30 December 2015
With the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in June last year, the world faced an unprecedented and an ever-expanding global threat. Throughout this year, ISIS’ operational capabilities and influence spread worldwide from its epicentre in Iraq and Syria.
Next year, ISIS is likely to expand its reach to Africa and Asia, creating satellite provinces of the caliphate known as wilayats. These provinces will seek to implement the ISIS rule of beheadings, mass executions, destruction of historical sites and pillaging that the world witnessed in Iraq and Syria.
Also in the coming year, ISIS will inspire, instigate and direct attacks in Muslim and non-Muslim countries. In battlefields, ISIS will hit hardened targets and, off the battlefields, ISIS will hit soft targets. To exercise and expand control in Muslim lands, ISIS will collaborate with local groups and individuals to hit Shi’ite and Sunni coalition targets. ISIS will seek to strike targets outside the core area in the new year. Most governments are in denial of the ISIS threat, unprepared or underprepared to deal with the looming threat.
A new global terrorist threat landscape will emerge next year. The Al-Qaeda-centric threat landscape is being supplanted by an ISIS-centric threat landscape. ISIS rival Al-Qaeda has not disappeared off the global terrorism screen, but it has diminished in size, strength and influence. Ideologically, both groups are similar, but ISIS is more brutal and barbaric, especially against fellow Muslims who have resisted it, thus turning most Muslims and their governments against the militant group.
… Rohan Gunaratna is head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research and Professor of Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online / Print
Last updated on 30/12/2015