Dr. Hellyer is a nonresident Senior Fellow at the RH Centre for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council in DC and Senior Associate Fellow in International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London.
In fact, this finger-in-the-dam strategy is the best available option given America’s de facto preference to enjoy relative freedom from jihadist violence without the expense of solving the root problems from which jihadism springs. This style of frontier warfare is the price America pays for regional order on the cheap.
The UK is considering a new law that would criminalize “entering or remaining in a designated area” to help prosecute ISIS fighters from Britain who return home. But laws that could help prosecute them already exist.
When the Nigerian government initiated the release of abducted schoolgirls from the terrorist group Boko Haram last February, one of the girls, the only Christian, was left behind because she refused to convert to Islam.
Last weekend’s seven bombings in Surabaya reveal a marked escalation of ISIS capabilities in Indonesia and also show changes in tactics. This is probably only the first wave of awaited attacks by ISIS returnees from the Middle East. Nevertheless, the terrorism threat in the country remains small.