Inside ISIS: Quietly preparing for the loss of the ‘caliphate’

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Source: The Washington Post

Even as it launches waves of terrorist attacks around the globe, the Islamic State is quietly preparing its followers for the eventual collapse of the caliphate it proclaimed with great fanfare two years ago.
In public messages and in recent actions in Syria, the group’s leaders are acknowledging the terrorist organization’s declining fortunes on the battlefield while bracing for the possibility that its remaining strongholds could fall.At the same time, the group is vowing to press on with its recent campaign of violence, even if the terrorists themselves are driven underground. U.S. counterterrorism experts believe the mass-­casualty attacks in Istanbul and Baghdad in the past month were largely a response to military reversals in Iraq and Syria.

Such terrorist acts are likely to continue and even intensify, at least initially, analysts say, as the group evolves from a quasi-state with territorial holdings to a shadowy and diffuse network with branches and cells on at least three continents.

Iraqi forces are advancing towards Mosul, the largest city held by the militant group.(Reuters)

Indeed, while the loss of a physical sanctuary would constitute a major blow to the Islamic State — severely limiting, for example, its ability to raise money, train recruits or plan complex terrorist operations — the group’s highly decentralized nature ensures that it will remain dangerous for some time to come, according to current and former U.S. officials and terrorism experts.

“Where al-Qaeda was hierarchical and somewhat controlled, these guys are not. They have all the energy and unpredictability of a populist movement,” said Michael Hayden, the retired Air Force general who headed the CIA from 2006 to 2009.

Islamic State officials, in public statements and in interviews, insist that the group’s “caliphate” project remains viable while also acknowledging that military setbacks have forced a change in strategy.

“While we see our core structure in Iraq and Syria under attack, we have been able to expand and have shifted some of our command, media and wealth structure to different countries,” a longtime Islamic State operative, speaking through an Internet-based audio service, said in an interview.

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2 replies

  1. They, (selfcalled ‘is’, unfit for any other), are nothing more than a makeshift prelude to the scriptureweilding jews with world domination in mind, their (‘is’), mentality is born of the Koran, (an extension of judaism scriptures).

  2. The end result aught to be such. It was show of non Muslim stake holders and did not materialize as planned.

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