CIA director: Istanbul-style attack possible in US

CIA director: Istanbul-style attack possible in US
© Getty Images

CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanSenate panel scraps confirmation hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee at last minute Brennan memoir slated for October, says Trump blocked him from accessing records Graham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over MORE is warning that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) wants to carry out attacks in the U.S. similar to the deadly one Tuesday at Turkey's largest airport.

“I am worried from the standpoint of an intelligence professional who looks at the capabilities of Daesh ... and their determination to kill as many as people as possible and to carry out attacks abroad," Brennan told Yahoo News, using an alternative name for the group.


"It’s not that difficult to actually construct and fabricate a suicide vest ... so if you have a determined enemy and individuals who are not concerned about escape, that they are going into it with a sense that they are going to die, that really does complicate your strategy in terms of preventing attacks," he continued.

“I’d be surprised if Daesh is not trying to carry out that kind of attack in the United States," Brennan added.

Brennan's comments came hours after a trio of suicide bombers killed 41 people and injured more than 200 more at Istanbul's busy Ataturk Airport, the third-busiest airport in Europe.

Brennan said the style of the attack pointed to ISIS rather than Kurdish nationalists in Turkey, though he did not confirm the attack was from ISIS. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Brennan said later Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations that the attack in Turkey "bears the hallmarks of ISIL's depravity," using another ISIS acronym.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Wednesday morning that ISIS is "most likely" responsible.

Officials have said attacks in the U.S. over the past year — such as the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. — were carried out by radicals inspired by ISIS but not directed by the terrorist group.

--Kristina Wong contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:14 p.m.