The Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) an extremist group that is quickly gaining foothold in the Middle East, is promising future terror acts to be carried out against the United States.
Senator Lindsey Graham recently said of the group during an appearance that, “These are not monkey bar terrorists out in the desert somewhere planning some very low-level attack. These are sophisticated, command and controlled, seasoned combat veterans who understand the value of terrorism operations external to the region, meaning Europe and the United States. That is about as dangerous a recipe as you can put together.”
As reported recently by The Daily Beast, a cryptic statement made by the group’s leader was reported by Army Col. Kenneth King, commanding officer of a U.S. detention camp in Iraq. Upon his release from captivity at King’s facility in 2009, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi purportedly said, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”
It is believed that the group are not an immediate threat, however, and that it will likely be a year before they are able to mobilize.
Particularly in Iraq, al-Baghdadi and his organization are being viewed as an insidious threat, as they continue to claim cities and villages in an ongoing movement toward countrywide radicalization. On Monday, it was reported that the town of Tal Afar had been most recent to fall under its control. Described as “an ethnically diverse town of Sunni Muslims and Turkmen,” the Anatolia news agency reported that the occupation occurred after Turkmen tribal fighters clashed with Iraqi army units poised in the area. Claims are still appearing online, particularly through social media outlets, that the fight is ongoing.
The Iraqi cities of Tikrit and Mosul are also presently under ISIS control, and reports indicate that the eventual control of Baghdad is now one of the group’s prime objectives.
CBS News reported Monday that former acting CIA director Michael Morell has advised that existing al Qaeda groups operating in Pakistan and Yemen are still considered primary threats to the U.S. by members of the intelligence community, but that within one year ISIS and its spread of power in the region may become a key concern.