Trump's National Security Adviser: Avoid Phrase "Radical Islamic Terrorism"

"Radical Islamic terrorism" has become a kind of catchphrase for Republicans and other conservatives in recent years as they have sought to claim, at least in theory, greater political credibility with regards to the threat of terrorism.

Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster told members of the National Security Council that the use of the term "radical Islamic terrorism" was counterproductive because the actions of terrorists are "un-Islamic", according to the New York Times newspaper. People at the Thursday meeting say that McMaster also indicated he was "not on board" with using the term, as he also doesn't like how it seems to dismiss "an entire religion".

McMaster accepted the job after Michael Flynn resigned when it was discovered he had contact with Russian officials regarding sanctions prior to Trump taking office and mislead Vice President Mike Pence about that conversation.

McMaster's language is more consistent with the positions of former US presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

In a meeting with National Security staff he said that Muslims who commit acts of terror are in fact contradicting their religion rather than pursuing a hard-line version of it.

"McMaster, like (President) Obama, is someone who was in positions of leadership and thought the United states should not play into the jihadist propaganda that this is a religious war", William McCants, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Times.

The view of McMaster is in line with the traditional counterterrorism analysts.

Although McMaster's words could signal a coming clash with the White House, it could also be a sign that he is eager to push the National Security Council away from politics. He wrote a book centering on the "global war against radical Islam".

Committee Chairman John McCain has not said if he will hold a hearing. Both the Pentagon and the State Department are pushing to have Iraq removed from that list of seven, officials say, noting that Iraq is an ally in the fight against the Islamic State group and that Iraqis have long served in support of USA forces there.

  • Leroy Wright