CIA director: 'I anticipate this is not the only operation ISIL has in the pipeline'

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CIA Chief Warns Islamic State Isn't Finished Yet

CIA Director John Brennan said he anticipates that a coordinated terrorist attack in Paris on Friday, which has since been linked to the Islamic State, was likely "not a one-off event."

"ISIS has an external agenda that they are determined to carry out," Brennan said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Global Security Forum on Monday.

Brennan's comments come after terrorists linked to the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL) killed at least 129 people in a wave of attacks throughout Paris on Friday night and into Saturday morning.

The events, which Brennan described as "carefully and deliberately planned," have had experts grappling with how French intelligence could have missed an attack that was likely months in the making.

"How was this allowed to happen? What went wrong?" Josh Rogin, a reporter for Bloomberg View, asked Brennan on Monday.

Brennan responded by saying that, though many terrorist plots are uncovered and thwarted before they are able to be carried out, the attack in Paris was clearly a "sophisticated" effort that was "underway for quote some time."

"It was not a surprise this attack was carried out," Brennan said. "We had strategic warning. We knew that planning by ISIL was underway."

"We are not at all underestimating ISIL's capabilities," he added.

But, he noted, uncovering the specifics of the potential plots has become more difficult as terrorist networks become more sophisticated in their technological capabilities and figure out ways to evade detection as they communicate.

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Business Insider's Armin Rosen noted on Saturday that the Paris attack was especially alarming because it "was planned and executed within the capital of a country with a highly advanced anti-terrorism infrastructure."

France was already on high alert following January's attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Moreover, Rosen noted, the attack was executed hundreds of miles from the Iraqi or Syrian safe-haven of the group's self-proclaimed "caliphate."

"The fact that an attack this big occurred suggests to me an erosion in surveillance capabilities compared to magnitude of the threat," Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider on Saturday.

See the suspects of the attacks:

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Suspects in the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Salah Abdeslam, Ahmad Almohammad
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CIA director: 'I anticipate this is not the only operation ISIL has in the pipeline'
This undated image made available in the Islamic State's English-language magazine Dabiq, shows Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Abaaoud the Belgian jihadi suspected of masterminding deadly attacks in Paris was killed in a police raid on a suburban apartment building, the city prosecutor's office announced Thursday Nov. 1, 2015. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins' office said 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud was identified based on skin samples. His body was found in the apartment building targeted in the chaotic and bloody raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday. (Militant photo via AP)
This undated image made available in the Islamic State's English-language magazine Dabiq, shows Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Abaaoud, the child of Moroccan immigrants who grew up in the Belgian capital’s Molenbeek-Saint-Jean neighborhood, was identified by French authorities on Monday Nov. 16, 2015, as the presumed mastermind of the terror attacks last Friday in Paris that killed over a hundred people and injured hundreds more. (Militant Photo via AP)
This undated image taken from a Militant Website on Monday Nov. 16, 2015 showing Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud. A French official says Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks was also linked to thwarted train and church attacks. (Militant video via AP)
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected mastermind of the #ParisAttacks was "interviewed" in #ISIS's Dabiq magazine https://t.co/wSKmztFfn5
BREAKING: Third Bataclan attacker identified as Foued Mohamed-Aggad https://t.co/FYwEykV9Kp https://t.co/7g6vH7gvwH
This undated photo released late Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, by Greece's migration policy ministry shows a registration photo from a document issued to 25-year old Ahmad Almohammad, holder of a Syrian passport found near a dead assailant in the scene of a Paris attack Friday. The document was issued on Sunday, Oct. 4 by authorities on the Greek island of Leros, where the man arrived a day earlier on a frail boat carrying migrants over from Turkey. It protects him from deportation for six months, and is the same documentation routinely issued to thousands of newly-arrived migrants. (Greek Migration Ministry via AP)
This undated photo released late Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, by Greece's migration policy ministry shows a document issued to 25-year old Ahmad Almohammad, holder of a Syrian passport found near a dead assailant in the scene of a Paris attack Friday. The document was issued on Sunday, Oct. 4 by authorities on the Greek island of Leros, where the man arrived a day earlier on a frail boat carrying migrants over from Turkey. It protects him from deportation for six months, and is the same documentation routinely issued to thousands of newly-arrived migrants. On the right is a copy of his fingerprints, taken on Saturday, Oct. 3. (Greek Migration Policy Ministry via AP)

This undated file photo provided by French Police shows 26-year old Salah Abdeslam, who is wanted by police in connection with recent terror attacks in Paris, as police investigations continue Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. French police released the wanted notice and photo of the suspect on the run since the attacks in Paris on Friday. The notice, released on the France National Police Twitter account, says anyone seeing Salah Abdeslam, should consider him dangerous. (Police Nationale via AP)

This undated file photo released Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, by French Police shows 26-year old Salah Abdeslam, who is wanted by police in connection with recent terror attacks in Paris, as police investigations continue. The notice, released on the national police Twitter account, says anyone seeing Salah Abdeslam, should consider him dangerous and call authorities immediately. The notice reads in French: "Call for witnesses - Police are hunting a suspect : Salah Abdeslam, born on Sept. 15, 1989 Brussels, Belgium. ...Dangerous individual don't intervene yourself". (Police Nationale via AP)
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"A few years ago people hoped the age of mass-casualty incidents in Western states was gone because surveillance or interruptions from authorities could prevent attacks like this," Gartenstein-Ross said. "This has put a definitive end to those hopes."

When asked if the public should begin to accept that these attacks may now be inevitable, Brennan was resolute in his response.

"I would never say these types of attacks are inevitable," Brennan said, noting that intelligence officials are working "tirelessly" to prevent terrorist attacks.

On Saturday, French President Francois Hollande vowed that France "will be merciless to the barbarians of the Islamic State group," which took responsibility for the attacks late Friday evening. The next day, French fighter jets launched their biggest raids in Syria to date, targeting the Islamic State's de-facto capital of Raqqa with the help of US intelligence.

When asked if he thought Europe should tighten its borders to stop the flow of refugees who might have extremists among them, Brennan was again resolute.

"We don't want these terrorists to succeed in taking away the liberties we pride ourselves on," he said. "We should be wary, but we don't want to hermetically seal our borders. That is inconsistent with what our societies have been founded on."

US President Barack Obama echoed this sentiment in a statement from the G-20 summit in Turkey on Monday.

"Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values," he said of refugees.

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