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Past, Present Officials at Odds on Extent, Seriousness, Understanding of Islamism

Secretary of State John Kerry and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper within 24 hours of one another gave conflicting testimony before separate congressional committees about the extent and seriousness of Islamist jihadi terrorism.

In testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in February, Kerry stated, “Our citizens, our world today is actually, despite [ISIS], despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally — less deaths, less violent deaths today than through the last century. And so even the concept of state war has changed in many people’s minds, and we’re seeing now more asymmetrical kinds of struggles.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Central Command and Joint Special Operations Command — who reputedly was forced to retire because of his disagreement with the White House over calling Islamist extremism for what it is — responded by telling told Fox News Kerry is "out of touch with reality; he clearly is not listening to the entire US Intelligence Community."

Indeed. Clapper subsequently told the Senate Committee on Armed Forces that, “When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years since such data has been compiled.”

Clapper said, “Preliminary data for the first nine months of 2014 reflects nearly 13,000 attacks which killed 31,000 people,” compared to “just over 11,500 terrorist attacks worldwide [that] killed approximately 22,000 people.”

Clapper told the committee, “About half of all attacks as well as fatalities in 2014 occurred in just three countries: Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. [The Islamic State, or ISIS] conducted more attacks than any other terrorist group in the first nine months of 2014.”

Total Islamist attacks began to skyrocket between 2003 and 2004, when there were approximately 1,500 attacks worldwide, Homeland Security Today was told by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence based at the University of Maryland.

Read the complete, latest "Kimery Report" here.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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