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House Intelligence Committee hearing to focus on extremists

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who ran U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base from 2010 to 2013, will be one of three witnesses to appear before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on threats posed by the Islamic State, al-Qaida and other Islamic violent extremists.

The open hearing will take place 8 a.m. Sept. 18 in room HVC-210 of the Capitol Building.

In addition to Mattis, former Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and Dafna H. Rand, from the Center for a New American Security will testify.

Crocker has been an ambassador to six different nations in the Middle East — Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon — in Democratic and Republican administrations.

Rand is deputy director of studies and the Leon E. Panetta Fellow at CNAS, and served as director for democracy and governance on the National Security Staff, was a member of the State Department’s planning staff and was a professional staff member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

As the head of Centcom, Mattis oversaw U.S. military operations in Syria, Iraq and 18 other nations in the region. He also led troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As a brigadier general, he commanded the first the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and then Task Force 58 in southern Afghanistan, according to his official biography. As a major general, he commanded the 1st Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Iraq.

Mattis, in town Thursday morning to serve as guest speaker at the Remember Honor Support Patriots Day Memorial Breakfast, declined comment.

With the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) and others increasing, and President Barack Obama Wednesday night announcing he has approved airstrikes against IS in Syria and will send an additional 475 troops to Iraq, the committee “thought it was necessary and timely to thoroughly examine, in a public hearing, the threats,” said committee spokeswoman Susan Phalen.

Read More:House Intelligence Committee hearing to focus on extremists | TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times.

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