The Islamic State is now attacking beyond the Muslim world. How they manage to hit the United States will depend on the degree to which American Muslims buy into their message and on law enforcers’ ability to thwart them.
One of the most unsettling aspects of Islamic State’s growth is the extent to which it attracts Westerners unlikely to have jihadist sympathies. These lone actors seem to be looking for any available alternative to the current system.
The borders drawn up at the end of World War I in what was left of the Ottoman Empire have often been accused of being arbitrary. Islamists, however, see them as a colonial imposition that must be rectified.
Egypt and Tunisia were the first to infect the rest of the Arab world with their contagious rebellions. While Tunisia seems to be moving toward a true transition, Egypt had returned firmly to military rule.
With the ouster of President Morsi, Egypt’s military has for all intents and purposes consigned the Muslim Brotherhood to where it has long been most effective – in the opposition. But it may be too late to go back.
The terror franchise that changed how governments think about security may be debilitated, but its message not only continues to spread, it also adapts to local contingencies. How are Western governments adapting their strategies?