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Obama: For a Couple Years, Our Intelligence Agencies Had No Idea What Was Happening in Syria

Obama: For a Couple Years, Our Intelligence Agencies Had No Idea What Was Happening in Syria

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” in a clip from a “60 Minutes” interview that will air Sunday night, President Barack Obama blamed his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for failing to realize ISIS was gaining strength in Syria. 

The president said, “Well, I think our head of the intelligence community acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria. Essentially what happened with ISIL is that you had al-Qaeda in Iraq, which is a vicious group, but our Marines were able to quash it with the help of Sunni tribes. They went back underground. But over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and attract foreign fighters—who believed in their jihadist nonsense and traveled everywhere from Europe to the United States to Australia to other parts of the Muslim world—converge on Syria, so this became ground zero for jihadists around the world, and they have been savvy in terms of social media.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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