US intelligence warned of increased risk days before Hamas attack

An October 5 wire from the CIA warned generally of the increasing possibility of violence by Hamas

Representative image of building debris (photo: DW)
Representative image of building debris (photo: DW)


The US intelligence community produced at least two assessments based in part on intelligence provided by Israel warning President Joe Biden's administration of an increased risk for Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the weeks ahead of the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, according to informed sources.

One update from September 28 warned, based on multiple streams of intelligence, that the terror group Hamas was poised to escalate rocket-attacks across the border, CNN reported citing the sources as saying.

An October 5 wire from the CIA warned generally of the increasing possibility of violence by Hamas.

Then, on October 6, the day before the attack, US officials circulated reporting from Israel indicating unusual activity by Hamas -- indications that are now clear: an attack was imminent, CNN reported.

None of the American assessments offered any tactical details or indications of the overwhelming scope, scale and sheer brutality of the operation that Hamas carried out on October 7, the sources said.

It is unclear if any of these US assessments were shared with Israel, which provides much of the intelligence that the US bases its reports on.

Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are also on a “hot spots” list included in intelligence briefings for senior officials almost daily, CNN quoted a person who receives the briefings, as saying.

Intelligence assessments are written by the intelligence community to inform policy makers and enable them to make decisions.

“The problem is that none of this is new,” said one of the sources familiar with the intelligence.

“This is something that has historically been the norm between Hamas and Israel. I think what happened is everyone saw these reports and were like, ‘Yeah of course'. But we know what this will look like."

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Published: 14 Oct 2023, 4:09 PM