President Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser disclosed on Monday that international terrorist organizations, including ISIS and al Qaeda affiliates, are “planning for sophisticated and coordinated terror attacks,” according to determinations made by the U.S. government.
Lisa Monaco, a top counter-terrorism adviser at the White House, warned that the risk of terrorism, both at home and abroad, has reached peak levels, with threat levels becoming “broader, more diffuse, and less predicable than at any time since” the 9/11 attacks.
“We continue to see planning for sophisticated and coordinated attacks, such as those in Paris,” Monaco said, referring to last year’s mass attack by ISIS in France. The United States also continues “to disrupt plots also from al Qaeda’s largest affiliate, the Nusra Front, operating in Syria.”
“What keeps me up at night is that this threat is unlike what we’ve seen before,” she added, referring in particular to ISIS.
The U.S. military and intelligence communities have faced difficulties in combatting the threat due in part to a rise in the number of small, undetectable terror cells and lone wolf radicals who are not formally affiliated with any particular group.
“Terrorism today is increasingly defined by small cells or lone actors, sometimes with little or no direct contact with terrorist organization,” Monaco said, referring to the recent terror attacks in San Bernardino, California.