CIA chief: ISIS attack attempts on US “inevitable”

posted at 7:21 pm on February 15, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

The question here may be less will they and more have they. CIA Director John Brennan told CBS’ 60 Minutes that he views ISIS attempts to attack the US as “inevitable.” He follows that up by saying that successful attacks are not necessarily inevitable, but have they already taken place?

Scott Pelley: Is ISIS coming here?

John Brennan: I think ISIL does want to eventually find it’s, it’s mark here.

Scott Pelley: You’re expecting an attack in the United States?

John Brennan: I’m expecting them to try to put in place the operatives, the material or whatever else that they need to do or to incite people to carry out these attacks, clearly. So I believe that their attempts are inevitable. I don’t think their successes necessarily are.

What constitutes an attack attempt? The San Bernardino attack at least appears to qualify. At least one of the two perpetrators, Tashfeen Malik, came to the US after becoming radicalized abroad and may have posted pro-ISIS propaganda online during the attack. Syed Farook reportedly had conducted “overseas communications” with people the FBI suspected of organizing terrorism. Two weeks before the attack, Farook got $28,500 under mysterious circumstances.

For a larger-scale attack, ISIS might face more difficulties; at least they haven’t attempted a Paris-style attack here yet. Brennan tells CBS that the Paris attacks were a failure of intelligence, and a lesson to his own organization:

Scott Pelley: What did you learn from Paris?

John Brennan: That there is a lot that ISIL probably has underway that we don’t have obviously full insight into. We knew the system was blinking red. We knew just in the days before that ISIL was trying to carry out something. But the individuals involved have been able to take advantage of the newly available means of communication that are–that are walled off, from law enforcement officials. …

We gotta work harder. We have to work harder. We need to have the capabilities, the technical capabilities, the human sources. We need to be able to have advanced notice about this so that we can take this– the steps to stop them. Believe me, intelligence security services have stopped numerous attacks– operatives– that have been moved from maybe the Iraq to Syria theater into Europe. They have been stopped and interdicted and arrested and detained and debriefed because of very, very good intelligence.

And that’s doubly important, now that ISIS has increased its capabilities in a very alarming direction:

Scott Pelley: Does ISIS have chemical weapons?

John Brennan: We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield.

Scott Pelley: Artillery shells.

John Brennan: Sure. Yeah.

Scott Pelley: ISIS has access to chemical artillery shells?

John Brennan: Uh-huh (affirm). There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use.

Interestingly, Reuters corroborated that claim in an exclusive report this afternoon:

Islamic State militants attacked Kurdish forces in Iraq with mustard gas last year, in the first known use of chemical weapons in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a diplomat said, after tests by the global chemical arms watchdog.

A source at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that laboratory tests had come back positive for the sulfur mustard, after around 35 Kurdish troops were sickened on the battlefield last August.

The OPCW will not identify who used the chemical agent. But the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the findings have not yet been released, said the result confirmed that chemical weapons had been used by Islamic State fighters.

All of the above underscores the need for a forward strategy against ISIS rather than a reactive strategy. The US and its allies have tried to pick apart ISIS with a light precision-bombing campaign, but the terror quasi-state has expanded into Libya and moved to weapons of mass destruction in the meantime. Brennan says the CIA is doing its part, with both intelligence and operational covert assets on the ground. That would help destroy ISIS as part of a massive, coordinated offensive to dislodge, isolate, and trap ISIS’ army, but the air-alone war appears to have only done mild damage and encouraged ISIS to harden its assets. Brennan has a tough job, but an even tougher task selling current US strategy against ISIS as anywhere close to sufficient for the administration’s declared goals.

Watch the entire interview below:


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Comments

Always thank obama, especially now that you join him.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Iris bulbs $2.99 shipped today only.

rogerb on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

but the terror quasi-state has expanded into Libya and moved to weapons of mass destruction in the meantime.

Hillary’s Signature Achievement.

forest on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

If only we could go after them proactively, but ROE.

rbj on February 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Iran finances obama.

Qatar finances the Clintons.

The rest are just consequences, and sheep, which end up…slaughtered.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Shh – they are coming through Facebook don’t you know?

jake-the-goose on February 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM

ISO will now be HA commenters.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

God bless America.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

Proof positive that Obama’s immigration policies are menace to public health and safety.

jake49 on February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

“LIKE” if you trust Brennan!

“SHARE” to reserve your place in a concentration camp of your choice!

Andy__B on February 15, 2016 at 7:26 PM

All of the above underscores the need for a forward strategy against ISIS rather than a reactive strategy.

Somebody should tell the Commander in Chief…

… Whoever that is.

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2016 at 7:26 PM

If any of you still believe in the fairy-tale that obama is not with Iran, then…I have a HA site for you on FB, heh.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:27 PM

No, what’s inevitable is that you can earn $97/hour sitting at home working for Google! Click here to find out how!

lorien1973 on February 15, 2016 at 7:28 PM

Proof positive that Obama’s immigration policies are menace to public health and safety.

jake49 on February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

So very true…

… and after the next attack on the Homeland, the ‘Media’ will ask:

“How Could This Possibly Have Happen?!?!”

Seven Percent Solution on February 15, 2016 at 7:28 PM

No, what’s inevitable is that you can earn $97/hour sitting at home working for Google! Click here to find out how!

lorien1973 on February 15, 2016 at 7:28 PM

Ed joined the Pope.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Brennan the Muzzie?

Valiant on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

I just travelled here from a time zone far, far in the past, and i can’t believe we’re still putting up with this gutter religion.

Like if you agree

3.14159 on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

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Tomorrow, it comes with an STD and a side of malware.

HornetSting on February 15, 2016 at 7:31 PM

Curious that Townhall.com doesn’t use facebook comments.

lorien1973 on February 15, 2016 at 7:32 PM

HornetSting on February 15, 2016 at 7:31 PM

Like!

(inserts gif of a random meme)

lorien1973 on February 15, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Doctor says this one weird trick is guaranteed to increase p3nis size by three inches!

(Moderators and Trumpettes hate this!)

PointnClick on February 15, 2016 at 7:34 PM

ISIS attack attempts on US “inevitable”

Does anyone really have to watch a TV show to realize this?

WhirledPeas on February 15, 2016 at 7:36 PM

Bye Stinger and PnC

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Remember, Jorge ‘Islam is love, not hate” Arbusto kept us safe and Iraq is now a shinning example for the rest of the middle east.

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Iris bulbs $2.99 shipped today only.

rogerb on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

I’m making $81 an hour working at home, sipping coffee with my thumb up my wherever. Join me at 1-918-HAFN

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Thank you, George Bush, for securing our borders!

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 7:39 PM

Scott Pelley: Is ISIS coming here?

John Brennan: I think ISIL does want to eventually find it’s, it’s mark here.

Interesting that the administration whores can’t call it ISIS.

I still think ISO (Islamic States of Obama) is more accurate.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:39 PM

Don’t forget to buy Mark Levin’s latest book. And his father’s latest book too!

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 7:41 PM

THis one weird trick will protect you from any ISIS chemical attack. Click below.

xblade on February 15, 2016 at 7:41 PM

ISO will now be HA commenters.

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

…meh…Happy Gonad already used that line… ;)

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Good News

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Good News

Schadenfreude on February 15, 2016 at 7:44 PM

…one word…superdelegates…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:46 PM

rogerb on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

I’m making $81 an hour working at home, sipping coffee with my thumb up my wherever. Join me at 1-918-HAFN

arnold ziffel on February 15, 2016 at 7:38 PM

I can double that and you can put your thumb, wait. Never mind. You’re good.

HornetSting on February 15, 2016 at 7:48 PM

Share if you’re the kind of person who says Hi to dogs!

avi natan on February 15, 2016 at 7:48 PM

…more from the “vault”…

Obama has made the situation BETTER not worse.
Numbers don’t lie
weedisgood on February 6, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:48 PM

*shrug*
The more christians “fight back” against tolerance for minorities and gays the more they ostracize themselves and the quicker we move to a post-christian world.
Or they could modernize and stop being barbarians. Either way I win.
Tlaloc on July 3, 2015 at 5:40 PM

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:51 PM

Why does he say ISIL and not ISIS?

Oh, right….

ladyingray on February 15, 2016 at 7:51 PM

What does your dog choice say about you as a Facebook poster?

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:53 PM

Why does he say ISIL and not ISIS?

Oh, right….

ladyingray on February 15, 2016 at 7:51 PM

It’s ISO damnit! Not that Facebook is going to let posters get away with calling them the Islamic States of Obama.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 7:54 PM

My mother-in-law’s cousin’s neighbor’s hairdresser’s best friend makes $7681 an hour working from home for ISIS.

Click here to find out more

Galtian on February 15, 2016 at 7:55 PM

One might think one of you HotGas clowncars would sticky the “LOL FACEBOOK COMMENTS INC!” thread.

Then again, perhaps the HotGas admins don’t want more readers to see it…

Jedditelol on February 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Stop.

92% of people will not bother reading past these words. The 8% who do are those few who are unafraid to stand proud in what they believe. Die Hard is in fact a Christmas movie. SHARE if you are one of those 8% who care enough about Bruce Willis not to hide your true self.

Gingotts on February 15, 2016 at 8:03 PM

Right about now i really miss Ned Pepper. He could always get the conversation rolling.

MrsGsBoyTommy on February 15, 2016 at 8:03 PM

My brother’s second ex wife’s sister’s third husband’s niece makes $4567.66 a month working at a massage parlor pleasuring men twice her age. After just 5 months she’s made over $20,000 and has a cop as a boyfriend.

Bubba Redneck on February 15, 2016 at 8:04 PM

I wonder if we’re going to be able to play Farmville in Hot Air?

cimbri on February 15, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Right about now i really miss Ned Pepper. He could always get the conversation rolling.

MrsGsBoyTommy on February 15, 2016 at 8:03 PM

…ask and ye shall receive…sorry it’s the only one I saved…

Talk about an egomaniac.
Ned Pepper on February 9, 2015 at 8:57 PM

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 8:07 PM

Hot Air is the leading conservative blog for breaking news and commentary

HA is going to have to update their descriptor now that they are no longer a conservative blog. Just another thread filled with hate-filled liberals and Trump supporters.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM

The BEST way to deal with ISIS:

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/494473/SAS-sniper-killed-ISIS-chief

Blew his head off as he was instructing “pupils” how to behead people. Head exploded. Body stood still for a few seconds before flopping to the ground. 20 pupils sh’t their guts out in their shorts and promptly deserted.

Bubba Redneck on February 15, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 8:07 PM

The day he got banned, I commented how much I would miss him. Then a whole bunch of the trolls accused me of being him under a different name. Good times!

MrsGsBoyTommy on February 15, 2016 at 8:18 PM

HA is going to have to update their descriptor now that they are no longer a conservative blog. Just another thread filled with hate-filled liberals and Trump supporters.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Once most of us regulars ditch because of Facebook comments, “leading” will need to be replaced with “vacant expanse of desert and meme-grannies.”

Gingotts on February 15, 2016 at 8:19 PM

Nice little Mecca you got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.

Mason on February 15, 2016 at 8:33 PM

No comment

Rode Werk on February 15, 2016 at 8:34 PM

I’m just waiting for my first ISIS friend request

halfbaked on February 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

John Brennan: Uh-huh (affirm). There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use.

Duh. Chemical weapons are trivial to make. The delivery mechanisms are significantly harder but still don;t require anything like the sophistication of bio or nuclear weapons.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 9:08 PM

Why am I supposed to believe anything this turd says?

iwasbornwithit on February 15, 2016 at 9:09 PM

*shrug*
The more christians “fight back” against tolerance for minorities and gays the more they ostracize themselves and the quicker we move to a post-christian world.
Or they could modernize and stop being barbarians. Either way I win.
Tlaloc on July 3, 2015 at 5:40 P

M

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 7:51 PM

I’ll miss having you guys amplify and repeat my messages for me. That was much appreciated.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 9:17 PM

The Islamic terrorist attacks will come. The only questions are which state, which city, which neighborhood, and which day. If you are licensed for concealed carry, be ready to help your fellow man, and your family.

leader4hru on February 15, 2016 at 11:10 PM

You mean >>MORE attacks? No fooling?

dogsoldier on February 16, 2016 at 8:41 AM