In "ISIS Fighters Are Not Flooding Back Home to Wreak Havoc as Feared," Schmitt highlights growing concern that former IS fighters will not return to their country of origin. He quotes CIA Director Michael Pompeo's keynote remarks at UT: "'we’re worried as the campaign in eastern Syria and Iraq winds down, we’ll continue to see fighters move into' Libya and northern Africa." Schmitt points out that such flows could result in another terrorist attack in Europe.
In "A Newly Assertive C.I.A. Expands Its Taliban Hunt in Afghanistan," which Schmitt co-wrote with fellow Times reporters Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Adam Goldman, Director Pompeo's remarks at UT were featured. They write "Mr. Pompeo said in his remarks in Texas that Mr. Trump had authorized the agency to 'take risks' in its efforts to combat insurgents 'as long as they made sense,' with an overall goal 'to make the C.I.A. faster and more aggressive.'" They highlight a quote from the forum in which Director Pompeo underlines the need to be assertive: "'we can’t perform our mission if we’re not aggressive,' Mr. Pompeo said at a security conference this month at the University of Texas. 'This is unforgiving, relentless. You pick the word. Every minute, we have to be focused on crushing our enemies.'"