This isn’t really a change in the Islamic State’s strategy. I discuss it in my book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS. The most revealing thing Comey says is, “We’re not sure exactly what’s going on.” Truer words were never spoken! Obama’s FBI as a matter of policy refuses to acknowledge or study the ideology, motives and goals of the jihadis, thereby hamstringing its response to them.
“Obama’s ISIS strategy only increases risk of a US attack,” by Paul Sperry, New York Post, November 22, 2015:
President Obama boasts he’s “made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters” traveling from America to Iraq and Syria. He cites this as a key success in his much-maligned Islamic State strategy.
While it’s true fewer American Muslims are joining ISIS abroad, hold the applause. More are staying at home and plotting terrorist attacks here.
Since July, the FBI has seen just a half-dozen US travelers trying to reach ISIS’ caliphate, a trickle compared with the dozens the agency was detecting in the preceding months. All told, more
than 250 Americans have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS.
At the same time, investigators have seen a spike in the number of homegrown ISIS cases.
FBI Director James Comey recently warned that his caseload of ISIS suspects has exploded to more than 900 in all 50 states, with hotspots in the New York-New Jersey area, as well as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Minneapolis.
These are active, open investigations and don’t include the 66 Muslim men and women around the country the bureau has already charged with alleged ISIS activities over the past two years.
The huge caseload is overwhelming the FBI’s capacity to conduct surveillance and disrupt terrorist plots. Making matters worse, ISIS suspects in the United States are switching to mobile and gaming apps with encryption that thwarts the FBI’s ability to monitor their communications. If suspects have gone “dark,” agents may not be able to track their plans.
Comey is scratching his head over the sudden shift in focus by ISIS wannabes from foreign fighting to local jihad.
“We’ve seen fewer and fewer Americans trying to travel there,” he said Thursday.
“One part of the change is ISIL urging people not to travel but to stay and kill where you are,” Comey said, cautioning, “We’re not sure exactly what’s going on.”
Ain’t that the truth.
But other officials cite a paradox. As federal authorities have gotten better at identifying and interdicting foreign travelers, they’ve discouraged attempts to fight over there and swelled the threat here.
“It’s logical we’d see an increase in homegrown jihadis after slowing the flow of foreign fighters,” said former special FBI agent John Guandolo, who headed counterterrorism training at the bureau’s Washington field office after 9/11….