Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | john brennan | cia | isis | attacks | diversity | recruitment

CIA Director John Brennan: ISIS Could Carry Out More Attacks

Image: CIA Director John Brennan: ISIS Could Carry Out More Attacks

CIA Director John Brennan (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 19 Sep 2016 12:42 PM

CIA Director John Brennan brought CBS News on a recruitment trip to Birmingham, Alabama where he spoke about diversity in the agency, threats to the country, and waterboarding.

Brennan says he ordered a study on diversity in 2013, which showed that less than 24 percent of the agency's employees, and only 10 percent of senior intelligence positions, were non-White.

"If everybody at the agency looked like me, and thought like me, and had my background and experience, I think we would be subject to tremendous 'group think,'" Brennan said. "We would not be open to new ideas, or new perspectives."

CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues asked if the lack of diversity was behind the CIA's failure to anticipate the Arab Spring.

"No matter how much insight we had into how governments were thinking, and how they were reacting, we didn't have the pulse of the street as best as we should have," Brennan responded.

In the wake of ISIS-inspired attacks in the United States and Europe, many are worried of terror attacks outside of the organization's home territory. Brennan, who lived in the Middle East and speaks fluent Arabic, warns that more attacks could come.

"I think ISIS' capability to carry out attacks outside of the Syria-Iraq theater could increase in the short term," Brennan said, but he also thinks their days are numbered.

Brennan also spoke on other threats to the country, including the recent cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee and other groups.

"Going forward, do you expect that there will be more cyber intrusions from Russia or Russians leading up to the November 8th election?" Pegues asked him.

"Well, I believe that as we come to the election there will be additional attempts to exploit, to collect, possibly to disclose information that is related somehow to the presidential campaign," Brennan replied.

Last week on CBS' "Face the Nation," Brennan warned of Russia's focus on intelligence gathering.

"I think that we have to be very, very wary of what the Russians might be trying to do in terms of collecting information in a cyber realm, as well as what they might want to do with it,"

Brennan would not discuss his personal political views, insisting he's neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but did say he would not order waterboarding.

"I would refuse to carry out a direction to conduct waterboarding," Brennan said. "I will just say, 'No.'"

"Even to a president?" Pegues asked.

"Absolutely, even to a president," Brennan answered.

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CIA Director John Brennan brought CBS News on a recruitment trip to Birmingham, Alabama where he spoke about diversity in the agency, threats to the country, and waterboarding.
john brennan, cia, isis, attacks, diversity, recruitment
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2016-42-19
Monday, 19 Sep 2016 12:42 PM
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