CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Thursday said ISIS remains an “enormous threat” despite setbacks the terror group has suffered on the battlefield, including being driven by the group’s self-declared capital of Raqqa.
“the item is actually clearly the case which there are terrorists around the globe who are intent upon using commercial aviation as their vector to present a threat to the West,” the CIA director said in remarks at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ National Security Summit in Washington.
Pompeo said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has taken actions at airports in response to “perceived threats” to commercial airliners. Yet he said the terror risk still exists because the item can be difficult to learn about attacks.
Fears of another 9/11-style attack were raised This particular week after comments attributed to the acting DHS secretary, Elaine Duke, in remarks at the U.S. Embassy in London. Her remarks were published Thursday in Britain’s Express newspaper.
“The terrorist organizations, be the item ISIS or others, want to possess the big explosion like they did on 9/11,” Duke said, according to reporting by Express. “They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is actually clear on which.”
Pompeo said bad actors willing to do harm to the West can go online to learn bomb-creating skills by terrorists without ever getting on a phone or sending email. “Tools which we have developed to take down [terrorist] networks are less likely to be successful,” he said.
“This particular is actually difficult stuff in a faraway place,” Pompeo said. “This particular is actually a challenge for the intelligence community to figure out how which technology may have transferred.”
The U.S. intelligence community was faulted by some for not anticipating the 9/11 attacks.
“We often talk about the things we know,” Pompeo said. “I always remind everyone to remember the things which we simply may not see. Call them an intelligence failure, if you will.”
Meantime, ISIS is actually on the run inside Middle East. Thousands of the terror group’s militants have suffered, along with the area the caliphate controls is actually a little fraction of what the item once was.
“The fall of the caliphate is actually great news,” the CIA chief said. “the item is actually a historic achievement … yet the item’s partial at best.”
Pompeo called ISIS “an incredibly difficult adversary” because of its ability to inspire along with direct attacks by afar. Also, he said there’s always a potential for ISIS to essentially morph into something else inside future.
“the item could be foolish to predict which there was going to be no son of ISIS,” he said. “You’d be betting against historical fact.”
Some consider ISIS itself as an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The two terror groups reportedly severed ties a few years ago.
“Whether they call themselves ISIS or ISIS 2.0 or whatever you want to call the name, This particular threat by radical Islamic terrorism is actually real,” said Pompeo.
Pompeo said the global reach of ISIS along with its followers is actually something which the U.S. continues to take seriously. He said ISIS or affiliates of the terror group operate in many regions some other than the Middle East, including Southeast Asia.
He said the Internet continues to help the terrorist group recruit followers along with conduct attacks.
“They still possess the capacity to control along with influence citizens all around the globe,” Pompeo said. “Technology enables the item along with their desire to even do these little-scale attacks.”
The CIA chief said he’s spent a lot of time with his counterparts inside U.K., which has suffered by several vehicle along with some other types of terror attacks This particular year. He said these attacks are often directed with help by abroad or with the aid of the Internet.
“I often hear folks talk about ‘lone wolf,'” he said. “I prefer not to use which term because the item is actually seldom the case which they were completely individual, acting autonomously. the item’s almost always the case which the ideology which drove them was driven by someone who had great intent to deliver which idea into their head.”