Jihad 2.0: How Islamic State has changed global terrorism
The Islamic State’s new strategy is to ‘outsource’ attacks to lone wolvesUpdated: Jul 10, 2016 10:57 IST
In just three years since its emergence as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the group based in Raqqa, Syria, has changed the face of global terrorism and thrown up a set of complex challenges for security agencies around the world.
Older terror organisations such as , and closer to home, groups such as Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, have been built around the model of a core leadership and cells of fighters recruited and specially trained to carry out attacks, but the Islamic State has turned this concept on its head by co-opting any jihadi anywhere who is willing to act on its behalf.
The danger posed by such a strategy was driven home to Indian security officials when a group of home-grown jihadis stormed an elite café in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladeshi capital last week and butchered 20 hostages, including a young Indian woman, before they were gunned down.
According to most accounts emerging from Dhaka, the men who carried out the attack – a mix of youngsters educated in Bangladesh’s top schools and universities and madrasa students – had links to the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. And yet it was IS that claimed the attack and posted gruesome photos of the victims, along with an accurate body count, hours before the siege was ended.
The IS outlined its strategy of outsourcing attacks as far back as September 2014, when the group’s spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani essentially said no permission is required for standalone assaults.
In a message advocating attacks by Muslims on civilians in all countries opposing the IS, al-Adnani had said: “Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war (the civilian by belonging to a state waging war against the Muslims).”
The chilling message was repeated in al-Adnani’s speech calling for “lone wolf” attacks during the holy month of Ramzan this year: “The smallest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the largest action by us…Do not ask for anyone’s permission.”
Some of the attacks by the IS and jihadis alligned to the IS in the last three years
- Sept.: IS spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani calls for attacks on US, France and other countries involved in the coalition to destroy the group. He says no permission is required for stand-alone assaults.
- Dec. 16: A gunman allegedly acting on IS’s behalf seizes 17 hostages in a cafe in Sydney, Australia.
- Jan 7: Two gunmen, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, attack the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 11 people. A third assailant, Amedy Coulibaly, carries out a synchronised attack on a kosher supermarket, taking hostages and killing four people. Coulibaly reportedly declares allegiance to the Islamic State.
- Nov. 13: IS carries out a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, killing 130 people.
- Dec. 2: A married couple allegedly inspired by IS kills 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
- June 12:A gunman attacks a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing more than four dozen people and injuring at least 53. The attacker, identified as Omar Mateen, reportedly called police during the attack and pledged allegiance to IS, who later claimed responsibility for the attack.
- June 28: Three suicide bombers kill at least 40 people at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul. The Turkish government suspected that IS was behind the attack.
- July 1: Local jihadis with IS sympathies kill more than 20 people at a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- July 3: IS militants carry out a suicide bombing that kills more than 200 people on a busy shopping street in Baghdad. The attack, which occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, was IS’s deadliest bomb attack on civilians to date.
- July 4: Suicide bombers attack three locations in Saudi Arabia, including the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.
- July 7: Militants attack a police patrol at Sholokia grounds in Bangladesh. Source: Wilson Center