21 February 2017
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken to crowdsourcing local attacks to make up for its losses in the Middle East. This has become a major plank of the group’s strategy to expand its radical reach and inflict global violence.
ISIS with a self-styled caliph has been hierarchical in its internal command within Iraq and Syria, and the management of its wilayats (provinces). The group has a rank-and-file structure that directly oversees its members’ activities. Yet somewhat paradoxically, it crowdsources for lone wolves to partake in violence in its name. Indeed its hierarchical approach and crowdsourcing endeavours are complementary. The weakening of its central command in the face of attacks will see a strengthening of its crowdsourcing strategy.
Crowdsourcing as a strategy fits well with the group’s current objective. It can rely heavily on ISIS’ transnational support network to obtain its needed service to inflict terror. Moreover, this mode of sourcing allows ISIS to divide the work between numerous participants to achieve an impactful cumulative result. The group can easily exploit its network by crowdsourcing from these radical milieus – those who share their perspective and objectives, who approve of certain forms of violence, and who (at least to a certain extent) support the violent group morally and logistically – to pursue its agenda.
… Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff is a Senior Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 22/02/2017