After Paris Terror Attacks, CIA Head Calls For ‘Enhanced’ Intelligence Sharing With Russia
The following is an excerpt from Lydia Tomkiw | November 16, 2015 | ibtimes.com |
In another sign that the acrimonious relationship between Moscow and Washington might be changing under the force of events, the head of the CIA said Monday he wants to see greater cooperation between the two countries' spy agencies to prevent further terrorist attacks by groups like the Islamic State, Defense News reported. U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held an informal talk Sunday at the G-20 summit in Turkey after the bloody terrorist attacks in Paris.
“So we’ve been exchanging information. I think it needs to be enhanced,” John Brennan said speaking in Washington, D.C. “But I am determined to continue to work with my Russian counterparts, because of the importance that I think we each can bring to this issue, in terms of our insights, our information, our data and sharing.”
Brennan said the threat posed by ISIS demanded increased cooperation. He said conversations with Russian counterparts have focused on the movement of terrorists, especially from Russia’s Caucasus region. Russia has long combatted terrorism with several major attacks over the last 15 years.
Greater intelligence sharing would signal a major departure in American policy toward Russia. The U.S. and EU applied harsh economic sanctions against Russia following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014. The ensuing conflict in Eastern Ukraine that began in April 2014 has taken the lives of over 8,000 people and displaced over 1.4 million people. Russia has denied any direct role in the conflict that has pitted Ukrainian government forces against Russian-backed separatists.
Russia launched airstrikes in Syria at the end of September with Western leaders accusing the Kremlin of also targeting opposition groups in order to support longtime Russian ally Syrian President Bashar Assad. The U.S. has long called for the removal of Bashar from power.
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