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February 14, 2015 7:53 pm

American Intelligence Officials Say Islamic State Expanding Across Middle East

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ISIS, rebel fighters in Syria. Photo: Screenshot

Syrian rebels pose after seizing a border crossing. Photo: Screenshot.

The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, American intelligence officials assert, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror.

Intelligence officials estimate that the group’s fighters number 20,000 to 31,500 in Syria and Iraq. There are less formal pledges of support from “probably at least a couple hundred extremists” in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen, according to an American counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information about the group.

Read full story at The New York Times.

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