James Comey
James ComeyReuters

FBI Director James Comey has issued a very stark warning to the American public about the upcoming dangers of Islamic terrorists. He says that destroying ISIS on the battlefield, while desirable, could lead to an increase in terrorism within the United States.

Speaking a week ago in Washington, Comey said, "At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we've never seen before" – and many of its members can be expected to end up in the United States.

"Not all of the Islamic State's killers are going to die on the battlefield," Comey explained. "When the coalition destroys them - and I'm confident that we will – hundreds and hundreds of really dangerous people will come out through the fingers of that crush. And they're going to flow out primarily towards Western Europe – and we [the U.S.] are practically right next door to there, given the ease of travel."

"We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and in Paris," Comey said, describing it as "an order of magnitude greater" than others. "We in the American counter-terrorist business are constantly focused on that; it's not here yet, but that challenge is going to come."

The Chicago Tribune editorialized on Friday that "terrorist diaspora is a terrible possibility to contemplate. But far worse is a rising Islamic State, inspiring more savagery against civilians across the West… If a terrorist diaspora is the price of victory, then let's make it as small as possible and as soon as possible."

Others, however, say that ISIS should actually not be totally destroyed, but should rather be allowed to constantly teeter on the edge of continued existence. Prof. Efraim Inbar, for instance, of the BESA Center, wrote this week that the West should "seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction. A weak but functioning IS can undermine the appeal of the caliphate among radical Muslims; keep bad actors focused on one another rather than on Western targets; and hamper Iran’s quest for regional hegemony."