The Next Target of ISIS: Western Nations?
CNN looks at possible ways the extremist group might attack
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2014 5:00 PM CDT
FILE - This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic...   (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

(Newser) – In the wake of two US airstrikes against ISIS, supporters of the extremist group that's been seizing towns in northern Iraq are calling for retaliatory strikes against America, CNN reports. "It is a clear message that the war is against Islam and the mujahideen," wrote the administrator of an online ISIS forum. "The mujahideen must strive and seek to execute proactive operations ... to discipline America and its criminal soldiers." Other ISIS followers are deriding the US with the Twitter campaign #AmessagefromISIStoUS and posting photos of the 9/11 attacks (which isn't really new—they used the Twitter handle #CalamityWillBefallUS after ISIS took Mosul in June). Possible ways ISIS might strike the West include:

  • A "crash" program: In this scenario, ISIS spends some of its tens of millions of dollars on arming European extremists who have joined the group (officials estimate there are up to 1,000 of them). This could reach American soil, because many Europeans can enter the US without a visa, and there's talk of sophisticated bombing devices that can slip past airport security.
  • Returned fighters: Extremists who fought for ISIS in Syria and returned home "could take matters into their own hands," says CNN. Case in point: Mehdi Nemmouche, the French-Algerian accused of killing four people at a Jewish museum in Belgium this spring.
  • "Lone wolves": The Boston Marathon bombing—enough said.

Meanwhile, the effects of US military strikes aren't entirely clear, but the New York Times reports that almost two dozen ISIS fighters were killed and at least 30 injured near Mosul, and al Jazeera says the airstrikes have allowed Kurdish forces to reach Yazidi refugees on Sinjar Mountain and save more than than 5,000 of them. (See why President Obama says the Iraq intervention will be "long term.")

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Showing 3 of 143 comments
Aug 11, 2014 7:06 AM CDT
History will not be favorable to the United States when looking back at our current time frame. I predict the United States will be held directly responsible for a great majority of the conflicts taking place in the Middle East today. We should have never appointed ourselves to become the "World Police". That action may very well lead to the future downfall of America. We should have kept our troops and weapons at home.
Aug 10, 2014 11:19 PM CDT
Anyone that can't see that this whole thing is a complete propaganda terror blitz and that the ISIS "terror script" instilling fear in average Americans is the same script used OVER AND OVER for 13 years to keep Americans living in fear deserves everything the Government gives them in poverty, loss of civil liberties, and a more rotten USA . So go on and believe the hype and eat McDonalds garbage food and get fatter and wonder why your little piece of America s*cks. BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE ALL THE HYPE
Lou Bernardo
Aug 10, 2014 11:14 AM CDT
No doubt it will be an easy target in the U. S. when the southern border is wide open and illegals pouring in. No doubt ISIS isn't letting that opportunity escape them bringing in cells of terrorists and the government is actually distributing them all over the U. S. at taxpayer expense. Thank you Obama. You promised to change America.