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'Islamic State has created global battlefield'

June 15, 2016 14:41 IST

The Islamic State terror group has created a global battlefield, a top United States senator with access to intelligence information said on Wednesday.

"America is an open society. We value our freedom and diversity. The IS has leveraged those freedoms to their advantage to attract misguided individuals who carry out acts of hate. The IS has created a global battlefield," Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of the powerful Senate Select Committee on Intelligence told reporters at a news conference.

"A global battlefield is what the IS has been able to create through the use of social media. And now, individuals around the world, not just here, are targets of that solicitation," he said ruling out any negotiations with the terror group.

"You cannot negotiate with people that want to kill you. And the challenge for us and this administration is that we must adopt a strategy that eliminates the safe haven that the IS has, their ability to plan external plots against the United States, against Europe and against the rest of the world," Burr said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said there are consequences for using political rhetoric that alienates or marginalises or targets Muslims.

"It only serves to feed the narrative and confer legitimacy on the IS' argument. That is the thing that the IS desperately craves," he said.

"We know that IS leaders wake up every morning desperate to try to find ways to convey to the rest of the world that they are fighting the West in the name of Islam. They call themselves religious leaders," Earnest said.

"They label the individuals who are in their ranks as holy warriors. And they're seeking to perpetuate this notion that they represent the world's Muslims, more than a billion of them, in the fight against the West. They're wrong about that," he said in response to a question.

Lalit K Jha in Washington DC
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