President Donald Trump is right to praise his administration’s victories against ISIS. In Syria and Iraq, the terror group has been broken and pushed into small pockets in the deserts of both nations.
However, with the loss of territory, ISIS and other terror groups have returned to the “do-it-yourself” terror tactics that could soon have a direct impact on daily life in the United States and Europe. Now, Homeland Security is warning that a surge of terrorism is expected to hit the United States in the near future.
The Department of Homeland Security has issued this statement:
“We are seeing a surge in terrorist activity because the fundamentals of terrorist activity have changed,” said Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke.
New Threat, Old Tactics
ISIS initially stormed through Syria and Iraq in order to create a new “caliphate” for all Sunni Muslims. Thanks to military offensives by the Syrian Arab Army, the Russian military, Iran, the Syrian Democratic Force, and an American-led coalition, ISIS’ empire has been reduced to rubble and ash.
This does not mean that ISIS is no longer a threat to the West, though.
As can be seen with the Halloween terror attack in New York City, ISIS is still capable of recruiting jihadis online, who, in turn, use trucks, IEDs, and guns to kill innocent civilians.
This more asymmetrical plan of attack has led to a 68% increase in terror arrests in the last year in the United Kingdom alone.
What Can Be Done?
The DHS and FBI Director Christopher Wray both believe that the federal government can do more in order to stop ISIS 2.0.
Wray has come out in favor of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the federal government to monitor and collection communication data based on foreign sources.
Unless renewed, Section 702 will expire before the end of 2017.
Even though Wray believes that renewing this legislation would help the fight against Islamist terrorism, he does admit that the decentralized nature of ISIS makes tracking their recruits much harder.
Some conservatives in the United States have proffered their own solution: cutting down on all Islamic immigration to the United States.
Sayfullo Saipov, the New York City attacker, was a winner of the “Diversity Lottery,” a program that rewards immigrants from unrepresented countries. Saipov’s native Uzbekistan has one of the largest jihadi terror problems in all of Central Asia.
Some conservatives argue that ending programs such as the “Diversity Lottery” would put the U.S. at reduced risk of Islamic terrorism.
One solution is universal. Citizens should be more vigilant and more prepared. If recent mass shootings and terror attacks have taught us anything, it’s that government help is often too long in coming to make much difference.
It’s up to everyday Americans to prepare themselves. With no soft targets, prospective jihadists may find their mission more difficult than expected.