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Arizona expert: ISIS attack on US not inevitable, but preparation advisable

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A news agency reported that a video posted online included an ISIS threat against Washington.

Reuters reported Monday that ISIS said that it would come after the American capital and anyone else involved in the air raids of Syria.

But a Valley-based security and intelligence expert said while an attack from ISIS on U.S. soil was not inevitable, preparation was advisable.

Paul Kinsinger with the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale said ISIS was a threat that “is really looking for a grain of sand in a sand dune. A needle in a haystack.”

In July, the Department of Defense alerted military personnel to an ISIS “kill list” of U.S. soldiers, along with their home addresses. Over three dozen cities, including Phoenix, were among the hometowns.

Kinsinger, who spent almost 20 years with the CIA — much of that time in the Middle East — said complete surveillance wouldn’t guarantee prevention of a Paris-type attack in this country.

“If (ISIS) are after just random targets, let’s face it, you’ve got thousands of public gathering places in any major city in the world. Can you stop that totally? No, I don’t think you can,” he said.

Over the weekend, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), told a New York radio station that he was sure ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, “has already told some of these young men, go into the refugee flow and call us when you get to Berlin, New York, Paris, wherever it is.”

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, along with committee member Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) blamed the federal government’s foreign policy that could possibly allow militants to slip into the country hiding among refugees.

“The refugee problem would not be there without a failed foreign policy,” McCain said.

“Of course we don’t want anyone coming to the United States who might do damage in the United States, but the fact is, until you address the problem of ISIS you’re going to continue to have refugees.”

Kinsinger doesn’t support the use of American ground troops in Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS and said America was going to have to work with nations that it doesn’t always agree with.

“Whether we like it or not we’re going to have to work with the Russians, the Assad government in Syria, the Iranians, the Saudis and other players in the area to reach a solution that most people can stomach.”

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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