National Security

The Islamic State's Global Reach

The recent spate of attacks shows that ISIL is anything but "contained."

Lewis Morris · Jul. 6, 2016

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the Islamic State’s demise are not only greatly exaggerated, but they are woefully ignorant.

Since the mid-June attack in Orlando, which leftists scrambled to blame on guns and homophobia rather than radical Islamic fundamentalism, the Islamic State has admitted to or inspired a series of attacks around the world. Terrorism experts note that the recent spate of attacks coincide with Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that ends the month-long Ramadan fast.

Three attacks in Saudi Arabia, a nation whose government is completely illegitimate in the eyes of the Islamic State, were meant to demonstrate the terrorist organization’s reach and power. The attacks all took place on Monday, carried out by suicide bombers in three cities. In Qatif, one or two bombs went off near a Shi'ite mosque. Two people were wounded in a suicide attack near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah. And the largest attack of all took place in Medina near security headquarters at the Prophet’s Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam.

These bold attacks followed carnage that included deadly attacks in Turkey and Iraq — the latter a bombing in Baghdad that killed 250, the single deadliest since the U.S. invasion in 2003. There was also a major attack in Bangladesh, where a hostage situation ended in the deaths of 20 hostages, including one American, many of them hacked to death for their inability to recite passages from the Koran. Reports are that the jihadis separated Muslims and non-Muslims, killing the latter.

The one good thing that might come out of the attack in Bangladesh is that the government there can no longer ignore the threat posed by radical Islamic fundamentalism. Bangladesh is one of the most populous countries in the world, and until recently its leader, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has refused to acknowledge the danger that Islamic State recruitment is posing to the nation.

Sound familiar?

Unlike Hasina, however, it’s virtually assured that Barack Obama won’t open his eyes to the danger ISIL poses. He’s far too invested in the narrative of having decimated our terrorist enemies.

Obama has a long, virtually unbroken track record of playing down and ignoring the threat of Islamic terrorism to this country. Yet we’re seeing terrorist attacks happening on our soil with increasing frequency, a reality we hoped to avoid after September 11. The commander in chief bears responsibility for this metastasizing threat in large part because of his disastrous withdrawal from Iraq. For the sake of political expediency and the selfish goal of protecting his own legacy for the history books, Obama would have us believe that the Don’t-Call-It Islamic State poses no real threat.

These recent attacks disprove his contention that ISIL is “contained” to the Middle East and that it is in its “death throes” as members of the Leftmedia have wistfully stated. The recent ISIL terror attacks actually prove that the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq and Syria, if it can be called that, is not having the desired effect of reducing the terrorist organization’s power or reach. They’re also a reminder that the Islamic State’s reach is global and it is not going away unless we deal with it head on.

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