Now that the Islamic State has fallen and lost the battle on the ground, it is time to seriously consider the next steps to win the fight against terrorism in the long run. A recent report by the Soufan Center has traced back 5,600 ISIS foreign fighters who returned home. While the returning foreign fighters may not try to carry out attacks immediately, there is no doubt that many of them will certainly be the seeds of future recruits or act as organizers and facilitators in the name of ISIS.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, during his testimony at a congressional hearing on the worldwide threat assessment of the U.S. intelligence community on March 6, stated that “ISIS almost certainly will continue to give priority to transnational terrorist attacks. Its leadership probably assesses that, if ISIS-linked attacks continue to dominate public discourse, the group’s narrative will be buoyed.”
Yes, it is almost impossible to counter every terrorist attack, particularly if carried out by the terrorists with no direct connections to known terrorist members. However, it is essential we understand that if we cannot neutralize or counter the ideology behind these attacks, which is Salafist jihadism stemming from Wahhabism, there will always be new attacks regardless of the security precautions we take.