2014-08-21T205308Z_1_LYNXMPEA7K0XF_RTROPTP_2_IRAQ-SECURITY-USA

Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen': Pentagon

Defense Secretary Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dempsey hold a press briefing at the PentagonBy Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. “They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon. Hagel’s assessment of Islamic State, which gained strength during Syria’s civil war and swept into northern Iraq earlier this summer, sounded a note of alarm several days after the group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading an American hostage kidnapped in Syria. This is beyond anything we’ve seen.” Hagel spoke as the United States continued attacking Islamic State targets in Iraq.

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