Is the Islamic State going global? | World Defense

Is the Islamic State going global?

Falcon29

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Is the Islamic State going global?



For the past 15 days, the only Islamic State-related news the world was interested in was details of prospective anti-IS military operations in Iraq and Syria, especially how to field a ground force. Then the coordinated attacks in Paris on the night of Nov. 13 bitterly reminded the world that it had overlooked the question of how IS was going to defend itself.

In the Al-Monitor article of Oct. 26 titled "Is Russian intervention in Syria pushing 'moderate jihadis' toward Islamic State?" I looked for an answer to this crucial question. In that article, which cited experts and journalists who closely monitor the events, my basic conclusion was that two different schools of thought have emerged within IS: the "localist approach" that advocates consolidating domination of Syria and Iraq, and the "globalist approach" that favors expanding the war to the Middle East and the rest of the world to avoid being easily overrun by the enemy. The localist approach, which is generally adopted by the former Baathists and Arab nationalists of IS, emphasizes the historic and symbolic significance and geostrategic position of Raqqa and Mosul and the call for the coming war to be fought in and around these two towns. The globalist approach, generally popular with foreign militants called the “muhajiroun” who have joined IS in Iraq and Syria, calls attention to the unwarranted focus on an insignificant piece of land at Kobani in 2011 and the loss of some 2,200 fighters to capture that piece of land. Globalists demand that the same mistake will not be repeated.

These localist and globalist contradictions within IS, which were ignored previously because many felt that the group confined its war to Syria and Iraq, have become much more consequential following the Paris massacre. Is IS on the verge of a split between the two schools of thought?

M.O., a humanitarian worker who has been to Syria many times and who is an expert on Salafist movements, spoke to Al-Monitor in Istanbul (on condition of anonymity) and confirmed that there is such a fissure between localists and globalists within IS that is becoming increasingly perceptible. He felt the Paris attacks will add to this trend.

“But I don’t think IS will give up its focus on holding on to territory. The caliphate and the IS idea it announced in June 2014 is attracting many followers. If IS cannot hold on to the territory it controls, it can only become a landless, practically invisible entity like al-Qaeda,” he said. “That is why I don’t see the Paris attacks and other attacks that may follow as a major change of IS strategy but as tactical moves to hike up the price of the approaching war.”

O.B., who has been to Syria several times, also spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. He thinks the globalist approach may gain the upper hand in IS.

“First you must note that religious motivation may be vital for IS fighters on the ground, but I believe the War Council that determines its war strategy is not motivated by religion. It is guided by a rational, wise and pragmatic approach,” O.B. said. “After the Paris attacks, IS saw that with eight or 10 people, with expenses that will not exceed $100,000, they can paralyze a Western capital for two days and sow fear across the world. It is provoking violence against Sunni Muslims. That is why IS might opt for the pragmatic course and go for new attacks like in Paris, which it considers as a major victory.”

Can IS continue with such low-cost attacks that potentially have such major effect?

Both interviewees feel that attacks such as the one in Paris may continue depending on developments in Iraq and Syria.

“Look, we are debating the effect of the Paris massacre on Western countries. Did you think of its effect on IS itself? If you ask me, they see Paris as achieving the impossible, which will boost the motivation of the organization and the confidence of the ranks in its leadership,” O.B. said.

He added, “They see it as God's blessing. Such success stories will mean an easier transfer of militants from al-Qaeda and other jihadi outfits, the recruitment of more people and more generous financing.”

The next question to be addressed is whether alongside the debate over localist and globalist approaches will the stepped-up coalition airstrikes and gains on the ground of their foes mean a split in IS.

Neither M.O. nor O.B. can answer this question in the affirmative because both agree that holding on to territory in Syria and Iraq and establishing an Islamic state is the major pillar of the organization’s ideology. The next question then will be if IS-held land in Iraq and Syria, and especially in Raqqa and Mosul, is lost, will it be the end of IS?

Both experts answered along similar lines, as they believe IS will defend populated locations it controls in Iraq and Syria, particularly Raqqa and Mosul, to the bitter end, village by village, neighborhood by neighborhood and even house by house.
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Is the Islamic State going global? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East
 

Corzhens

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Looking deeply at the issue with an open mind, this ISIS thing is getting to be attractive to idealists and loners. As I had already posted before, the recruitment brigade of the ISIS spend all their waking hours in convincing girls and women particularly the loners who have no boyfriend, not even friends. And I understand that their beginning in Syria and Iraq is just that, a beginning of Islamic State that intends to go global. It seems to me that they are inspired by Alexander the Great who conquered half of the world.
 

charris89

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I believe they're trying to become a global organization, but I highly doubt they'll ever be able to conquer land in other countries. Yes, they took land in Iraq and Syria, however neither of those countries were secure to begin with. The game ISIS is playing right now is a very dangerous. The victory in Paris was a big one for them, but now the sleeping giant has awakened.

Some people like to forget that France is a major power, and also has one of the most lethal Special Forces group in the world. This attack won't be tolerated, and if they keep attacking then they're going to start a full scale war they have no idea how to fight. IS will also have to contend with Russia also. Putin has said he wants to obliterate them. Only time will tell if he's committed, however he's not someone you want to take lightly.

It's true on the 13th, IS triumphed. They can celebrate for the time being, because sooner or later they'll get what's coming to them. I firmly believe in karma and they have a lot of negative karma coming their way. Some day they'll be put down like the animals they are, and on that day civilization will celebrate. I spent a good portion of my life fighting people like this, and it still sickens me that not only will they terrorize other countries, but also their own people. Right now they're on top of the world, but the end is coming for them.
 

djordjem87

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That is one way to look at it but i think there is more to that. I believe they will be able to do as much as they are allowed. Meaning that the war we are heading towards is going to be a controlled one by the great powers. ISIS is just a tool i think and also have a feeling that they overestimated themselves and if they should fail to deliver what was arranged by USA, supposing my theory is correct, they will feel the hand of some new 'merciful angel' mission.
 

artyarson

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Yep, it's definitely going global. Last year we weren't that sure, however the events were pretty much horrific. Filmed beheadings of innocent people and other disgusting stuff. As I understand, Islamic State is very complex and includes both structures: hierarchy and net. The latter makes is tough to destroy them completely, as some elements of the terrorist system would remain alive no matter what.

Russia is now trying to put ISIS down and in fact risking it internal security. Do you think whether it's capable of completing the mission on its own or not? Any opinion would be appreciated!
 

Redheart

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ISIS ideology which advocates the adherence to "fundamental Islamic tenets" has the potential of going global and the vision, establishment of a Caliphate, which is in accordance with ancient prophecies might also be enticing to some extremists who want the lost glories of the Muslim world back. So though ISIS might not go global their ideology can and will unite numerous jihadis.
 

Juanpeace

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The ISIS are now going Global and they are starting in social media sites, promoting their ideology online and giving disillusioned young Muslims a chance to have a meaningful life. I believe the first way to counter a global spread is to track the movement of (ISIS) funds around the world. Next step is to defeat them on their home turf (easier said than done) Arabs should settle these by themselves even if The US military trains thousands of Arab soldiers and they run once they see a marauding group of suicide bombers then the training is down the drain. The long-term goal is for leaders of Western countries to improve the social status of transplanted residents, these are Arabs born in a foreign land like France for example but grew up in a Muslim family. These children if they grew up with no opportunity of success in an adopted homeland is prone to the lure of martyrdom and extremism.
 

Falcon29

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ISIS ideology which advocates the adherence to "fundamental Islamic tenets" has the potential of going global and the vision, establishment of a Caliphate, which is in accordance with ancient prophecies might also be enticing to some extremists who want the lost glories of the Muslim world back. So though ISIS might not go global their ideology can and will unite numerous jihadis.
This is a problem of misinformation among Muslims, there really is no prophecy on end times Caliphate until the very end. There are prophecies of conflicts to take place but not in sense that the conflict will arise due to struggle over creation of religious Empire. Actually most Islamic prophecies mention instability, severe drought which will cause people to demand God's assistance and that is when a supposed savior will emerge to help the people but also preach religion to world, and afterwards a Caliphate will be made. Prior to that though, it is just chaos and stuff.
 
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