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CIA Director: Islamic State Attempting to Infiltrate the West Through Refugee Flows


Thursday at a hearing on CIA intelligence activities, CIA Director John Brennan said ISIS is attempting infiltrate operatives into the West through “refugee flows, smuggling routes and legitimate methods of travel.”

Brennan said, “Unfortunately, despite all of our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the groups terrorism capability and global reach. The resources needed for terrorism are modest. The group would have to suffer even heaver loses on territory, manpower and money for the terrorist capacity to decline significantly. Moreover the groups foreign branches and global networks can help preserve the capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL we judge it will intensify it’s global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.”

He continued, “Since at least 2014, ISIL has been working to build an apparatus to direct and inspire attacks against it’s foreign enemies, resulting in hundreds of casualties. The most prominent examples are the attacks in Paris and Brussels, which we asses were directed by ISIL’s leadership. We judge that ISIL is training and attempting to deploy for operatives further attacks. ISIL has large cadre of western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West. 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. Furthermore, as we have seen in Orlando, San Bernardino and elsewhere, ISIL is attempting to inspire attacks by sympathizers who have no direct links to the group. Last month, for example, a senior ISIL figure publicly urges the groups followers to conduct attacks in their home countries if they were unable to travel to Syria and Iraq. At the same time, ISIL is gradually cultivating the global network of branches into a more interconnected global organization.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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