The Takfiri Daesh
(ISIL) group has the capacity of targeting the United States
with attacks similar to those of Paris and Brussels, says the US intelligence chief.
“They do have that capacity. That’s something we worry about a lot in the United States
, that they could conjure up a raid like they did in Paris or Brussels,” US National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
On November 13, Daesh launched a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, killing some 130 people. Investigations into the incident revealed that the perpetrators were mostly Belgium-based.
In Brussels, two men blew themselves up in the city’s international airport in coordinated blasts in March that also hit a metro station in the Belgian capital. A total of 32 people lost their lives in the attacks claimed by the Takfiri group.
The Brussels attacks came days after police arrested Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect of Paris attacks in the Belgian capital.
A Belgian police officer cordons off the entrance of the closed Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on March 24, 2016, after terror attacks hit the Belgian capital. ©AFP
Clapper noted that Daesh “either infiltrate people or incite people who are already here,” to carry out a Paris-style attack, but the militant group’s leaders do not necessarily choose a specific target.
“That’s apparently not exactly their modus operandi. It’s more general, strategic guidance, and then let the local cell figure out how to achieve the objectives,” he also said.
“We’ve already seen some cases of that,” Clapper added, referring to San Bernardino shootings in December that claimed the lives of 14 people.
President Barack Obama and other national security officials, however, say the US is not in similar danger as Europe.
“We, here in the United States, face less of a threat than Europe” from Daesh, Obama said.
National Security Adviser Susan also said “whether or not” the US comes under a Daesh attack, Washington would do its “utmost to try to prevent it.”
The Daesh terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.
They have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all, communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.