The Obama administration’s top intelligence, counterterrorism and law enforcement officials are divided over which terrorist group poses the biggest threat to the American homeland, the Islamic State or Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The split reflects a rising concern that the Islamic State poses a more immediate danger because of its unprecedented social media campaign, using sophisticated online messaging to inspire followers to launch attacks across the United States.
Many intelligence and counterterrorism officials warn, however, that Qaeda operatives in Yemen and Syria are capitalizing on the turmoil in those countries to plot much larger “mass casualty” attacks, including bringing down airliners carrying hundreds of passengers.
So I take it we’re not going with the whole “al Qaeda is on the run” thing anymore? Let’s hope someone has told the president, as we know how under-informed he is if he doesn’t get around a newspaper.
In this “Are there any adults in the room?” administration it should probably be seen as a small accomplishment that they are now considering both a threat, even if they can’t agree. Al Qaeda’s lack of running and the rise of ISIS came about because Team Lightbringer was dismissive of both.
Before we get our hopes up too much, let us remember that the man in charge of the agency created to keep us safer from terrorism is still playing make-believe.
–Image: Associated Press