US efforts have not impacted ISIS's global reach: CIA

2016-06-16 18:52
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Washington - CIA Director John Brennan warned on Thursday that the Islamic State group had suffered major losses in Iraq and Syria but retained the ability to conduct attacks around the world

"Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIS on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach," he told senior US lawmakers.

A US-led coalition bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria since August 2014 has pushed the jihadists out of several important cities, including Ramadi in Iraq.

Strikes against ISIS cash hoards and oil smuggling infrastructure have also affected the jihadists' financing.

Brennan said, however, that ISIS was quick to innovate and was making up financial shortfalls through new taxes and continued smuggling and as the group's physical stronghold diminished, it continued to pursue attacks elsewhere.

"We judge that ISIS is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks," Brennan said. "ISIS has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West."

Brennan's appearance before the US Senate Intelligence Committee comes days after the biggest mass shooting in modern US history, when Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people in a Florida gay nightclub.

Brennan said the CIA had not found any direct links between Mateen and any foreign terror group although the gunman pledged allegiance to ISIS and other organisations as he carried out the attack.

Read more on:    cia  |  isis  |  us  |  orlando shooting

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