More IS fight­ers ....

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

Omar Ma­teen, and any in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Is­lamic State will likely change its strate­gies to make up for bat­tle­field losses and con­straints on its fi­nances, he said, and it would prob­a­bly rely more on “guer­rilla tac­tics,” in­clud­ing high-pro­file at­tacks out­side ter­ri­tory it holds in Iraq and Syria.

“The re­sources needed for ter­ror­ism are very mod­est, and the group would have to suf­fer even heav­ier losses of ter­ri­tory, man­power and money for its ter­ror­ist ca­pac­ity to de­cline sig­nif­i­cantly,” he said.

The CIA is con­cerned about the growth of Libya as a base of oper­a­tions for Is­lamic State mil­i­tants, who had 5,000-8,000 fight­ers there, al­though the num­ber of its fight­ers in Iraq and Syria had dropped to 18,000 to 22,000 from 19,000 to 25,000.

“I am con­cerned about the growth of Libya as an­other area that could serve as the ba­sis for ISIL to carry out at­tacks inside of Europe... that is very con­cern­ing,” Bren­nan said, us­ing an al­ter­na­tive acro­nym for the Is­lamic State mil­i­tant group.

Months af­ter Is­lamic State at­tacks that caused mass ca­su­al­ties in Paris and Brus­sels, Bren­nan said Euro­pean Union coun­tries were still not where they needed to be in terms of in­tel­li­gence shar­ing.

The CIA and the Euro­pean Union’s Coun­terT­er­ror­ism Group have been dis­cussing ways to im­prove the shar­ing of in­tel­li­gence on ter­ror­ist threats in the wake of the at­tacks, Bren­nan said.

Ques­tioned about the broader cri­sis, Bren­nan told law­mak­ers he be­lieved the gov­ern­ment of Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad had been strength­ened with Rus­sia’s sup­port.

“A year ago, (As­sad) was on his back foot as the op­po­si­tion forces were car­ry­ing out oper­a­tions that were re­ally de­grad­ing the Syr­ian mil­i­tary. He is in a stronger po­si­tion than he was in June of last year” as a re­sult of Rus­sian sup­port, Bren­nan said.—Reuters

BAHRAIN: Javed Ma­lik, Pak­istan’s Am­bas­sador to the King­dom of Bahrain pre­sent­ing bou­quet to Zayed R Al Zayani, Min­is­ter for Com­merce, In­dus­try and Tourism.

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