Expanding the Jihadist Base
"[As] training possibilities [for Islamist extremists have decreased, Islamic State's] involvement with potential violent jihadists in the West seems to be shifting from training to coaching primarily self-taught operatives."
Europole, European Police Office report
|The News Chronicle|
The European Union's police agency's report is yet another heads-up for the new direction being taken by the Islamofascist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, finding themselves facing an ever-decreasing geographic caliphate. With the diminution of their geographical territory -- thanks to the U.S.-led assaults against ISIL in Iraq and Syria -- hailed by Muslim fanatics as the groundwork for a new empire whose dominion would spread to encompass ever greater territory, the allure and appeal among young Muslims as recruits has waned.
That is, the allure of travelling to that vaunted caliphate, to become one of its warrior-citizens, establishing a home base and a family where wives serve their ISIL fighting men and raise their children as the 'lion cubs' of ISIL steadily diminishes. Now that the territory of the caliphate has been vulnerable to a shrinking dimension, the new paradise-on-earth has become tarnished in reality if not in conceptual theory.
Guiding the leadership of Islamic State to look elsewhere for those willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of Islamist conquest. For as the world well knows, death is very attractive to Islamist fundamentalists; lives readily expendable, their own and those of non-Muslims, the greater the latter number the better for the glory and sacrifice of the former's hero-status and his rewarding welcome to Paradise.
If Islamist jihadists remain endangered where they were determined to expand their Middle Eastern base, one of their other options would conceivably be to expand their non-Muslim base to become more actively involved and committed to expending time, energy and lives to further the universal cause of the universal caliphate. And this is precisely what Europol's report points out.
ISIL is designing its near future to incorporate its far-abroad constituency as another front line, one which has moved its platform and program more conveniently located to extract maximum advantage from the very forces that have combined to eradicate it from its home base. In Europe and North America, its sleeper agents are being nudged awake and into an atmosphere of activated reaction to the shrinking caliphate.
Europol stresses that the "weapons of choice" for terrorist cells in Europe and elsewhere remain the automatic firearms so beloved of guerrillas everywhere in the world. But not to entirely negate the landmark terror signature of Islamic State's tactical architecture of terrorism, the use of catastrophically explosive vehicular bombs. The success of the use of such guerrilla armaments can in fact be traced to the Iran-enabled, then-emerging Hezbollah militias in Lebanon.
When in 1983, a massively explosive truck bomb targeted the American marine base in Lebanon, to kill 241 U.S. servicemen, including 220 marines. Simultaneous to the Marine barracks attack, a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden pickup truck into a building housing French paratroopers where 58 French soldiers were killed. And when again, a similar bombing attack hit the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, including 17 American embassy staff and CIA members.
Islamist perpetrators of bombing atrocities on a grand scale have never looked back. But they did become more inventive with the use of passenger jets hijacked by Muslim terrorists to become deadly projectiles whose cost in lives approached three thousand in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania. When mass murder becomes such a satisfying celebratory occasion in the minds of Islamists, their triumph of death-delivery can only be enhanced with the potential use of weapons of mass destruction on a truly grand scale.
For the meanwhile, another shift in tactics has been identified, that ISIL may begin "planning and dispatching" attacks from Libya, a handy "second springboard" for its death-central enterprise. They also point out that while most of the attacks under the ISIL flag have been carried out by "inspired" terrorists, the move now would be to "directed" attacks, whereby an "external terrorism" branch of ISIL has exported fighters to the European and North American theatre, prepared to reveal their presence through the commission of massacres.
European and North American intelligence and government authorities are indeed aware of all this and more and the potential for foreign fighters returning to home countries bringing with them all they have experienced and become proficient in through their radicalization will have ample opportunity to share with an unaware and oblivious public in their countries of return, the deadly divisions between the Islamic and non-Muslim communities.