Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel admitted yesterday at a Pentagon briefing that the Islamic State (ISIL) is unlike any group the United States has encountered before.
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: Isn’t the calculation, though, that ISIL presents a 9/11-level threat to the United States?
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SEC. HAGEL: Jim, ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. Oh, this is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything, and the only way you do you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready.
The tone of the briefing assumed even more levity when Gen. Martin Dempsey described ISIL as an "apocalyptic" organization and that it posed an "imminent threat" to the United States.
The U.S. has carried out 90 airstrikes since August 8th in response to ISIL’s assault on Iraq, helping Kurdish forces to recapture the Mosul Dam. The U.S. conflict with ISIL took a grave turn when ISIL posted a video online of a militant beheading an American hostage.