After The Caliphate: What Is the Future of ISIS?

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-12-55-64

A. Yashlavskii (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. A loss of the territories which were under control of the terrorist group “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq has significantly weakened the extremists’ facilities not only on the battlefields in these countries. The ISIS propaganda machine is undermined, too. However, it does not mean a complete victory over the “Islamic State”. The group still demonstrates a capability to adapt to new conditions, proceeds with the use of new tactics (a sabotage and guerrilla activity, terrorist attacks, etc.). The IS transformation from a “quasi-state” towards a global terrorist organization without a territorial bond designates considerable increase of this group’s peril on a regional and global level. The continuing instability in the conflict zone raises serious concerns referring to a capability of the ISIS revitalization and even some kind of revenge (including a takeover of territories). There is also a possibility of IS militants’ relocation to different regions of the world both in conflict areas (Afghanistan, Yemen, Lybia, etc.) and other countries (not excepting European countries and Russia). In this context, there is a real danger of foreign Jihadi fighters’ returning to their home countries for sabotage and terrorist activities, as well as for creation of “autonomous Jihad” sleeper cells. The ISIS will continue to inspire its present-day followers and recruit new ones (especially among young people) in different countries of the world. It makes coordination of international counter-terrorist efforts and use of “smart force” against the IS necessary. 

Keywords: extremism, Islamism, Salafi Jihadism, Islamic State, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Boko Haram, Middle East, terrorism, ISIS, ISIL, IS, Caliphate 


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For citation:
Yashlavskii A. After The Caliphate: What Is the Future of ISIS?. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 12, pp. 55-64.

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