ISIS Threatens Attack on Washington

A French soldier stands guard at the Eiffel Tower, which was closed Sunday.  A French soldier stands guard at the Eiffel Tower, which was closed Sunday. Amr Nabil / AP

The Islamic State just released a new video vowing a direct attack on Washington, D.C., Reuters reports this morning. The clip warns other countries dropping bombs in Syria that they will suffer the same fate as France with the Paris attacks.

“The video, apparently released by an Iraqi sub-group calling itself Wilayat Kirkuk, used television footage showing Francois Hollande speaking and police operations in the wake of the shooting and suicide bombings that killed at least 129 people in Paris on Friday,” The Independent adds. The video featured a man “identified as Al Ghareeb the Algerian, [and] also warned Europe in the video that more attacks were coming.”

More attacks are possible. That’s what CIA Director John Brennan said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies this morning when asked if the ISIS attack on Paris was a one-off event. “I would anticipate that this is not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline,” Brennan said. “I do believe that this is something that we’re going to have to deal with for quite some time.”

“It is clear to me that ISIL has an external agenda, that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks,” he continued. “This is not something that was done in a matter of days. This is something that was deliberately and carefully planned over the course, I think, of several months.” That gave ISIS time to get the operatives, explosives and suicide belts.

Brennan said many attacks of the Paris scale are thwarted before they occur. He said the CIA works “very, very closely with our French partners” and he has “an exceptionally strong relationship with the heads of the external and internal services.”

European nations have had large numbers of people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and back to Europe. “Their ability to monitor and surveil these individuals is under strain,” Brennan said. “It’s not a surprise that this attack was carried out from the standpoint of we did have strategic warning. We know that these plans, [and] plotting by ISIL was under way, looking at Europe in particular as the venue for carrying out these attacks.”

Operatives are adapting to keep their activities concealed from the authorities. “There are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult, both technically as well as legally, for intelligence and security services to have the insight they need to uncover it,” he said.

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