Former CIA Chief Michael Hayden: We Have To ‘Disrupt the ISIS Narrative’

Christian Datoc Senior White House Correspondent
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Following a rash of terrorist attacks this past week, former CIA Chief Michael Hayden told Chris Wallace Sunday on “Fox News Sunday” the only way to “disrupt the ISIS narrative” is to “inflict battlefield defeats in their homeland.”

Hayden stated that while he doubts this week’s attacks are connected, they are definitely all part of ISIS’ “inspired by” problem. Unlike al-Qaida, which Hayden called “top-down” terrorism, ISIS is “terror populism, and that makes it so damn difficult to detect and stop.”

HAYDEN: Right now, they look as if because they’ve been so successful on the battlefield. It looks like they’re acting as the will and the hand of God. I think we need to turn that around. We need to inflict battlefield defeats on them in their homeland so they’re not nearly as attractive to these kinds of folks globally…

WALLACE: What is the appeal, what is the message that would get a person living in this country to sign up for that kind of deadly activity, and how do we break that narrative?

HAYDEN: We’ve always associated this type of self-radicalized individual with having far more to do with the Crips and the Bloods than it does with the holy Quran. These are isolated individuals looking for meaning, looking for something greater in life, but it really matters what gang you join, and now there’s this powerful narrative out there for people who feel their lives don’t have meaning, and they’re embracing that narrative.

Finally, when asked by Wallace if we’re currently winning or losing against ISIS, Hayden closed by saying that while we aren’t currently losing, America “certainly can’t claim we are winning.”

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