Ex-CIA Chief: Al Qaeda Was Terror Elitism...ISIS Is Terror Populism'

By Susan Jones | June 29, 2015 | 6:07am EDT
Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

(CNSNews.com) - "Al Qaeda was terror elitism. It was guidance from the top down. ISIS is terror populism. It's from the bottom up, and that makes it so damnably difficult for us to detect and stop it, Gen. Michael Hayden told "Fox News Sunday."

Hayden, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the big problem now is ISIS' ability to inspire people over the Internet.

"I think, ultimately, what we're going to have to do is disrupt the ISIS narrative. Right now, they look as if because they've been so successful on the battlefield, it looks like they are acting as the will and hand of God. I think we need to turn that around. We need to inflict battlefield defeats on them in their homeland, so that they're not nearly as attractive to these kind of folks globally."

Host Chris Wallace asked Hayden, "Are we winning or losing the war against ISIS at this moment?"

"I would certainly not claim we are winning," Hayden said.

Wallace noted that an ISIS spokesman is urging the group's fans to make Ramadan a month of disasters for the infidel. "How seriously do you take that?" he asked Hayden.

"I take it very serious," Hayden said. "We saw what happened last Friday," he said, pointing to the three terror attacks in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait.

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