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Ken’s Thoughts of the Week: Intelligence community threat assessment 2019



CIA Director Gina Haspel accompanied by FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

By Ken Abramowitz, founder and president, SaveTheWest.com

The 2019 worldwide threat assessment by the U.S. intelligence community (full document here) contained a good analysis of our key adversaries: China and Russia. It also discussed worldwide threats from ISIS/Al Qaeda, transnational criminal organizations, and regional threats from Iran and Taliban.

There are, however five glaring omissions in the assessment:

(1) It did not properly characterize the #1 threat facing the US, namely Political Islam.

(2) While it properly characterized Iran and ISIS as physical terror organizations, cultural terror organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood (Turkey, Qatar) and Wahhabis (Saudi Arabia) were not discussed, in regards to either their foreign or domestic impact.

(3) It did not properly characterize Iran’s worldwide terror infrastructure of over 400,000 physical, narco, and cultural operatives in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

(4) It understated the threats emanating from Latin America, in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and the Tri-State region, which are penetrated by agents from China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

(5) It understated Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which is partially financing North Korea’s nuclear effort. Also, much of Iran’s nuclear weapons program takes place in hidden military sites, off-limits to the U.N. inspectors (thanks to the provisions of President Obama’s nuclear “deal”), and CIA satellites.

In net, the assessment deserves a grade of “Incomplete”.

The document should be returned to the intelligence agencies for them to add the other half of the threats that they missed!

Additional reading

U.S. Intelligence Says ISIS Remains a Threat, Despite Trump’s Claims – Fortune

Statement for the Record: 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

How To Counter Political Islam – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Hoover Institution

Muslim Brotherhood – Counter Extremism Project

Saudi Arabia and the Rise of the Wahhabi Threat – Middle East Forum

Pompeo vows US, Mideast allies will ‘crush’ Iranian operatives around the world