ISIS Threat Level Higher Than Ever
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California) recently told CBS's “Face the Nation” that America is dealing with “the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country.”
Nunes says the threat comes from the radicalization of young people and foreign fighters heading to Iraq and Syria to join terror groups.
“They’re very good at communicating through separate avenues where it’s very difficult to track,” said Nunes. “That’s why when you get a young person who is willing to get into these chat rooms, go on the Internet and get radicalized, it’s something we are not only unprepared [for], we are also not used to it in this country.”
An unsettling number of Americans across the country have lately been arrested and charged with being ISIS sympathizers and trying to join them. According to Nunes, “we are having a tough time tracking terrorist cells within the United States.”
In an appearance on “Face the Nation” he went on to say that “It’s just tough to secure those types of areas if you have someone who wants to blow themselves up or open fire or other threats of that nature and we just don’t know or can track all of the bad guys that are out there today.”
The U.S. has been conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against ISIS.
The Iraqi military, which was equipped and trained by the United States under President Bush, and then left to fend for itself by President Obama, has struggled to recover from its collapse a year ago when ISIS forces captured Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, while sweeping over much of the country's northern and western regions. Iraqi commanders fled, their pleas for more ammunition went unanswered by Obama, and in many cases soldiers shed their uniforms and vanished into the general populace.
The U.S. is belatedly training Iraqi forces again and launching airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. The White House has announced that it's transporting up to 450 more U.S. troops to a new base in Anbar province, mostly to advise the Iraqis on planning and executing a counteroffensive to retake Ramadi. More of these U.S. hubs might be opened elsewhere in Iraq as the campaign continues.
Congressional critics say Obama's strategy is weak and that it needs to be fortified with U.S. troops who can act as spotters for airstrikes. The Pentagon has so far resisted calls to put tactical air controllers in the field with Iraqi ground forces, and is firmly opposed to putting U.S. boots on the ground.
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