The main concern surrounding ISIS, at least before the US launched a war against them, was that when the Syrian Civil War ended, was that the Americans and other foreign fighters would return with international terrorist ties.
US officials eager to cash in on that fear claim it’s already happened, with one unnamed official claiming that there are “some who’ve come back and are under active – the FBI is looking at them.”
But is it a real threat? It’s not clear at all. The putative 100 Americans that are cited mostly didn’t join ISIS in the first place, but included everyone who went to Syria. The Pentagon conceded earlier this month that out of the 100 US passport holders, more like a dozen had actually joined ISIS.
The US doesn’t really know who’s who, and conceded that they don’t have any intelligence surrounding any specific plotting against US territory by ISIS at all, let alone by the phantom returnees.
Officials seem to be trying to sell the escalation of the ISIS war with the claims, unbacked by anything in particular, that a domestic attack might conceivably be imminent.