mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Terrorist Ripple Effects
ISIS the Image-Maker

Amid growing outcry and alarm about ISIS, from its genocidal slaughter of the Yazidis to the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley, the U.S. and other Western nations are discussing bombing militant positions in Syria. Many observers, however, have warned that this will be a long fight against an elusive enemy, one that will require a substantial amount of military aid, money, and perhaps even troops.

In the Jerusalem Post, Yoram Schweitzer argues that ISIS can be beaten back, but even then it will have changed jihadism forever. ISIS, he writes, has not yet tested itself against a well-armed and well-trained military, and it has only gained ground in territories without effective leadership. Still, it is setting an example for terrorists worldwide:

Its actions have broken customary limits and practices and brought about murderous and destructive practices which are likely to transform the norms of this type of conflict and serve as a source of inspiration and imitation for other organizations identifying with the idea of global jihad. The vast financial resources and advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft missiles, held by ISIS are likely to be transferred to other terror organizations operating in the Middle East and beyond.

Also, ISIS’s rule over the territory which connects western Iraq with northern and eastern Syria has turned it into a safe haven which could be used as a base for advancing subversive operations and spreading terrorism, which could further destabilize the region. Such a territory, controlled by an extreme factor with messianic tendencies, will allow Salafi jihad terrorists from around the world to find refuge, use it as an exit point for terrorist activity and return to it again as a safe point afterwards. It will serve as a base for training, transfer of people and weapons, and turn al-Qaida’s vision from two decades ago into a nightmarish reality.

Read the whole thing here, for a sobering view of this game-changing threat.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    How is ISIS any different than Al Qaeda? Both take root in lawless Islamic territories. Both murder innocent people in the name of God (he must be pissed). Both impose the backward and barbaric Shariah laws that legalize slavery, rape, murder, and unjust taxation. And both are weak terrorist groups that can’t face combat with quality military forces and must attack with IED’s, suicide bombers, and against unarmed civilians to gain any success at all.

    • B-Sabre

      Al-Qaeda never got out of the “terrorist” stage of having to hide either in desolate regions or under the skirts of a state sponsor. ISIS has moved from being terrorists to insurgents to…revolutionaries? They have fielded a conventional army, are acting like a (horrific) government, and aren’t hiding from anybody. Functional comparisons to Hamas or the Khmer Rouge are more applicable now than to classic Al Qaeda.

      Both ISIS and Al-Qaeda have their roots in Saudi Wahhabism, and the Devil’s Bargain the House of Saud chose to become the rulers of the Arabian peninsula.

      • Jacksonian_Libertarian

        I don’t think we should spend one red cent trying to stop the Jihadists from killing each other. In fact as long as they are focusing all their resources on killing each other, they will be reduced to begging for Jihadists in the west to take action on their own in murdering innocent men, women, and children.

  • Anthony

    “The organization has transformed into a notorious global brand synonymous with terrorism” Now, how did this surreptitiously occur despite state conditions in both Syria and Iraq?

  • FriendlyGoat

    At what point does “ISIS, the Image Maker” cause moderate Muslims around the world to decide that they have been deceived about their whole religion from the day they were born. It’s true that, so far, we are seeing ISIS acting as a magnet for nuts. But, we have to hope that they are going to cook up the opposite effect with some people.

    As for the West, well fuggedaboud that “religion of peace” pablum we’ve been trying to feed ourselves. A few years of ISIS is indeed going to “make an image”.

    But ISIS is not the true Islam, some will say. Good luck selling that.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service