New Report Reveals ISIS ‘Had Been Steadily Strengthening for 4 Years’
Fox News has obtained an advance copy of a report from the West Point counterterrorism center which describes ISIS as a threat that had been growing for four years.
The report shows a long trail of warning signs, and it says that ISIS “had been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years.”
Read background from FoxNews.com:
The report pointed to a long trail of warning signs, after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "re-booted" the organization in 2010. The report said it has developed a "highly-motivated cadre of light infantry forces" since 2012, while launching major attacks like a wave of car bombs across multiple cities that lasted until the end of 2013.
Despite these warning signs, President Obama earlier this year compared ISIS and related groups to a "jayvee team" during an interview with The New Yorker.
The White House has since defended those remarks, claiming the president was not referring only to the Islamic State. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes also claimed earlier this month that the network indeed "has gained capacity in the last several months."
Rhodes said the Islamic State poses "a greater threat today than they did six months ago."
Left unclear is when that danger might diminish.
With the Islamic State now controlling large swaths of territory across Syria and northern Iraq, senior Obama administration officials have repeatedly referred to the terrorist army as a "long-term" threat.
Asked if that means that the dangers posed by ISIS will extend beyond Obama's time in office, a senior State Department official told Fox News: "Probably. Probably."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers was on “The Kelly File” to discuss the report.
“This is as dangerous a threat matrix as I have ever seen,” he said of ISIS.
Watch more above.