Experts Warn of Terror Blowback from Iraq Airstrikes

TIME

The American airstrikes against a militant group in Iraq could motivate the fighters to retaliate with terror attacks against U.S. civilians, experts warn.

President Barack Obama’s airstrikes against militants from the group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “could increase the likelihood that ISIS or somebody inspired by ISIS, would strike against the homeland,” says Seth Jones, a terrorism expert with the Rand Corporation.

ISIS has long threatened America openly. In June the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, warned Americans that “soon enough, you will be in direct confrontation [with us].” Last week a spokesman for the group vowed that “we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

Despite that bombastic rhetoric, ISIS has thus far been consumed with its fights in Iraq and Syria, and with capturing territory to form an Islamic caliphate. But counterterrorism officials worry that the fanatical group could now place a…

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