Military Braces for Possible ISIS Backlash over CIA Torture Report

Islamic State group militants wave al-Qaida flags as they patrol in a commandeered Iraqi military vehicle in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo, File)

The U.S. military was on guard Monday for a possible violent reaction from ISIS and other terror groups to a report on alleged use of torture by the CIA in interrogations of terror suspects.

"There is certainly the possibility that the release of this report could cause unrest, and therefore the Joint Staff has directed the combatant commands to take the appropriate force protection measures," said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

The controversial report expected to be released by the Senate Tuesday was said to contain graphic descriptions of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used by the CIA at secret sites around the world after 9/11 to gain information from suspects on terror networks and planning.

U.S. embassies worldwide have also been put on alert for the release of the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

On ABC's "This Week" program, Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other groups would take advantage of the report to provoke attacks against U.S. targets.

"They don't have to be accurate or right, they just have to believe it's true and they will take advantage of that," he said. "We know that ISIL propaganda operations will -- this is the mother lode for them," he added, referring to another name for the extremist group.

"You have foreign leaders saying this report in its current form will incite violence," the congressman said. "You have liaison partners in the intelligence community saying this will incite violence. This will in fact incite violence and it's likely to cost someone their life."

Secretary of State John Kerry has also reportedly warned Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California and the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, of the potential consequences of releasing the report at this time.

Last month, three sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross were roughed up while on shore leave in Turkey by a group of protesters.

"We find you as murderers, as killers, we want you to get out of our land," one of the protesters shouted at the sailors, according to video of the incident.

The report is an unclassified summary of a 6,200-page classified document. Democrats on the committee and their staffs spent six years reviewing CIA documents about the agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques" including waterboarding under the administration of former President George W. Bush. The techniques were later banned by President Obama.

Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, a member of the Intelligence Committee and a critic of the CIA techniques, told Esquire magazine, "When this report is declassified, people will abhor what they read. They're gonna' be disgusted."

Feinstein told the Los Angeles Times that the harsh interrogations undermined "societal and constitutional values that we are very proud of. Anybody who reads this is going to never let this happen again."

Bush administration officials have reportedly joined with former CIA employees to challenge the report – even though the document asserts that the agency misled the White House about the use and results of some of the controversial techniques, including waterboarding.

"We're fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the C.I.A. serving on our behalf," the former president told CNN. "These are patriots and whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base."

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at richard.sisk@monster.com

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