Last week while all eyes were on the Democratic National Convention, FBI Director James Comey made an alarming prediction about possible new developments with ISIS and terrorism.
He suggested that if and when ISIS is crushed in their Middle East strongholds, there will be a terrorist diaspora that will spread terror agents throughout the West.
FBI Chief Warns ‘Terrorist Diaspora’ Will Come to the West
Hundreds of terrorists will fan out to infiltrate western Europe and the U.S. to carry out attacks on a wider scale as Islamic State is defeated in Syria, FBI Director James Comey warned.
“At some point there’s going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said Wednesday in New York. “We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and Paris,” said the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, adding that future attacks will be on “an order of magnitude greater.”
Comey’s blunt warnings echo those of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has scoffed at Obama administration efforts to defeat Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq. Nonetheless, the FBI chief’s comments reflect a consensus among U.S. intelligence officials that the group inevitably will strike out abroad as it continues to lose ground militarily under attack from a U.S.-led coalition…
Comey, who called violence directed or inspired by Islamic State “the greatest threat to the physical safety of Americans today,” said that “a lot of terrorists fled out of Afghanistan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This is 10 times that or more.”
In his remarks at a conference on cybersecurity, Comey also cited the difficulty of heading off what are often called “lone-wolf” attackers acting on the group’s calls for violence.
It is “increasingly hard” for counterterrorism officials to find and stop individuals inspired or directed by Islamic State who use a knife or a vehicle to kill people, Comey said.
Defeating ISIS Will Only Make It ’10 Times’ More Dangerous
Veteran fighters of Osama bin Laden’s Afghan jihad went on to carry out attacks such as 9/11, the embassy bombings in Africa, and the 2000 bombing of a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf of Aden. Comey said the attacks in Paris and Brussels were a preview of a “challenge that is going to come.” The Paris attacks were carried out by Syrian battlefield veterans, and received direction and funding from ISIS’s core territory.
Comey’s warnings highlight an element of the fight against ISIS rarely discussed by President Barack Obama and his administration. The administration and Pentagon have long defined success against ISIS in terms of territory seized in Iraq and Syria. After a single week in which ISIS killed more than 350 people across four different countries, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters attacks do not “alter the strategy.”
There are currently no public coalition plans in place to deal with Western citizens captured in Iraq and Syria, or to prevent their return to Western Europe. Worse, western European citizens can enter the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.