France, it’s an attack on us. What these people were doing in France, we do every day.”
Graham also warned that budget cuts under sequestration are hurting U.S. ability to gather intelligence.
“The only way you find out about terror threats is to find out about these things before they happen. Between budget cuts on the intel defense side and the Obama administration policy of not detaining or interrogating the suspects anymore — reading them their rights — is leading to less intelligence,” he said. “If Congress doesn’t relieve the budget pressure created by sequestration on the Intelligence Committee, our ability to detect attacks like this on our homeland are greatly reduced.”