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ISIL’s European strategy

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Image of ISIL fighters taken from Dabiq magazine [Al Jazeera]

by  @DrOmarAshour (AJE)

Omar Ashour is Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in University of Exeter.

Terrorist attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) affiliates and sympathisers over the past year have raised alarms in Europe, but they have not yet reached the frequency Europe experienced in the 1970s, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

However, whereas previous waves of terrorism in Europe stemmed from internal conflicts, today’s deadly surge is linked to instability outside the continent.

Two modes of operation

The latest attacks are emerging from the political vacuum left by fallen dictators in the Middle East and North Africa.

So, just as there seems to be no end in sight for the violence in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, or for Egypt’s extreme polarisation, or for the fragile security situation in Tunisia and Algeria, there is little reason to believe that attacks in Europe will end anytime soon.


Terrorism: Learning to live with it

People are surprisingly good at coping with repeated terrorist attacks. In America and Europe, they may have to be

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