Paris Attackers Likely 'ISIL-Directed' and Used Encryption, Senate Intel Chief Says

PHOTO: Senator Richard Burr speaks at a press conference to announce new proposed legislation to limit President Obamas ability to release prisoners from Guantanamo in Washington, Jan. 13, 2015. PlaySamuel Corum/Getty Images
WATCH Retracing the Steps of the Paris Attackers

The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee said that the Paris attackers were likely "ISIL-directed" and used encryption to communicate.

Committee chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, who was briefed on the attacks, said that U.S. investigators are not yet active in the investigation in Paris, but there’s a strong likelihood the attack was “ISIL-directed” rather than “ISIL-inspired.”

He also said the attackers "likely" used encryption to communicate between France, Belgium and Syria.

“It is likely that end-to-end encryption was used to communicate between those individuals in Belgium, in France, and in Syria,” he said.

Burr called the attack a “wakeup call” to the United States and other countries around the world.

“We need to begin the debate on what we do on encrypted networks because it makes us blind to the communications and actions of potential adversaries,” he said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said that the attacks indicate "this is a new day" in the fight against terrorism.

“It's one thing to hit a building, a building is one thing. It's another thing to hit a soft target, to walk into restraints where people are having a Friday night dinner, to kill everybody you can kill,” she said.