The Islamic State is crumbling — if too slowly. More than two years have passed since French President François Hollande promised, “We will bomb Raqqa“. Sooner or later, ISIS will probably be reduced to a small enclave with no territorial continuity, and its chief, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, will be eliminated. It would, nevertheless, be most dangerous to dismiss these three years as a short parenthesis: Nazism did not last as long: “just” 12 years in power and five at war with the rest of Europe. The physical and cultural consequences of the Nazi tyranny are, unfortunately, still visible in Europe. The same will be said of the Islamic State. Three years of terror and conquests are not bad in for a war between the Caliphate vs. everyone else.
ISIS will leave behind an unprecedented terrorist infrastructure (277 Europeans killed on European soil in two years). If ISIS is retreating in Mosul, it is rapidly advancing in Manchester. The Caliphate is winning its war in Europe. Six months ago in the Britain, the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, the ultra-pacifist Labour party leader who blamed the “war on terror” for the recent attacks in Manchester and London, would have been unthinkable. His success is clearly linked to the recent bloodshed in British streets.
In the West, ISIS has assailed parliaments in Ottawa, cafés in Copenhagen, beaches in Nice, social centers in San Bernardino, metros and airports in Brussels, music festivals in Manchester, theaters, sports stadiums, restaurants and kosher markets in Paris, churches in Rouen, Christmas markets in Berlin, malls in Stockholm. Not bad for a “JV team“, as Barack Obama called the Caliphate.
ISIS has been an unparalleled attraction for the umma, the world community of the Islamic faithful: about 30,000 Muslims around the world — 6,000 from Europe — have left their homes to fight under the deadly black flag of the Caliph. ISIS was able to build a global network of terror. Jihadist groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in Egypt, Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Caucasus Emirate in Russia, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, along with others, have all pledged allegiance to ISIS. The Caliphate has also become the wealthiest terror group in history. Sebastian Gorka, a White House advisor on radical Islam, said: “The attacks of September 11, 2001, cost barely $500,000. ISIS makes that in six hours! Do you feel safe?”
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