During the past year, the Islamic State (IS) has taken control of extensive areas of the Middle East. Its military achievements, extreme and historically unprecedented barbarism, success in recruiting thousands of young people from around the world to its ranks in Iraq and Syria, its store of financial resources and, above all, its skilled use of social and other media to publicize its terrorist acts and spread its propaganda, have all made IS an increasing and alarming threat to global security. Although experts on terrorism, security officials and decision makers worldwide concur that IS poses an unparalleled threat, they disagree about the answers to the following four key questions: What is the nature of the Islamic State?; Are the doctrines of the Islamic State an innovation?; What are the Islamic State’s aspirations? and, What is the Islamic State’s strategic situation? How we answer these four questions will affect not only our understanding of the nature, aims and activities of the Islamic State; it will also dictate what counter-strategy should be implemented in order to stop, if not trounce, the Islamic State.
International Institute for Counter-Terrorism
Date of Publication
Ganor, Boaz. “Four Questions on ISIS: A ‘Trend’ Analysis of the Islamic State.” Perspectives on Terrorism, vol. 9, no. 3, 2015, pp. 56–64.