Elaine Duke, the acting head of Homeland Security who has served three presidents, claims that intelligence indicates ISIS is planning another large attack in which they reportedly intend to bring down airplanes in an apparent effort to maximize the death count.
Duke is not known to be an alarmist and MI5 boss Andrew Parker warned the UK was facing its biggest terror threat yet on Wednesday. Duke says ISIS is engaging in van and knife attacks to keep their people busy, while they bide their time waiting for a big target. ISIS is reeling from huge defeats in Syria and Iraq and they need something big to restore people’s confidence in them.
Speaking at the US embassy in London, she said intelligence is pointing to extremists plotting to take down planes to inflict mass civilian casualties.
Mrs Duke said ISIS is currently in an ‘interim’ period focusing on a much bigger endgame.
The security chief, who has served three US presidents, said: ‘The terrorist organisations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11. They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that.
‘However, in the interim they need to keep their finances flowing and they need to keep their visibility high and they need to keep their members engaged, so they are using small plots and they are happy to have small plots.’
She added: ‘Creating terror is their goal and so a van attack, a bladed weapon attack, causes terror and continues to disrupt the world – but does not mean they’ve given up on a major aviation plot.’
Yesterday Mrs Duke said the prospect of a terrorist blowing up an airline using a laptop was just one of the threats facing airlines worldwide.
She said the free movement of goods and people means security has to be tightened in individual countries around the world.
‘The laptop is one of the many aviation threats, we will never be comfortable and we will always be evolving.
‘What we believe is that because of the movement of goods and people, we have to raise the baseline worldwide, we can’t only consider our borders.’ Mrs Duke went on: ‘We think the level of terrorist threat against the United States too is extremely high.
‘I think that it is challenging for you because you have the proximities to other countries, the ease of movement from some of the terrorist safe havens is a little easier for you, but we feel the terrorist threat is very high in the United States.’
The fact that the head of the DHS and M15 came out with warnings at exactly the same time tells me that there must be some solid evidence that ISIS is plotting a big attack. ISIS is about to lose their capitol city, Raqqa, and that will be practically the death knell for ISIS as we knew them under Obama. There are several other countries where they could build a new base without the threats they face in Syria and Iraq but they also need to make themselves relevant again in order to raise money and recruits.
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