The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned that a recent surge in victories against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in the Middle East could lead to the Takfiri group’s expansion into Western countries.
Speaking at a cyber security conference at Fordham University earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey said that the eventual defeat of Daesh in Syria would send “a terrorist diaspora” to Europe and the US.
“At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before,” Comey said, adding not all of the group’s thugs “are going to die on the battlefield.”
The FBI chief went on to draw a comparison between the issue and al-Qaeda terror group’s formation in Afghanistan more than a quarter-century ago.
“This is 10 times that or more,” Comey said. “This is an order of magnitude greater than anything we have seen before.”
He then referred to recent terror attacks across Europe, implying that such incidents would eventually reach the US mainland.
“We in the American counterterrorism business are constantly focused on that — that’s not here yet, but that challenge is going to come,” he said.
The battle of Aleppo
American officials have been increasingly voicing concern over the Syrian government’s achievements in the fight against Daesh, especially after the city of Aleppo, which is the terror group’s self-proclaimed capital in the Arab country, became surrounded by the army and popular forces.
Daesh and other terror groups wreaking havoc in Syria aim to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an objective also sought by Washington.
The recent gains against Daesh in Aleppo, however, indicate that the situation is not going as planned by America.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and some other Western officials are even starting to question Russia’s humanitarian efforts in Aleppo.
Moscow has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh since last September upon a request from Damascus and is now helping the Assad government to safely evacuate Aleppo civilians by setting up a number of corridors around the city.
On Friday, Kerry doubted Moscow’s true intentions, saying the humanitarian move could be nothing but a “ruse.”
Aleppo was Syria’s biggest city before being overrun by foreign-backed militants in 2012. Retaking the city would amount to a groundbreaking victory for Assad in the five-year conflict which, according to the UN, has taken more than 400,000 lives.