Taliban giving tough competition to Daesh: CIA
“Afghanistan-Pakistan branch (of ISIL) has struggled to maintain its cohesion in part because of competition with the Taliban,” CIA Director John Brennan told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a hearing.
Testifying before the Senate committee, Brennan said the ISIL was increasingly aiming to have a global reach and carry out terrorist attacks in different parts of the world, in particular the West.
“As we have seen in Orlando, San Bernardino and elsewhere, ISIL is attempting to inspire attacks by sympathizers who have no direct links to the group.”
Last month, for example, he said, a senior ISIL figure publicly urged the group's followers to conduct attacks in their home countries if they were unable to travel to Syria and Iraq.
“At the same time, ISIL is gradually cultivating its global network of branches into a more interconnected global organization. The branch in Libya is probably the most developed and the most dangerous. We assess that it is trying to increase its influence in Africa and to plot attacks in the region and in Europe,” Brennan said.
He added meanwhile, ISIL's Sinai branch in Egypt had established itself as the most active and capable terrorist group in all of Egypt.
“The branch focuses its attacks on Egyptian military and government targets, but has also targeted foreigners and tourists, as we saw with the downing of a Russian passenger jet last October,” he said.
Other branches worldwide, while also a concern, have struggled to gain traction. The Yemen branch, for instance, has been riven with factionalism, Brennan said.
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