Next on ISIS: a global rat-hunt

Thursday, 19 October 2017, 08:26:35 AM. Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, has fallen, capping the destruction of the Islamic State’s modern-day grand caliphate. But the terror group is still dangerous — in many ways, even more so.…
Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, has fallen, capping the destruction of the Islamic State’s modern-day grand caliphate. But the terror group is still dangerous — in many ways, even more so. With US-backed Kurdish and Arab forces cleaning out a few last pockets of resistance, a near-total conventional military victory is now certain. Yet the unconventional threat remains. More than a year ago, ISIS’s leaders reportedly signaled plans to revert to an underground insurgent and guerrilla force if routed from Iraq and Syria. In other words, to something like the “JV team” that then-President Barack Obama derided back in 2014 — before its stunning conquest of territory the size of Portugal across Iraq and Syria, and its launch of a global wave of terror with its videotaped beheadings of hostages and “infidels.” And thanks to the Internet, it doesn’t need a physical state to continue its propaganda and recruiting. It has used these last years to become digitally advanced, especially in the use of social media. Even without a capital or a caliphate, it can still inspire, direct and plan terrorist attacks. Europe and America may find themselves even more vulnerable, as ousted fighters return home — not to mention sleeper cells that could now be activated. And its extremist ideology continues to attract adherents. Make no mistake: The fall of Raqqa is a powerful blow. ISIS also has lost access to Iraqi oilfields that provided millions in income. But it’s far from dead, and...Read more
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