During President Obama's state visit to Germany last month, he laid out his vision for defeating ISIS: “We continue to make progress, pushing ISIL back from territory that it controlled," he said.

Now, the U.S. military believes that the militant organization has announced a state of emergency in its de facto capital city of Raqqa, Syria.

Charles Sennott, head of The GroundTruth Project, sees it as a sign that U.S. strategy is working.

"They are being effectively pushed back," he said.

But Sennott said one consequence of the group's shrinking borders may be that they focus efforts on attacking targets abroad.

"That's the fear—as you begin to crush them as an organization, they do what terrorist groups do, which is to look for anywhere they can strike in the most desperate way they can, and take out as many civilians as they possibly can, both in Iraq and Syria and the West," Sennott said.

To hear more from Charles Sennott, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.