Recent raids against ISIS targets have given the U.S. intelligence community a better understanding of how the terror group is structured and organized and about its plans for attacks outside areas it controls in Syria and Iraq, according to a senior administration official.
They also have made it clear that for some time ISIS was planning to focus on those attacks around the world, although there were no clear indications of when and where that would have provided actionable intelligence to prevent them, the senior official said.
“We were aware they were moving this way,” the official said. “It’s not like we didn’t see it coming.”
The official declined to say where the intelligence came from, but a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria recently revealed the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) — Arab fighters in northern Syria that the U.S. supports — had collected a significant amount of ISIS intel in raids in northern Syria.
“The SAC forces have … seized more than 10,000 documents from the outlying edges, including textbooks, propaganda posters, cell phones, laptops, maps and digital storage devices. Exploitation of this information is ongoing to better understand Daesh (ISIS) networks and techniques, including the systems to manage the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq,” the spokesman, Col. Christopher Garver, told reporters.
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