IS replaces Al-Qaeda as principal terrorist threat: US

IS

The IS (Islamic State) poses risks that have not been seen or experienced before, said a top US official, underscoring that the dreaded militant group has overshadowed al-Qaeda as the principal terrorist threat.

“Originally an outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in the past two years ISIL has eclipsed core al-Qaeda as the principal terrorist threat we face. The world has been shocked by the butchery and depravity of these twisted fanatics,” Assistant to the US President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism, Lisa O Monaco said.

Speaking about the atrocities of the IS, Ms Monaco in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank, said that from their stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, the IS has displayed an apocalyptic ambition and an unprecedented brutality. “They crucify victims and burn alive others. They enslave women and children, and teach that rape is an expression of God’s will. They behead innocents and broadcast their barbarism to the world,” she said.

“But it’s not only ISIS’s unconscionable brutality that troubles us. What keeps me up at night is that this threat is unlike what we’ve seen before,” Ms Monaco further added.

Comparing IS with Al-Qaeda, Ms Monaco said that the latter focused on launching catastrophic attacks against the West which it considered as “far enemy”, while the IS was more brutal. “A recent report on ISIS was subtitled, From Retweets to Raqqa and that, I think, underscores the scale of our challenge. These fanatics are online and on the ground,” she said.

They are terrorists, insurgents, and bureaucrats, attempting to control a territory. Ms Monaco said that at one point the territory was larger than the UK. The IS supporters have shown that they have the capability to mastermind high-level attacks like blowing up a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula, she added.

 

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