During testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee, Director of the CIA John Brennan said that “our efforts have not reduced [ISIS’s] terrorism capability and global reach.”
On Thursday, Brennan said, “In the coming months, we can expect ISIL to probe the front lines of its adversaries for weaknesses, to harass the forces that are holding the cities it previously controlled, and to conduct terror attacks against its enemies inside Iraq and Syria.”
“To compensate for territorial losses, ISIL will probably rely more on guerrilla tactics,
including high-profile attacks outside the territory in Syria and Iraq that it currently holds,” Brennan said. “A steady stream of attacks in Baghdad and Damascus demonstrates the group’s ability to penetrate deep inside
“Beyond its losses on the battlefield, ISIL’s finances are taking a hit as well. Coalition
efforts have reduced the group’s ability to generate revenue and have forced it to cut costs and to reallocate funds,” Brennan claimed.
“Yet ISIL is adapting to the Coalition’s efforts, and it continues to generate at least tens of millions of dollars in revenue per month, primarily from taxation in those areas where it controls and from crude oil sales,” Brennan said.
“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 admitted. “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.”
Later in his testimony, Brennan said, “And as I often tell young officers at CIA, I have never seen a time when our country faced such a wide variety of threats to our national security. Run your fingers along almost any portion of the map from the Asia Pacific to North Africa and you will quickly find a flashpoint with global implications.”