The PJ Tatler

Hawaii Dem: Terrorists Not Just Recruited Because 'They're Poor, or Feeling Alienated'

After President Obama’s conference last week on violent extremism, Hawaii Dem Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said it’s clear the administration still doesn’t understand the threat.

“Understanding that this is not just people who are being motivated because they’re poor, or they are feeling alienated, or they’re looking for some kind of violence or excitement in their life,” Gabbard told MSNBC this morning. “This goes to a much deeper theological motivation, ideological motivation, and unless we defeat that as well as a strong military defeat, we’re going to continue to see more recruits popping up.”

Gabbard has been hammering the White House for weeks on its refusal to link “Islamic” with the extremism faced from groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The first Hindu member of Congress is a captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard and Iraq combat veteran. She is also a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“When we look at ISIS, what I believe the president and the administration needs to do is really understand the ideological motivation behind groups like ISIS, behind groups like al-Qaeda, and the fact that when you look at the 40 plus groups around the world who are committing these atrocious actions, the one common element is this Islamic extremist ideology that not only motivates them, but it’s their primary recruiting tool,” the congresswoman said today.

Gabbard said she thinks Obama “has good intentions, but I think it’s important for us to really look at all sides of this and understand at its core what’s the root cause and motivation of these people who are conducting these things, and how we stop their momentum, and how we defeat them.”

“Terror recruits,” she said, “look for some kind of purpose to their lives, and so when they look at what ISIS, and al-Qaeda, and these groups are offering them, they’re promising them, if you go and do these things, if you become a martyr, you conduct this jihad, then you will go to heaven, your family will be taken care of, and it’s a spiritual ideology that’s drawing them in, which is what has to be defeated.”

There is no “quick and easy way,” to defeat them, she said, “but the question of whether or not to deploy large amounts of U.S. ground troops is directly tied to the need to understand the enemy’s ideology, because if that were to happen, if we had large numbers of U.S. troops deploying, it would play directly into their recruitment propaganda which is this is, you know, the infidels in the West waging war against Muslims. And it would increase their ability and their strength to grow in the actions in — in their war that they are waging.”

“Which is why it’s so important for us to empower and arm the Kurds, empower these Sunni tribes, empower the Egyptians, the Jordanians, people who are on the ground and in the region who are eager and really begging for our help to go and fight against this enemy.”