Obama Warns ISIS Could Destabilize Region

By Dow Jones Business News, 

President Barack Obama warned in an interview broadcast Sunday that the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham could destabilize the region and someday threaten the U.S.

In an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," the president said there are "a lot of groups out there that have more advanced, immediate plans against the United States," but said the U.S. will have to be vigilant.

"Right now the problem with ISIS is the fact that they're destabilizing the country--that could spill over into some of our allies like Jordan, and that they're engaged in wars in Syria where, in the vacuum that's been created, they could amass more arms, more resources," Mr. Obama said.

"ISIS is just one of a number of organizations that we have to stay focused on," Mr. Obama said, citing other groups like the Yemen branch of al Qaeda and Boko Haram in Nigeria.

"What we can't do is think that we're just going to play Whac-A-Mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up," he said. "We're going to have to have a more focused, more targeted strategy and we're going to have to partner and train local law enforcement and military to do their jobs as well."

The head of the Senate intelligence committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) was more grim in discussing ISIS on NBC's "Meet the Press."

She said that as radicals in Iraq score military victories, the country could become a future threat to the U.S.

"There will be plots to kill Americans," she predicted. Rebels from ISIS, she said, "are vicious, they have killed thousands of people. and they do want to develop the caliphate"--an Islamic religious state--throughout the region.

Asked if U.S. intelligence agencies saw this situation coming, Sen. Feinstein answered, "I would have to say no."

Write to Devlin Barrett at devlin.barrett@wsj.com

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: CBS

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