Speaking at a global security forum hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, CIA Director John Brennan warned that the Islamic State is probably planning more attacks like the massacre in Paris.
“I would anticipate that this is not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline,” said Brennan, as quoted by CBS News. “I do believe that this is something we’ll have to live with for quite some time.”
“I certainly would not consider it a one-off event. It is clear to me that ISIS has an external agenda and that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks,” he added, according to NBC News. “This was not something done in a matter of days. This was something that was deliberately and carefully.”
Brennan said it was “not a surprise” that such an attack was carried out, because Western intelligence agencies “knew that these plans, the plotting by ISIL, was underway.”
Brennan also became the latest intelligence expert to suggest that the exposure of national security secrets by leakers such as Edward Snowden have hindered our ability to monitor terrorists, although he did not refer to Snowden by name.
“In the past several years, because of the number of unauthorized disclosures and a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists. There have been policy and other legal changes that make our ability to collectively find these terrorists much more challenging,” the CIA Director asserted.
Brennan also recognized the danger of compromising civil liberties too much, in the pursuit of security. He also appeared to offer some cover for continuing President Obama’s policy of important tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States, despite mounting concerns that the migrants pose an unacceptable security risk.
“We don’t want these terrorists to succeed in taking away the liberties we pride ourselves on. We should be wary, but we don’t want to hermetically seal our borders. That is inconsistent with what our societies have been founded on,” said Brennan, as quoted by Business Insider.