US admiral: This overlooked region will be the next front line against ISIS

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ISIS Could Strike Here Next

It's becoming clear that ISIS is losing the battle on the home front — they're not only losing out on a huge source of revenue from oil smuggling, but major campaigns by coalition forces are underway to root out their remaining bastions in Iraq and Syria.

Although this may be cause for celebration, US officials are more concerned with what comes afterwards.

SEE ALSO: Trump claims his policies would have prevented 9/11

"At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora ..." explained FBI Director James B. Comey at a cybersecurity conference. "Not all of the Islamic State killers are going to die on the battlefield."

This supposed migration of militants lends itself to some credence in light of a recent report by Harry Sarfo, a detained Islamic State recruit.

"[An ISIS official claimed] that they have loads of people living in European countries and waiting for commands to attack the European people," Sarfo explained from a maximum-security prison in northern Germany. "And that was before the Brussels attacks, before the Paris attacks."

RELATED: Tunisia faces challenges from ISIS

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Tunisia faces challenges from Islamic State
A minaret, that was damaged during fighting between Islamic State jihadists and government forces, is seen in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 10, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Household items lie on the ground at a house that was squatted by Islamic State jihadists and damaged during fighting with government forces in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 10, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People stand where their neighbour Abdel Atti Abdelkabir, a policeman, was killed by Islamic State jihadists in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 10, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A Tunisian security forces tank is seen through a car window at Dhiba by the Tunisian and Libyan border crossing, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A house which was damaged during fighting with government forces stands in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 10, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A road sign shows the direction of Libya near the border crossing at Dhiba, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
The father and son of Abdel Atti Abdelkabir, a policeman who was killed by Islamic State jihadists, pose for a picture in Ben Guerdane, Tunisia April 10, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A municipal worker adds the finishing touches in Martyr's Square to a memorial to those recently killed by Islamic State's fighters in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 12, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Hamid Ishi stands in his house, which was squatted by Islamic State jihadists and damaged during fighting with government forces, in Ben Guerdane, Tunisia April 10, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People are seen at a Radio Web studio during training at a youth centre in Ben Guerdane, Tunisia April 12, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A man who's brother,Tarak Slimi, is suspected to have joined Islamic State in Libya, shows how the family managed to board up a door after it was damaged during a police raid in El Kef, Tunisia April 14, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Fethiya Charni holds a photograph and the passport of her son Tarak Slimi, who is suspected to have joined Islamic State in Libya, at her house in El Kef, Tunisia April 14, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fethiya Charni, weeps as she holds a photograph and the passport of her son Tarak Slimi, who is suspected to have joined Islamic State in Libya, at her house in El Kef, Tunisia April 14, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Mohamed Slimi, whose son Tarak Slimi is suspected to have joined Islamic State in Libya, sits at his house in El Kef, Tunisia April 14, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Photographs of Rahma (L), the wife of Noureddine Chouchane, a jihadist who was killed during a U.S strike in Libya, and her sister Gofran (R), are seen in a newspaper in Tunis, Tunisia April 14, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Yarusi Kadi, 21 (C), an unemployed graduate, smiles as he poses for a photograph with his grandmother at his house in the town of Remada, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A woman walks past a truck loaded with containers in the town of Remada, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A woman sits outside her house, which was damaged in fighting between Islamic State jihadists and government forces, in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 12, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Yahya, father of Bechar Zongya, gestures during an interview with Reuters journalists in the town of Remada, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A sign is seen at the edge of Remada, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People inspect a burnt room inside their house, which was damaged by fighting between Islamic State jihadists and government forces in Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border, Tunisia April 12, 2016. After a U.S. air strike killed a Tunisian jihadist commander in western Libya in late February, dozens of Islamic State fighters sneaked across the border into Tunisia and attacked an army barracks and police bases in the town of Ben Guerdane. In the battle that followed, Islamic State militants shot dead local Tunisian anti-terrorism chief Colonel Abdel Atti Abdelkabir metres from his home. Residents including the colonel's brother say they recognised some of the attackers as former neighbours and classmates who had left to train with Islamic State in Libya. In all, more than 50 militants died in the assault. The battle was further evidence of how Libyaâs chaos has spilled over into its more stable neighbour. Tunisia, one of the most secular countries in the Arab world, is trying to nurture the nascent democracy that grew out of its 2011 uprising against Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. But it also faces an intensifying battle against Islamist militants â not least Tunisian fighters now based just across the border. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Men play soccer at a pitch in the town of Remada, Tunisia April 11, 2016. Tunisia's 2011 uprising created fertile ground for jihadist recruiters. Hundreds of Islamist militants were freed from prison as part of an amnesty for those detained under Ben Ali. Ultra-conservative salafists began to flex their muscle, seizing control of mosques and clashing with secularists. As Tunisia's politics have stabilised, the government has reasserted control, taking back mosques, banning the local al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia, and forcing many militants to flee. At first the jihadists mostly headed to Syria. But now Libya is more popular with them - many Tunisians have become key figures in Islamic State there. In all, officials estimate that between 4,000-6,000 Tunisians have left to fight for Islamic State and other groups, among them university graduates and professionals recruited online. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra SEARCH "ZOHRA REMADA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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According to US officials, however, it's not only the West that should brace for ISIS' relocation. Defense News reports that in a recent speech, US Pacific Command's commander Admiral Harry Harris expressed concern for an often overlooked region of the world.

"Regrettably, I believe that ISIL is also trying to rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific," Harris explained.

This statement comes at the heels of recent terrorist attacks in Asian countries with large Muslim populations, such as Bangladesh and the Philippines. One of these attacks, a 10-hour siege in an upscale restaurant in Bangladesh, ended tragically when 20 out of the 35 hostages, many of them foreigners, were killed in the beginning of July.

"As their revenue and territory shrinks in Syria and Iraq, you could see a wave of fighters going back to the Philippines and Indonesia," claims Center for Strategic and International Studies' Thomas Sanderson. "That can be greatly destabilizing to governments."

Even more worrisome is the fact that existing Islamic militant groups in the region, such as the Philippines' Abu Sayyaf, have pledged their loyalty to ISIS, even going so far as to state on Twitter that if a potential recruit was unable travel to Syria they should "join the mujahedeen in the Philippines."

In order to combat this growing threat, analysts offer a crucial element for its solution: a multinational effort led by the US.

SEE ALSO: U.S.-backed forces now control 40 percent of IS-held city of Manbij

"The US has a huge role in preventing this because it is the lead element in the global struggle against terrorism," Sanderson said to Defense News.

Although the US has had a military presence in Southeast Asia, such as the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), it was officially deactivated last year after 13 years of service. This element of up to 600 Navy SEALs, Marine Corps and Army operators had the traditional special forces role of training Philippine commandos to combat terrorist elements in the region, such as Abu Sayyaf.

However, even without the presence of an autonomous task force like such as JSOTF-P, Harris still believes there's hope for the region.

"To halt the Islamic State's cancerous spread in Asia, we can't work alone. We must work together," he outlined in his speech. "Thankfully, Japan and many other like-minded nations have joined the counter-ISIL coalition. Together, we can — and will — eradicate this disease."

NOW WATCH: GREEN BERET: Why our strategy against terrorism is making things worse

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