There has been a sharp increase in the number of terrorist attacks taking place in the name of Islam recently. For example, on the 13/06/2016 in Orlando, Florida, a man shot dead 49 people in a nightclub. Much of these attacks have been facilitated by, or linked to, the Islamic State group. ISIS has emerged as the flagship jiadi organization, superseding Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda and ISIS Are Competing for Fighters and Resources
This is perhaps the first time that there has been such extreme competition between jihadi groups. They are competing for territory in countries such as Syria, as well as competing for new fighters/members, especially from countries in Asia, Europe & America. Daesh has worked hard to portray itself in a way that is attractive to Muslims, even to those living in countries such as the UK. They have been able to achieve this via their comprehensive propaganda campaigns on social media. Well-edited videos of executions by the group have perhaps been their most effective way of gaining an international reputation of brutality and sheer force.
Despite their success, ISIS has not been able to carry out an attack as substantial as 9/11. This is possibly because security and intelligence forces are better equipped and trained to deal with such a threat. However, even with the heightened levels of security, the organization could launch a devastating attack if they are not dealt with swiftly.
ISIS is Losing Territory in Syria & Iraq
The group has lost a substantial amount of ground in both Syria and Iraq, with the Iraqi army recently seizing the city of Fallujah. We can expect this trend to continue over the next few months, with the Russians providing significant military support to the Syrian army, and with the US and its partners assisting the Iraqi forces, as well as the Kurds (in both Syria and Iraq.) However, territorial loses in Syria & Iraq won’t necessarily translate into a reduction in the number of attacks that they are able to launch in countries such as the USA or Germany.