U.S. Intelligence Report Says ISIS Remains a Threat, Despite Trump’s Claims of Defeat

January 29, 2019, 9:10 PM UTC

The U.S. intelligence community believes the terrorist group known as ISIS is still a threat, despite President Donald Trump’s earlier claims that American troops have “defeated ISIS.”

“ISIS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, and it maintains eight branches, more than a dozen networks, and thousands of dispersed supporters around the world, despite significant leadership and territorial losses,” reads the Worldwide Threat Assessment, released by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats on Tuesday.

“ISIS very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western
adversaries, including the United States,” the report continues.

Trump announced in December that American troops would immediately be withdrawn from Syria, tweeting that the U.S. has “defeated ISIS in Syria.”

The sudden move rattled Trump’s top advisers and spurred the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Since then, National Security Adviser John Bolton has said the U.S. will only withdrawal troops after ISIS is defeated and the safety of U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters is secured.

Trump said his plans to withdrawal remain the same, although he later described the move on Twitter as a “slow & highly coordinated pullout of U.S. troops.”