In an interview to mark his departure from the Defense Intelligence Agency, General Mike Flynn talks about the increased threats facing the United States.
For instance, we’re doing all we can to understand the outflow of foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq, many of them with Western passports, because another threat I’ve warned about is Islamic terrorists in Syria acquiring chemical or biological weapons. We know they are trying to get their hands on chemical weapons and use what they already have to create a chemical weapons capability.
Remember anthrax was used in 2001 [killing five people] and pretty much paralyzed Capitol Hill. If that anthrax had been dispersed more efficiently, it could have killed a quarter million people.
That is, Flynn points to an anthrax terror attack officially blamed on a defense lab employee, not actually solved convincingly at all, but almost certainly carried out by a US government employee or contractor, and says that’s proof terrorists are more dangerous than they used to be.
And he does so to make sure we’re scared. He uses political violence to make sure we treat what is admittedly expanding crises as war.
But he says the mindset of jihadists fighting perpetual wars is something the US cannot understand.
JK: You also said recently that terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden represent the leadership of al-Qaeda, but that “core al-Qaeda” is its ideology of perpetual jihad.
Flynn: Yes, and unfortunately the core ideology and belief system is spreading, not shrinking. Look at the unbelievably violent videos [of beheadings, executions and the destruction of religious places] coming out of Iraq just in recent days. I’ve physically interrogated some of these guys, and I’ve had the opportunity to hear them talking about their organizations and beliefs. These are people who have a very deeply-rooted belief system that is just difficult for Americans to comprehend. Just think about the mindset of a suicide bomber.
Nowhere besides America’s domestic anthrax attacker does Flynn mention our own actions, not even in his discussion of Ukraine — unless you count extremist adaptation to our attacks.
JK: When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria routed the Iraqi Army recently, the terrorists also appeared to have become much better organized, disciplined and led.
Flynn: These various groups have learned from fighting the U.S. military for a decade, and they have created adaptive organizations as a means to survive.
Which Flynn immediately follows with this observation about how crafty those Islamic extremists are:
They write about and share ‘Lessons Learned’ all the time. That was something Bin Laden taught them before he died.
Those crafty terrorists. Actually learning lessons!