A former Pentagon official has revealed that US President Barack Obama ignored the threats of ISIL for at least one year despite being given detailed intelligence about their advancements.
The former official, who asked not to be identified, told Fox News that Obama was given detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of the ISIL terrorist group as part of his daily briefing before the group seized large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The source said President’s Daily Brief is considered the most authoritative, classified intelligence community product analyzing sensitive international events for Obama and that the data was strong and “granular” in detail.
According to the source, a policymaker “could not come away with any other impression: This is getting bad.”
“[We] were ready to fire, on a moment’s notice, on a couple hundred targets,” the source said, but no order was given. In some cases, targets were tracked for a “long period of time,” but then slipped away.
This comes as the president’s team publicly suggested that the group only recently gained in strength.
The former Pentagon official also said that there was a delay regarding the question of whether to act to save American journalist James Foley from ISIL, with White House continually asking for “the intelligence to build up more.”
Dozens of US special operations troops reportedly parachuted into Syria earlier this summer but failed to locate Foley and other captives held by ISIL.
Foley detained by the militants in 2012 in Syria and he was decapitated by the group about two weeks ago.
ISIL controls large parts of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq in June, quickly seizing large swaths of land straddling the border between the two countries.
The US military has begun planning for airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria after the Foley beheading. The US has launched a limited air campaign against the terrorist group in Iraq since August 8.