Wanted to share a couple of posts from John Robb’s always thought-provoking blog Global Guerillas. He’s got some interesting thoughts on what the recent attacks in Orlando and Paris might mean for the future of global terrorism. If this is truly the direction that Isis is taking their recruiting tactics, it gives them a reach that no terrorist group we’ve dealt with before has had. Europe has suffered from terror attacks much more than the U.S., in large part because of its proximity to the Middle East, but also because the U.S. generally does a better job of integrating immigrants into local communities. The tactic that John Robb describes in these pieces might allow Isis or other groups that come along after them to radicalize and empower individuals within otherwise integrated communities.
As Robb says, “The lone wolf terrorist does not exist.” But through the internet and the use of online communities, terrorist networks can find the individuals within these communities that feel isolated and frustrated and angry. They can give these men a new community to be a part of, one that echoes their anger and resentment and tells them that’s the right way to feel. And now, through this new tactic of making promises in exchange for fealty that is consecrated by an act of terror, they have a way to inspire these otherwise isolated individuals into action. This may be the new shape of terrorism in the 21st century.