WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/23/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al-Qaeda.
IS is "an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else," Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.
The group which gained strength during Syria's civil war and swept into northern Iraq earlier this summer has shown a greater desire in confronting the west. The group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading an American hostage kidnapped in Syria.
Asked if the hardline Sunni Muslim organization posed a threat to the United States comparable to that of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hagel said it was "as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen.
"They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of . military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we've seen."
The United States continues attacking Islamic State targets in Iraq. U.S. drones and fighter jets have conducted 89 airstrikes against militant targets in northern Iraq over the past two weeks.
President Barack Obama seeks to limit his renewed military campaign in Iraq in order to protecting American diplomats and civilians under direct threat.
Even after the brutal execution of U.S. journalist James Foley, Obama is seen as unlikely to deepen his near-term military involvement in either Iraq or Syria. The president is actively seeking to avoid becoming embroiled in another messy Middle Eastern conflict.
Even after the brutal execution of U.S. journalist James Foley, President Obama is seen as unlikely to deepen his near-term military involvement in either Iraq or Syria. The president is actively seeking to avoid becoming embroiled in another messy Middle Eastern conflict.
U.S. officials say they have not ruled out escalating military action against Islamic State, which has increased its overt threats against the United States since the air campaign in Iraq began.
"We haven't made a decision to take additional actions at this time, but we truly don't rule out additional action against ISIL if it becomes warranted," Ben Rhodes, a senior Obama aide says.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, says there are new concerns about the possibility that European or U.S. nationals, radicalized after fighting in Iraq or Syria, would return to their home countries.
"This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated," Dempsey said.
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