House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday the United States received reports "something big" was going to target the West, but specifics were lacking and Algeria was a surprise.
"Just like the Benghazi event, we had lots of threat streams. ... There [were] reports coming in from all different types of sources saying, 'Something big is going to happen.' We didn't know for sure ... but we knew that they were trying to find a Western target," the Michigan Republican told ABC News on Sunday.
Mr. Rogers' remarks followed a four-day hostage situation at a natural gas plant in Algeria that left nearly two dozen dead — including at least one American — and dozens more missing. Algerian military forces stormed the plant and killed 32 of the kidnappers, al Qaeda-linked terrorists with ties to the jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
Death counts may be revised upward, as Algerian forces continue to search for survivors.
Terrorists — despite the number killed in their own ranks — are nonetheless claiming the event a success and are using the operation as a means of boosting recruitment, some analysts believe.
In a separate interview on CNN on Sunday, Mr. Rogers said: "They are recruiting more people. They are growing more dangerous. They are growing in numbers."
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