CIA Chief Expects ISIS To Attempt American Attack
Barrel bombing in Syria as the major powers struggle to put a delicate ceasefire together. While the carnage continues, ISIS fights on, undeterred.
A fresh warning from America's top spy - the CIA Director John Brennan telling CBS' 60 Minutes that ISIS will try to attack inside the U.S.
"I'm expecting them to try to put in place the operatives, the material or whatever else that they need to do or to incite people to carry out these attacks, clearly. So I believe that their attempts are inevitable. I don't think their successes necessarily are."
U.S. officials tell CNN there's no specific, credible threat of a significant ISIS plot inside the U.S. right now, but they say they've been on heightened alert for the past two months - since the San Bernardino attack and the brutal ISIS assault in Paris woke up the intelligence and law enforcement communities to what ISIS is capable of.
But why hasn't ISIS launched a Paris-style attack inside America?
"Partially it is geography, the distance between here and Syrian and Iraq, the fact that you have a very small number of Americans who are a part of ISIS, while in Europe, you have thousands of individuals. Here, you just have a few hundred. You have heightened attention from the FBI and the intelligence community," said Lorenzo Vidino, Director of George Washington University's Program on Extremism.
Analysts say a more realistic scenario is for ISIS to instigate a lone-wolf attack from afar, similar to what happened in Garland, Texas last May. Two gunmen tried to shoot up a Prophet Mohammed drawing contest, but were killed by law enforcement outside the event.
One of the attackers was believed to have been inspired over social media, possibly even directed, by Junaid Hussein - a notorious ISIS operative in Syria, later killed in a U.S. drone strike.
While the Garland attack failed, it still served as an instrument for ISIS to instill fear inside America.
"The Texas shootings were very good for ISIS in terms of its international portrayal of itself. It demonstrated that ISIS had tentacles, as it wanted the world to see, that stretched all the way into the heart of the crusader enemy," said Charlie Winter, terrorism researcher at Georgia State University.