Intelligence and law enforcement agencies worry that a surge of violent extremists will eventually move from ISIS-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq into Western nations with the aim of committing terrorist attacks, FBI Director James Comey told Congress on Tuesday.
“The caliphate will be crushed,” but hundreds of people will remain and become part of a “terrorist diaspora” in the next two to five years. “When ISIS is reduced to an insurgency, those people will try to come to Western Europe and here,” Comey said in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
He urged Western European nations to take advantage of the data the U.S. has gathered on terrorism since 9/11.
The most important way to prepare for the coming “terrorist diaspora” as ISIS collapses, he said, “is to knit ourselves together, especially with our European colleagues. Our European colleagues must do that and connect themselves to us and our information better, so that we can spot and disrupt that flow when it comes.”
Given the amount of time that American officials spend being coy about terrorists attacks, it is nice to see that they actually are still working somewhat diligently on this. This seems as if Comey is warning about something that many Americans have been called bigoted and Islamophobic for worrying about, but, hey, I guess we should just be happy that he decided to join the party.
Many European countries have taken a “feelings over security” approach which has left them overwhelmed with refugee populations large enough to be hiding the first wave of this diaspora. Now Comey is talking about disrupting “that flow” in the future, but it’s difficult to see how that can be done effectively without the rigorous screening that the feelings police say is so offensive.
Until the world is run by adults again, we will just have to hope that we get lucky more often than not.