Islamic State Still Enough Tough
Although Islamic State is losing fighters and territory in Iraq and Syria, it remained the world’s deadliest militant organization last year, according to a report from the University of Maryland.
Islamic State operatives carried out more than 1,400 attacks last year and killed more than 7,000 people, a roughly 20 percent increase over 2015, according to the university’s Global Terrorism Database. The increase occurred even as overall militant attacks worldwide and resulting deaths fell by about 10 percent in 2016. Islamic State claimed credit for the van attack in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday (17/08) that killed 13 people, as well as a knife attack in Russia on Saturday that wounded up to eight people.
It is unclear if the claims are accurate. But senior United States counterterrorism officials said the latest attacks fit a pattern in which the group adapted to significant battlefield setbacks in Syria and Iraq, where its control of territory peaked in August 2014, by intensifying calls for attacks by individuals or small groups using whatever means possible.
In addition to violence tied to Islamic State’s core group in Iraq and Syria, other groups affiliated with it carried out more than 950 attacks last year that killed nearly 3,000 people.
In 2016, four additional groups pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Affiliates in Bangladesh, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan-Pakistan and the Philippines killed significantly more people and executed more attacks than in the previous year. Most of the affiliates were already engaged in conflicts before allying with Islamic State, said a senior State Department official. Islamic State “was able to manipulate and hijack” them, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The group also has issued more calls for its followers to carry out lone-wolf attacks such as those that occurred in recent years in Orlando, Florida, San Bernardino, California, London and Manchester, England, and Nice, France. “During this same time period, we saw an increase in the number of individual assailants,” said Erin Miller, author of the University of Maryland study.
Since September 2014, when the international coalition fighting Islamic State was formed, the militant group has encouraged followers to strike coalition nations with any weapon available. “If you are not able to find an IED [improvised explosive device] or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car,” spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani told the group’s followers in 2014. He was killed by a US air strike last September. “These calls increased as the US-led coalition continued targeting the group, with ISIS media releases and social media accounts of its fighters regularly calling for attacks in warring countries,” said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant groups online.
Since its first issue last September, Islamic State’s monthly Rumiyah magazine has provided detailed attack guides, including directions on how to perform stabbing and vehicular attacks, and to strike economic and religious targets.
University of Marryland report has shown that Islamic State still have a deadly capability to launch their attacks in anywhere, anyplace and any targets. So, those report can use as “mirror” that fighting against terrorism is a long journey and its must be tackled seriously and intensively.
The endurance power of terror group likes Islamic State to launch their attacks have been controlled by their militant spirit and their steadfastness to be loyal and to be serious to implement their death warrant. A terror group attacks had been launched with the higher act of valor from them because they believe that their sacrifation didn’t vain or useless.
Islamic State operatives carried out more than 1,400 attacks last year had been shown that Islamic State is a deadliest terror group and they have more resources to make their struggle has been sustained. Those data also describing that Islamic State members have a strong determination and will to build caliphate system in their world which they will be ruled the world.
Islamic State’s strikes was occurred in Orlando, Florida, San Bernardino, California in USA, London and Manchester in England, Nice (France), Berlin (Germany), Istambul (Turkey), Barcelona (Spain) and Russia have been shown that Islamic State’s main group and their “sleeper cells” or lone wolves strikes didn’t detect earlier by security and an intelligence apparatus in USA, England, Spain, France, Russian, Germany and Turkey. Those attacks had been shown that Islamic State’s branches has been growing and spreading in USA, Europe and other countries including Indonesia.
Islamic State’s monthly Rumiyah magazine has provided detailed attack guides, including directions on how to perform stabbing and vehicular attacks, and to strike economic and religious targets. Those fact and data have been given us to be more alert on the future of Islamic State’s strike because every Islamic State’s attacks is a deadliest and jeopardizing for humankind.
Stabbing, vehicular atatcks, strike economic and religious targets can be happened everytime and everysecond, and we don’t have a perfect information or A-1 information about the coming plan of Islamc State’s strike. However as the impact of Islamic State losing their terrain in Iraq and Syria, its could be predicted that the next Islamic State didn’t launch by their main organization because its any possibilities if Islamic State’s has been collapsed, but their next strikes could be done by lone-wolves or other radical and militant groups who had been sworn or pledged to Islamic State.
Finally, we don’t an under-estimate to the capability of the remnants of Islamic State members wherever they are exist because we must believe that Islamic State members has been lurking our alertness to tackle their attack. If they saw our alertness didn’t strong, Islamic State members as a notorious people will attack us and if it is happen, it will make a furror effect. Eventhough most of Islamic States had been nabbed in several countries, they still enough tough to lauch perils and deadly attacks. Watch out.
*) Agung Wahyudin, a terror observer at LSISI, Jakarta.