United States intelligence agencies are reportedly “reassessing their characterization” of the Islamic State as just a “regional threat.”
The ISIS reassessment was reportedly prompted three terrorist attacks occurred at nearly the same time in three separate countries on Friday. Government intelligence officials feel that the terrorism was directly, or “heavily influenced” by ISIS.
James Clapper, the top intelligence officer in the United States, told Congress that ISIS was nothing more than a “regional threat” when testifying earlier this year. Clapper also said that Islamic State militants likely planned to “conduct operations against regional allies, Western facilities, and personnel in the Middle East.”
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Martin Dempsey, also downplayed the threat posed by ISIS to Western nations. General Dempsey deemed the Islamic State fighters merely a product of “an internal conflict, internal to Islam.”
Nicholas Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, consented that ISIS has a “real” reach beyond the Middle East, but maintains that the power is only “limited in sophistication.”
ISIS sympathizers began calling this coming Friday as “Bloody Friday” on social media platforms last weekend. The National Counterterrorism Center and the CIA are reportedly working together to investigate the attack at a French industrial plant, the suicide bombing of a mosque in Kuwait, and the mass shooting a a Tunisan beach resort – ISIS has bee credited with conducting all three terror attacks.
Even if the three recent terrorism attacks were carried out by lone wolves in the name of ISIS, terrorism experts and U.S. intelligence officials still reportedly feel a change of ISIS strategy could be in order for the Obama administration.
“ISIL is very rapidly becoming a global threat and it is doing so on the cheap,”retired Army Colonel Peter Mansoor, who was one of the architects of the U.S. military campaign against Al Qaeda in Iraq, said. “It can simply evangelize followers and get them to plan and conduct terrorist attacks on their own. This will only continue unless something is done to destroy ISIL and reduce its appeal to the extremist fringe in the Islamic community.”
The terror attacks which occurred last Friday happened just days after ISIS reportedly urged followed to “rush and go to make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidels.” Ramadan is a Muslim holy month and began on June 17. The deadly incidents also happened shortly before the first anniversary of the ISIS declaration of a caliphate in its controlled territory in the Middle East.
Republican House Foreign Affairs Committee member Representative Ed Royce does not view the ISIS attacks as coincidental.
“These attacks show that the [ISIL] threat is spreading well beyond Iraq and Syria. A continued safe-haven there means more attacks across the region, Europe and even here at home,” Royce added. “We also must destroy the online messaging that attracts so many young people with the counter message that [ISIL].”
Do you think ISIS will attack the United States on the 4th of July and turn the celebration of American independence into “Bloody Friday.”