Western intelligence officials in Jordan intercepted Islamic State orders to its affiliates to spread terror at home, instead of focusing on bolstering the caliphate in Iraq and Syria, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The intercept comes after ISIS killed nearly 300 people in four different countries in just one week. The attacks targeted both local citizens and foreigners, demonstrating the group’s prime aim of grabbing headlines by indiscriminately killing as many possible. The group’s call comes amid consistent loss of territory under direct control of the so called “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.
While the group has lost some territory and major cities it controls in Iraq and Syria, it still operates a vast financial and virtual network of support. This network can sustain guerrilla terrorist operations across the globe for decades to come. The group maintains a vast global affiliate network that will remain even if the core ISIS territory is seized.
ISIS’s affiliates continue to wreak havoc across the globe, swelling to nearly 7,000 in Libya, and bringing down a Russian airliner in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula. The terrorist group’s affiliate is reportedly surging in Afghanistan, and recently declared new chapters in Bangladesh and the Philippines. Despite the supposed lack of “strategic victory,” the terrorist group has superseded al-Qaida in the global jihad movement.
The Obama administration sees the calls for an attack as a sign its strategy is working. The Pentagon often measures its success against ISIS in terms of removing territory from their direct control. The Obama administration was not surprised by the slew of attacks, and would not adjust its strategy against the terrorist group, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters July 5.
ISIS also has thousands of Western foreign fighters, which in some cases have returned home without detection. Several of the terrorists in the November, 2015, Paris attacks had traveled to Syria for training. Many of the Western fighters have passports that would allow them to enter the U.S. without a visa, under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
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