Speaking to the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director James Comey says that the bureau has caught a lot fewer Americans trying to travel abroad to join ISIS in recent months, saying he’s only aware of six leaving in the past three and a half months.
Comey admitted he wasn’t sure how to explain this, but suggested that the “efforts” made by the FBI to stem recruitment may finally be paying dividends, and went on to suggest ISIS recruitment overall could be “faltering” in the face of FBI opposition.
Of course, US intelligence on ISIS recruitment has never been particularly reliable, and Americans make up only a very small portion of the recruitment of the group at any rate, meaning the US is a trivially small sample of overall recruitment.
ISIS has relied heavily on overseas recruiting over the past several years to create its army, and has recruited with unprecedented success in Western nations. The exact size of the group and its makeup is a matter of no small amount of speculation, though Western intelligence agencies have conceded they don’t have great visibility on this matter.
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