How Important is it for Westerners to understand The Islamic State of Mind?

(United States)

he world has never seen anything quite like the Islamic State.

This terrorist pseudo-state appears to have somehow surpassed the savagery of al Qaeda, the organization that spawned it and that executed the worst terrorist attack in history on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Islamic State’s savagery and its rapid spread have made even the radical Islamic Republic of Iran appear moderate and pragmatic by comparison. In spite of Iran being well known as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, an enabler of 9/11, an enabler of the Islamic State itself, and a genocidal regime ambitious for nuclear weapons, the United States government has partially allied with it to defeat the Islamic State.

Such is the power of social media and hd videos of beheadings, crucifixions and other gory executions committed by terrorists waving black flags. Such is the effect of overrunning whole cities, seizing American-made tanks and guns and ammunition from national armies, and then declaring a caliphate.

When the Islamic State became a “caliphate,” its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, became “the imam and caliph for the Muslims everywhere,” the group’s spokesman said in a statement in June 2014. That meant all Muslims, jihadists or otherwise, according to the statement, had to pledge their allegiance to the Islamic State and Caliph Baghdadi. “The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations,” said the spokesman, “becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.”

Charles Lister, visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, called this brazen declaration “likely the most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11.” The Islamic State essentially picked a fight with everyone on the planet who did not already support it.

Now, everyone is fighting back. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Russia and Iran are launching ever increasing air strikes from an ever expanding anti-Islamic State coalition. By nearly all accounts, the defeat of the Islamic State is inevitable and imminent.

The big question is, what happens after the Islamic State is defeated?

The Islamic State is apparently about to share a fate similar to Libya in the 1980s, the Taliban in 2001, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003, Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda in 2011, and others who were identified as enemies in the war on terror.

But what is that fate? Annihilation?

Far from it.

After the Islamic State is defeated and perhaps Baghdadi is imprisoned and awaiting trial, what will happen? Will its black flag disappear? Will its tens of thousands of gunmen and executioners go back home and get a job? Will its ideology fail and dissipate into oblivion?

Or will its unstable, disruptive nature continue to roil under the surface, as in Libya? Will it morph into something else, as Saddam Hussein’s forces morphed into insurgency groups like the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order and the 1920 Revolution Brigades? Will it retreat and resurge in bloody insurgent warfare until even its enemies allow it to regain much of its power, as in Afghanistan with the Taliban? Will it splinter into other groups, as al Qaeda divided into splinters—one of them being the Islamic State itself?

Read More...https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/14186.18.189.0/world/terrorism/the-islamic-state-of-mind

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