On 29th Jan, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a new worldwide threat assessment that highlights the presence of various militant groups in different regions.
The Worldwide Threat Assessment
, released by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Tuesday, also states that with the recent loss of territory, “ISIS will seek to exploit Sunni grievances, societal instability, and stretched security forces to regain territory in Iraq and Syria in the long term.”
Coats told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday that ISIS “has returned to its guerrilla warfare roots while continuing to plot attacks and direct its supporters worldwide.”
But he also clearly stated that the group maintains a presence in Iraq and Syria. “ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria,” he said.
With the expected withdrawal of US forces from Syria, the US intelligence assessment is that the Assad regime will not focus on clearing ISIS from Syria.
“The regime is unlikely to immediately focus on clearing ISIS from remote areas that do not threaten key military, economic, and transportation infrastructure, judging from previous regime counter-ISIS efforts,” according to the new report.
The latest assessment by U.S. intelligence community also shows Al-Qaeda presence around the world and confirms that Al-Qaeda Senior Leadership (AQSL) is also based in Iran and Pakistan-Afghanistan region.
The document also shows Hezbollah’s militant presence around the world from 2012 to 2018.
The Worldwide Assessment also lists chemical attacks around the world since 2013 and says that “the threat from biological weapons has also become more diverse as BW agents can be employed in a variety of ways and their development is made easier by dual-use technologies.”