CIA Director John Brennan delivered a sobering assessment this morning, telling Senate lawmakers that ISIS remains a formidable threat when it comes to launching attacks in the West.
Brennan said ISIS is likely to use more “guerilla tactics” and launch attacks outside the Middle East, including in the U.S., to compensate for a loss of territory in Iraq and Syria.
He said that despite battlefield setbacks, ISIS’s ability to carry out global attacks – as it did in Paris and Brussels – has not diminished.
And he warned that ISIS is using refugee streams, traditional smuggling routes and legitimate travel to move its operatives into place.
His testimony comes just days after a gunman – pledging his allegiance to ISIS online and in a 911 call – murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Reacting to Brennan’s testimony, which seems to be in stark contrast to recent statements by the White House, former CIA operations officer and author Charles Faddis said “we are not winning this war.”
Faddis, who headed the CIA’s WMD terrorism unit, said the United States must change its tactics or the situation will get worse.
“They are spreading. [ISIS] is spreading throughout the Middle East and Africa and they are spreading in the United States,” said Faddis, noting that ISIS still has 18,000-22,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria.
Bill Hemmer asked how President Obama could say this week that ISIS is losing recruits, money and territory.
Faddis said the assessment by Obama does not “square” with his own CIA director’s testimony.
“Obviously the president is living in an alternate reality. He refuses to face the fact that his approach to this problem is failing massively. Unfortunately what we’ve seen with these attacks on U.S. soil is just the beginning of what could get much, much worse if we don’t change course,” he said.