FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Tuesday that the successful liberation of ISIS controlled regions by the military will cause a terrorist exodus to other parts of the globe.
As the military continues to push ISIS out of their strongholds, the organization will be forced to become smaller and spread to other vulnerable areas. Comey warned that these concentrated groups could become more efficient at attacking western targets.
"There will be a terrorist diaspora some time in the next two to five years like we've never seen before,” said Comey. "The so-called caliphate will be crushed and through the fingers of that crush will come hundreds of very dangerous people," Comey continued.
“I think that is right and I think that we have to anticipate that,” said national security expert Juliette Kayyem about Comey’s predictions on Boston Public Radio Wednesday. “You take away the land, the capacity to train, but you don’t take away the ideologies easily,” she said.
While military actions may be pushing ISIS to unknown new threats, Kayyem emphasised they are essential to weaken the terrorist organization over the long run. “The only thing that sustains terror organizations or evil organizations is victory. Nazism didn’t die with the end of World War II, but it definitely lost its oxygen. What we need to do is remember that the land war is a necessary predicate for the end of the risk towards us in the west, but it will certainly not be the final end.
Like Comey, Kayyem does not see an end to the fighting with ISIS anytime soon. “I think we delude ourselves. I view this as a generational thing. This is not an existential crisis for the United States, it is for areas of the Middle East. It will be a generational challenge for not just the next president but for several others,” said Kayyem.