US say ISIS plans to free mercenaries held in SDF detention camps

According to the US, the Islamic State (ISIS) continues to expand globally with some 20 affiliates, despite being forced out of Syria and the killing of its leaders and plans to free its members in SDF-run detention centres.

Christopher Miller, director of the US National Counterterrorism Center, said that the extremist group ISIS “has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to rebound from severe losses over the past six years by relying on a dedicated cadre of veteran mid-level commanders, extensive clandestine networks, and downturns in CT (counter-terrorism) pressure to persevere.”

Miller added that the group is now focused on freeing thousands of ISIS members and their families from SDF-run detention camps in North East Syria, in the absence of any coordinated international process to deal with them.

Outside Syria and Iraq, the ISIS global web “now encompasses approximately 20 branches and networks,” Miller said.

It has had mixed results, but is strongest in Africa, as the Niger attack underscored.

ISIS also seeks to attack Western targets, Miller says, but so far effective counter-terror work has prevented this.