The Obama administration’s efforts to fight ISIS have not damaged the Islamic State’s “terrorism capability and global reach,” CIA Director John Brennan said Thursday.
Brennan testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and warned that ISIS supporters will be deployed throughout Western countries as the terrorist network retaliates for attacks against its home bases in the Middle East.
“The group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including in refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel,” Brennan said.
Brennan’s words were a contrast to President Obama’s ebullient assessment Tuesday that the fight against ISIS “is firing on all cylinders” and the group “is under more pressure than ever before.”
Brennan noted gains on the ground against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but warned that the global battlefield was still at risk.
“Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach,” Brennan testified, using the Obama administration’s preferred label for ISIS.
“The group’s foreign branches and global networks can help preserve its capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda,” he said.
Brennan noted, as evidence, that the massacre in Orlando in which Omar Mateen, who pledged loyalty to ISIS in slaughtering 49 people and wounding 53 more, proves ISIS can still inspire attacks by individuals not formally associated with the terrorist organization.
h/t: Fox News