The Islamic state promised a caliphate. Lands ruled under strict Islamic law. It was a physical state. It could only exist if it held territory. Territory such as places like Mosul, Fallujah and Raqqa. Armies are now beating the terrorists back.
Any loss of territory will damage the Islamic State. Their ability to recruit, train and plan is hurt. The caliphate leaders are starting to prepare people for the loss of cities and power. They are retreating from their boast of two years ago. The caliphate is not going to happen soon.
It looks like the Islamic State terrorists have a new plan. The plan is to terrorize people. The plan is to bomb and conduct massive shootings in cities around the world. The plan is happening in Europe, and in the Middle East as well.
An observer thinks the terrorists might go from trying to be a state to something else. They may become a network with branches and cells on three continents.
The Islamic State knows its fighters are retreating. They know they might lose all their territory.
An expert said, “They do not want to lose territory. They are trying to remind people they have a long history. They are going to persist just as they did in earlier times.” An expert said al-Qaeda was more controlled. The Islamic State is more like a movement. It will be harder to know what they are planning.
The terrorists are putting a brave front. One said, “Our core structure is under attack. People are still reaching out and telling us they want to come to the caliphate. We tell them to stay in their countries and wait to do something there.”
An Islamic State worker said, “There is a message to all members of the coalition against us. We will not forget, and we will come into your countries and hit you one way or the other.”
A Western official said, “The next step has begun.”
Source: The Washington Post July 12, 2106