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    US, Russia Need to Forge Intel Partnership Against Radicalism: Analyst

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson has shared his views on the necessity for the US and Russia to create a joint intelligence fusion center to successfully combat the spread of Islamic radicalism.

    WASHINGTON, January 13 (Sputnik) – It is paramount that the United States and Russia form a strong intelligence alliance to successfully combat the spread of Islamic radicalism, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, has told Sputnik.

    "I have maintained for a long time that it is critical for the United States and Russia to forge a strong partnership, and bring in other countries as well, to share intelligence in order to effectively oppose radical Islam and terrorism. It is a common threat that both countries face," Johnson said Monday.

    There should be a full open exchange between the Russian and the US law enforcement and intelligence services, the former analyst stressed, proposing to combine operations and establish a joint US-Russia fusion center.

    "Although some countries will worry about spying on one another, sharing intelligence is more important. Refusal to share information and keep everything close to the vest endangers lives," Johnson explained.

    He also pointed out that the US-Russian intelligence relationship is weaker than it was a year ago, partly due to the Ukrainian crisis. Although it might not have had a direct impact on security levels, the crisis has provided an excuse for lack of cooperation, Johnson said.

    "The Ukraine crisis didn't necessarily have an adverse effect on regional security, but it has become an excuse for scaling back cooperation, which creates risk," the former CIA analyst stressed.

    According to Johnson, the United States and Russia should combine efforts to address the problem of financing that countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey provide to extremists.

    "We've tolerated the funding of terrorists for 30 plus years. A strong coalition, including the United States and Russia, should push back and get this stopped," Johnson told Sputnik.

    The former CIA analyst described Russia's overall approach to the war against terror as more pragmatic and thoughtful in comparison to those of the United States. He pointed to the crisis in Syria as one example, in which Russia is supporting a secular regime in Damascus, while the United States and its allies are "enabling extremists" with funding and weapons.

    Jonson's call for US-Russian cooperation in the fight against terrorism comes in the wake of the January 7 Paris tragedy, when suspected Islamic radicals attacked the office of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which had published cartoons, depicting Prophet Muhammad.

    The incident has heightened awareness of the need for intelligence cooperation between countries that are also potentially vulnerable to such attacks.

    Topic:
    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

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    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Islamists, terrorism, United States, Russia
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