The Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, said on Monday that Daesh militant group may intensify terror operations in the coming months to further ignite conflict across the globe. The intensification of attacks would come in increased frequency and lethality of terror attacks. Lt. Gen. Stewart was speaking in wake of the fact that Daesh militant group had allegedly established branches in Mali, Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Tunisia. No reports confirm the establishment of these so-called emerging branches at this stage however. He further stated that it would come as no surprise if Daesh militant group extended deeper into Egypt at this stage,

Last year, Daesh remained entrenched on Iraqi and Syrian battlefields and expanded globally to Libya, Sinai, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Caucasus… Daesh is likely to increase the pace and lethality of its translational attacks because it seeks to unleash violent actions and to provoke a harsh reaction from the West, thereby feeding its distorted narrative [of a Western war against Islam].

These comments by the intel chief regard Daesh militant group came only a day before US intel officials were to deliver a worldwide threat assessment to the Congress. It would appear that the threat assessment will not be a box of cookies this time around. Lt. Gen. Stewart stated,
These threats are exacerbated by the security challenges of the Middle East, which is now facing one of the most dangerous and unpredictable periods in the last decade.

Based on several accounts, Daesh militant group has an estimated 25,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq alone. The number decreased significantly from a previous estimate of 31,000 in the same region. According to a report submitted to the White House, the number of fighters had decreased by 20% primarily because of U.S.-led campaign to crush Daesh militant group in Syria. The facts listed in the report have not yet been confirmed by independent sources. At any rate, the possibility of Daesh militant group intensifying attacks globally is not a comfortable notion.

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