CIA Director John Brennan said the deadly attacks in Paris that killed about 130 people said are not “a one-off event” and that intelligence agencies in Europe and elsewhere are likely redoubling efforts to uncover terror plots.
“I certainly would not consider it a one-off event . It is clear to me that ISIS has an external agenda and that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks,” Brennan told a gathering of policy experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “This was not something done in a matter of days. This was something that was deliberately and carefully.”
Brennan’s comments came hours after French police launched a huge manhunt in the wake of the attacks in Paris. Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the RTL radio more than 150 raids were carried out across the country. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that 23 people had been arrested — while 104 others remained for questioning — over a 48-hour period. He added that guns, bulletproof vests and even a rocket launcher had been seized.
Three teams of terrorists— all outfitted with suicide vests and armed with Kalashnikovs—swarmed six locations in Paris on Friday night and killed 129 people in a spree of shootings and explosions. France's president called the attacks — which ISIS claimed responsibility for — an "act of war" and on Sunday night launched airstrikes on the terror group's de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria.
Brennan said the attacks might provide an opportunity for European and American officials to revisit their own ability to gather intelligence and deliver security to their respective citizens. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said later on Monday at a separate press conference that the Justice Department, FBI and other agencies are working with French authorities "to obtain further information that may be relevant to the attacks."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking later in Monday in Paris in front of the U.S. embassy vowed that the terrorist group would be defeated.
While Brennan, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies event in Washington, stressed that he does not believe “attacks are inevitable”, he does this that ISIS may have other attacks planned.
“I would anticipate that this is not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline,” Brennan said using the alternative name for the terror group. “I do believe that this is something we’ll have to live with for quite some time.”