Speed Reads

ISIS Crisis

FBI: U.S. airstrikes increased support for ISIS

American airstrikes intended to beat back ISIS in Iraq may actually be having the opposite effect, according to the FBI.

"ISIL's widespread use of social media and growing online support intensified following the commencement of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq," FBI Director James Comey told Congress Wednesday, using an alternate acronym for the group.

Comey added that as a result of the airstrikes, ISIS may redouble its kidnapping efforts "in an attempt to force the U.S. government and people into making concessions that would only strengthen ISIL and further its terrorist operations."

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned last month that airstrikes could provoke ISIS to retaliate and expand its operations. The U.S. has launched more than 160 airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, and President Obama last week announced he would authorize a bombing campaign in Syria as well.