We cannot become immune to the atrocities of Isis

The rise of lone wolves acting in the name of the 'caliphate' means the battlefield in the fight against extreme Islamism is inside every country


Sunday 03 July 2016 19:57
People gather at the site of an Isis suicide car bomb in Baghdad
People gather at the site of an Isis suicide car bomb in Baghdad

The terrorist attacks in Dhaka and Baghdad, which followed hard on the heels of the atrocity at Istanbul’s airport, are a reminder that we must not become immune to the atrocities of Isis just because they are becoming more frequent and predictable in style.

It is to be welcomed that Isis and its affiliates are losing ground in its battles in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and Egypt. But there was always likely to be a chilling downside.

Being under military pressure means that Isis feels it needs show its supporters, as well as its enemies, that is still in business and can capture headlines around the world. It was no coincidence that it struck in Baghdad only a week after a highly symbolic defeat at the hands of Iraqi forces in Fallujah, less than an hour’s drive away. To make matters even worse, Isis is also involved in a gruesome battle for supremacy with al-Qaeda.

Isis will not be defeated by military means alone. The battlefield is inside every country. The rise of “lone wolves” acting in the name of Isis, without any direct indoctrination or training, means this is just as important a part of the narrative in the new world order as the economics of a Europe after Brexit.

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