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The declaration of a caliphate last month by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, signaled a major shift. The former al Qaeda affiliate has eschewed being just another branch of a secretive, loose, international network that launches small and occasionally large scale terrorist attacks against soft targets in the West in an effort to force it to disengage from the Muslim world, and across the Muslim world to destabilize and ultimately supplant the regimes there.
Its nascent, quasi "state" could be destroyed if it sponsors a terrorist attack in the West and it knows it. Its focus instead appears to be consolidating and expanding the areas that have already come under its control in Iraq and Syria. Its clarion call to Muslims is not so much to attack the West but to "migrate" East, where it claims "Caliphate" has been restored.
His sermon in a mosque in Mosul was startling. The image of Baghdadi preaching in public mostly about the implications of the establishment of his caliphate and his responsibility to Muslims and theirs to him was a game changer. It was a stark contrast to bin Laden's and his successor, Ayman al Zawahiri's messages, which are recorded in makeshift studios with no audience and remain largely reflective of an organization engaged in a covert, asymmetrical war whose aim is to weaken its adversaries and their "patrons" before it can establish its ultimate goal. Baghdadi portrays al Zawahiri's dream as his current reality.
and recently Israelis to sort out their conflicts. Unless ISIS makes it so by planning a major terrorist attack in the West, the latter will likely adhere to its new mantra: "It's not our war."
That does not mean that ISIS will abjure the barbaric violence, insidious sectarianism and abhorrent intolerance that have been the hallmarks of al Qaeda. However, there are indications that Baghdadi's declaration may be more than mere delusions of grandeur. The Islamic State is starting to act less like a "base" from which to plan terrorist attacks and more like a very violent "state."
The West may find solace in the fact that ISIS has many enemies in the Arab and Muslim worlds. In addition to al Assad and al Maliki, Sunni led Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Jordan, see it as a terrorist organization committed to their destruction.
While the West has never been comfortable with Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon, it has largely left it up to the countries of the wider Middle East to deal with these militant, Islamist organizations. as the "systematic, industrial style slaughter and forced starvation killings" being carried out by Syrian President Bashar al Assad, the West appears unwilling to intervene militarily to stop the catastrophic war in Syria.
In addition to controlling more territory than any al Qaeda branch ever has, ISIS has commandeered heavy weaponry from Iraqi security forces that have failed to defend Sunni majority areas. Its total assets in cash and weapons are estimated at about $2 billion.
Sunnis, Sufis and even Christians. While many will unfortunately suffer from ISIS brutality, its violent ideology and brutality makes its endurance over the long term unlikely.
As the international community contemplates what should be done about the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) the brutal al Qaeda offshoot that now controls a wide swath of territory spread across the Iraqi Syrian border the West, with the United States at its helm, may decide that while ISIS constitutes an imminent threat to the security of the countries in whose midst it has risen, a "wait and see" approach, remains a viable option for a simple reason: Unlike other al Qaeda branches, ISIS doesn't seem eager to attack the West. It has too much to lose.
The world grew accustomed to Osama bin Laden's audio and video messages from undisclosed locations in which he railed about Western "crusaders" and their Adidas Originals Trainers Pink "agents" in the Arab and Muslim worlds and vowed to bring death and destruction to both. Although what appears to be Baghdadi's first audio message after the declaration of the caliphate still hit on those themes, war against the West doesn't seem to be his focus.
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Its rapid advances in Iraq also indicate that it has learned from other al Qaeda affiliates' mistakes, as it has forged tentative alliances with some Sunni tribes and ex Baathists. Its propaganda makes clear that the group is committed to presenting itself as an entity that can actually govern and that can provide the public goods and services including security that weak or oppressive states fail to provide. In short, it is adopting the Hamas and Hezbollah model.
Many will argue that al Qaeda has repeatedly attacked the West in the past and has vowed to do so again. However, ISIS is unlike any al Qaeda affiliate. It has accomplished what "al Qaeda central" and other affiliates have failed to do for years. Thanks to al Assad's brutality, it was able to craft a jihadist narrative that made Syria the favorite destination of thousands of Islamist militants. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki's sectarianism and his inept military that has seceded entire cities to ISIS, lent credibility to the notion that an Adidas Neo White 2018
As it has done in Syria, and contrary to its grandiose claims of restoring the dignity of Muslims, ISIS has systematically terrorized anyone who stands in its way, including Shia, Adidas Neo Lite Racer Mens
Can the West live with 'brutal' ISIS
Islamic "state" actually exists.
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