WASHINGTON — After praising his own initiatives to take on the Islamist radical terrorist group known as the Islamic State, President Barack Obama blamed the intelligence community for underestimating the threat of the terrorist group.
Reuters reported Obama’s remarks struck a chord with the intelligence community in the U.S., especially after Obama had several briefings over the course of a year on the impending threat of the Islamist terrorists in the Middle East.
In Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview, Obama admitted that after the U.S. blasted al-Qaeda in Iraq and other locales in the region, the terrorists went “underground” to regroup. He blamed his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and said Clapper “underestimated” the facts on the ground in Syria.
Obama said, referring to the terrorists, “But over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swathes of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos.”