Secretary of State John Kerry "must be smoking dope" for saying Wednesday that the deadly Istanbul attacks proved that the Islamic State is "desperate" and is "losing" in its terrorism battle with the West, retired Army Col. Derek Harvey told Newsmax TV.
"They're ignoring the intelligence — and I think Secretary Kerry, I hate to say it, must be smoking dope," Harvey told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. "He is not paying attention to the intelligence and he does not understand the enemy with his statements."
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Harvey is a former senior intelligence officer and adviser to Army Gen. David Petraeus.
At the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Kerry noted that a year had passed since ISIS — to which he referred as Daesh — had carried out a "full-scale military offensive" because of efforts by the U.S.-led coalition.
"Now, yes, you can bomb an airport, you can blow yourself up," Kerry said. "That's the tragedy. Daesh and others like it know that we have to get it right 24/7/365.
"They have to get it right for 10 minutes or one hour. So, it's a very different scale.
"And if you're desperate, and if you know you’re losing, and you know you want to give up your life — then, obviously, you can do some harm."
The Istanbul attacks, carried out Tuesday by three suicide bombers, killed 42 people and injured 239 others at the Ataturk Airport.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility, though Turkish officials have blamed the attacks on Daesh.
Harvey told Hayworth that U.S. intelligence discovered that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi set up "an external operations element" three years ago, vowing the next year that the group would strike Paris, Rome, Bonn, Brussels — and the United States.
In March, bombings in two locations in Brussels killed 32 people and injured more than 300, while six coordinated attacks in Paris in November caused 130 deaths.
"It takes time to build that capability," Harvey said. "I'm just surprised that the attacks on Paris and Istanbul are not as bad as I think they could be.
"It was a determined enemy — capabilities — enough people who are willing to lay down their lives," he added. "They could overwhelm the perimeter of security at any of these soft targets and do much more damage."
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