Washington, March 14: Describing the dreaded Islamic State as well-armed and well-financed, America's CIA has said that the terrorist outfit will not be rolled back overnight and it will be a long-term struggle.
"ISIL is well-armed and well-financed. Its fighters are disciplined, committed, and battle-hardened. Left unchecked, the group would pose a serious danger not only to Syria and Iraq, but to the wider region and beyond, including the threat of attacks in the homelands of the United States and our partners," CIA Director John Brennan said.
"This will be a long-term struggle. ISIL will not be rolled back overnight. If there is one thing we have learned over the years, it is that success against terrorism requires patience and determination," he said in his remarks before Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank.
No region has gained more of the world's attention than Syria and Iraq, where ISIL is waging a campaign of unspeakable brutality against the local population, and indeed against anyone who does not share its ideology, he noted.
"What makes terrorism so difficult to fight is not just the ideology that fuels it, or the tactics that enable it. The power of modern communications also plays a role. New technologies can help groups like ISIL coordinate operations, attract new recruits, disseminate propaganda, and inspire sympathizers across the globe to act in their name," he said.
CIA: Success against terrorism requires patience and determination
ISIL or IS is an al-Qaeda splinter group and it has seized hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria. Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from the group, chiding it for its lack of teamwork in its aggressive, brutal expansion.
"The overall threat of terrorism is greatly amplified by today's interconnected world, where an incident in one corner of the globe can instantly spark a reaction thousands of miles away; and where a lone extremist can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without ever leaving home," he said.
He said though the US and its allies have had considerable success in dismantling the core of al-Qaeda, various affiliates of the group have surged in other nations.