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Kerry: We Knew ISIS Had the Capability To Carry Out Paris Attack, Wasn’t ‘Surprised’ By Attack


Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the US knew that ISIS had the capability to carry out the Paris attacks in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, portions of which were broadcast on Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

Kerry was asked, “How could the US’ and the West’s expectations of ISIS be so wrong?” He responded, “Well, I disagree that people didn’t know they had this capacity. We certainly have known —

Holt then cut in, “That they could blow a plane up?” Kerry answered, “Sure. I mean, they have gained great expertise, over a period of time, and they have some people in ISIS who have been fighting in the terror network for a period of time. So, they have access to c-4. They have access to explosives. Everybody knows that. They’re making IEDs every single day.”

Kerry was then asked if he was “surprised” by the attacks to Paris. Kerry said, “I was shocked by it, not surprised. I find that we all know, because we are following the threat streams, that any individual who wants to strap a suicide vest around them, can walk into any public event, in most places in the world, and blow him or herself up, and destroy people with them. So, that’s the nature of terror. That’s why terrorists are called terrorists. They spread terror. They’re trying to sow fear, and intimidate people. And yes, we have known this.”

Regarding the Syrian refugees, Kerry stated, “Since 9/11, we have allowed 785,000 refugees to come to the United States of America, all vetted, all screened. Out of the 785,000, 12 people were found to perhaps be problematic with respect to potential terror, and they were arrested or deported. So, we have a very capable ability, which we now have to probably heighten and increase even more, and it’ll probably go slower, and cost more money, But the United States of America shouldn’t turn away a mother and a child, who have been driven out of their homes, and perhaps had another child killed in the process, and made their way over land or sea to seek refuge.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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