CIA Chief Calls for ‘Enhanced’ Intelligence Relationship With Russia

© AP Photo/ Carolyn Kaster, File

03:03 17.11.2015(updated 08:17 17.11.2015) Get short URL

In the wake of attacks in Paris by the Islamic State, the head of the CIA on Monday said he wants to see “enhanced” ties between the United States and Russia in order to prevent future terrorist attacks.

CIA chief John Brennan also said the threat posed by the Islamic State calls for an “unprecedented level of cooperation” among the international intelligence community, Defense News reported.

The comments by Brennan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies came just hours before the Obama administration announced new rules easing the sharing of intelligence with France following the November 13 attacks.

Brennan said he has been having ongoing conversations with “my Russian counterpart” over the last year, including several since Russian forces began operating in Syria, Defense News reported.

Those conversations have largely centered on the flow of potential terrorists between Russia and IS-controlled territory, a “very real concern” for the Russians, Brennan said.

He added that there are between 2,000 and 3,000 Russians, largely from the Caucuses, that are active in the Syria and Iraq region, as well as a handful of Chechens who are highly ranked within IS, Defense News reported.

“So we’ve been exchanging information,” Brennan said. “I think it needs to be enhanced. 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.

“Irrespective of disagreements of policy over Syria, I am determined to work with other country services the best I can in order to prevent successful terrorist attacks,” he added.

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