GUEST VIEW: A mixed message on threat of terror

The following editorial was published in the June 25 edition of the Midland Daily News: 

(TNS) Shortly after the terror attack in Orlando at a gay nightclub, CIA director John Brennan testified before a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the dangers of ISIS to the West, and in particular, the United States.

What made his testimony so fascinating was the fact that it essentially contradicts President Obama’s claims in recent weeks that his ISIS strategy is working, and the terror organization is “under more pressure than ever.”

Brennan painted a much different picture when he spoke to Senate members.

“Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach,” Brennan stated, using a different acronym for the group. “The resources needed for terrorism are very modest, and the group would have to suffer even heavier losses of territory, manpower and money for its terrorist capacity to decline significantly. In fact, as the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda.”

He continued to say: “We judge that ISIL is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks. ISIL has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West. And the group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including refugee flows, smuggling routes and legitimate methods of travel.”

Brennan’s comments reaffirmed what most Americans have expressed over the past few years — the United States is a prime target for terrorist attacks.

A number of polls indicate that Americans are fearful of a domestic terror attack, such as what occurred in Orlando this month and in San Bernadino, Calif., last December. Those ISIS-inspired attacks resulted in the combined total of 63 deaths and 73 persons injured.

The president wants citizens to believe his administration’s efforts to confront ISIS terror are working. The CIA director tells Americans ISIS remains a very real threat.

We are getting a mixed message. But one thing is clear: Americans are a target of Islamic terrorists. The bloodshed proves it.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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