A reality check on [Turkey coup attempt] from America’s spy chief


Date posted: July 22, 2016

David Ignatius

America’s top spymaster offered contrarian assessments of some key issues: warning against “hyping” the threat posed by the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate (terrorist group) Jabhat al-Nusra, cautioning against Obama administration plans to share intelligence with Russia on Syrian targets and questioning Turkish claims that last Friday’s coup attempt was organized by a cleric living in the United States.

Asked whether Turkish allegations that cleric Fethullah Gulen planned the attempted coup passed the “smell test” of credibility,National Intelligence Director James Clapper answered: “No. Not to me.” He said that Secretary of State John F. Kerry “was right on the ball” to press the Turks to back up their extradition request with evidence of Gulen’s involvement. “We haven’t seen it yet. We certainly haven’t seen it in intel.”

The coup attempt “complicates the Syria situation, because a lot of the people purged were key interlocutors with the U.S.” against the Islamic State, such as the Incirlik air base commander , he said. “This is going to set back [counterterrorism] in general, because the Turks are going to be consumed with this and its implications.” Clapper said that in this period of uncertainty, “it’s vital that the Turks stay in NATO.”

Excerpted from the article who link below.

Source: Washington Post , July 21, 2016


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