High US spy says Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Iraq characterize larger terrorist menace than Afghanistan

Top US spy says Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Iraq represent greater terrorist threat than Afghanistan

Terror threats emanating from Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Iraq — specifically ISIS — pose a larger hazard than those who may emerge from Afghanistan, Director of Nationwide Intelligence Avril Haines advised the annual Intelligence and Nationwide Safety Summit.

“By way of the homeland, the menace proper now from terrorist teams, we do not prioritize on the high of the listing Afghanistan,” she mentioned, talking by videoconference. “What we take a look at is Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Iraq for ISIS. That is the place we see the best menace.”

Officers have mentioned publicly that the Islamic State’s department in Afghanistan, ISIS-Ok, does pose a possible menace to the USA. The group staged a suicide bombing on August 26, within the midst of the American evacuation from Kabul, that killed 13 US service members and dozens of Afghans.

Haines mentioned {that a} main focus for the intelligence group now could be monitoring “any potential reconstitution of terrorist organizations” in Afghanistan.

ISIS nonetheless operates in Syria and Iraq, though the group has been tamped down by the US navy presence in each international locations. In Yemen, an al Qaeda offshoot based mostly there has tried assaults on the USA. And in Somalia, the US has often performed counterterrorism strikes towards Al-Shabaab, which in early 2020 launched an assault on a US facility in Kenya that killed a US soldier and two US contractors.

However 20 years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist assaults, Haines additionally argued that the menace to the US homeland from worldwide terrorist teams has broadly “diminished over time,” crediting “huge effort” from throughout the US authorities to degrade the power of teams like al Qaeda and ISIS to hold out assaults inside the USA.

CNN has beforehand reported that it has grow to be infinitely more durable for the US intelligence group and navy to assemble info wanted to hold out counterterrorism strikes towards ISIS and different targets inside Afghanistan with out US troops on the bottom.

The Biden administration and navy commanders have insisted that they’ve what the navy phrases “over the horizon” capabilities — the power to conduct surveillance and perform counterterrorism strikes from afar — that they should uncover and forestall terrorist planning in Afghanistan. However former officers, lawmakers and others have raised doubts in regards to the administration’s plan, saying they’ve seen few particulars to help it.

Haines mentioned Monday that the intelligence group is creating “indicators in order that we will perceive what are the issues that we’d be prone to see within the occasion that there have been reconstitution” of terror teams in Afghanistan.

Meaning making certain that “we’ve enough assortment to watch towards these indicators, in order that we will present a warning to the coverage group, to the operators, so that they are in a position to take motion within the occasion that we do see that,” she mentioned.

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