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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

John Bolton: Radical Islamic ideology is a threat

Calling Iran the “central bank of terrorism”, the US national security adviser promised more pressure on Tehran

National Security Adviser John Bolton unveiled the new strategy at a White House briefing. AP
National Security Adviser John Bolton unveiled the new strategy at a White House briefing. AP

US national security adviser John Bolton has highlighted the ideology of “radical Islam” among the terrorist threats facing the US, pledging accelerated efforts in countering the issue.

Mr Bolton announced the release of Trump administration’s new national security strategy for counter-terrorism on Thursday which outlines six goals. These include pursuing terrorists to their source, isolating them from their sources of support and countering terrorist radicalisation and recruitment.

Bolton's new strategy also aims to protect American infrastructure and strengthen both the US's internal counter-terror tools and those of its allies.

Calling it the “most robust strategy since 2011” Mr Bolton said it will include “accelerated efforts to defeat terrorists” and the “radical Islamic ideology.”

Despite the territorial defeat of ISIS, Mr Bolton said “significant challenges remain and radical Islamic ideology is a threat.”

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Iran is another threat highlighted in the new strategy. Mr Bolton called the Iranian regime the “central banker of international terrorism since 1979," and argued that new sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear deal have had an impact on its resources and disrupted Hezbollah’s activities.

He said the strategy is broader than previous ones because it is “not just [focused on] Sunni ideologies.” He mentioned Iran and unconventional threats from Yemen using drones and missiles in targeting Saudi Arabia.

Mr Bolton said more sanctions will be imposed on Iran and no waivers will be given. “This is not the Obama administration” he said.

In a statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “terrorist threats are more complex, fluid, and fast-moving than ever” naming “ISIS, and Iranian-supported terrorists” among those that “continue to target us, our allies, and partners.”