- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The head of the CIA says American spies knew the Islamic State terror group was plotting an attack days before militants slaughtered 130 people in Paris last year.

CIA director John Brennan told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the “system was blinking red” shortly before the terrorists launched a string of gun and bomb attacks in the French capital on Nov. 13.

He said the CIA was aware of the impending attacks, but was unable to intercept messages the terrorists were using to plot the massacre because of new cellphone-encryption technology.

“We knew the system was blinking red. We knew just in the days before that ISIL was trying to carry out something,” Mr. Brennan said, using an acronym for the Islamic State, The Daily Mail reported.

“But the individuals involved have been able to take advantage of newly available means of communication that are walled off from law enforcement officials,” he added.

A total of 130 people were killed in the Paris attacks, the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the Madrid bombings in 2004.

He said the CIA has stopped “numerous” attacks and said he expects Islamic State militants will try to carry out such attacks in the U.S., but doubted their success.

“I’m expecting them to try to put in place the operatives, the material or whatever else that they need to do or to incite people to carry out these attack, clearly,” Mr. Brennan said. “So I believe that their attempts are inevitable. I don’t think their successes necessarily are.

He said that if Islamic State operatives did manage to strike in the U.S. then it would “encourage us to be even more forceful.”

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