Joni Ernst: First ISIS Latin America Chapter ‘Likely Not The Last’

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst issued a letter to President Barack Obama Monday expressing her concern that the U.S. is not doing enough to combat the rise of radical Islam in Latin America.

“ISIS and its sympathizers are growing more overt in Latin America,” Ernst starkly warned in a letter obtained by The Hill. “Their increased used of messaging in Spanish and Portuguese, couple with calls for terror in the region, exemplify ISIS’s unwavering determination to change and imbed in new surroundings.”

Ernst highlighted nascent Brazilian terrorist group Ansar al-Khilafa Brazil’s pledge to Islamic State in July, saying it would “likely not be the last.” The letter comes before Obama’s last foreign trip as president, which ends with a visit to Peru where he will meet other Latin American leaders. “In your upcoming meetings with Latin American officials, I ask that you discuss ways to address the growing fight against ISIS,” Ernst implored Obama.

Ansar al-Khilafa Brazil’s pledge to ISIS came before the 2016 Rio Olympics, and was the first instance of a South American organization with ties to the terrorist group. The group did not successfully mount an attack at the Olympics, and has not since conducted any high-profile activity.

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