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Islamic State declares 'provinces' for PR purposes

Friday, June 28, 2019

Subject

The evolution of Islamic State's 'provinces'.

Significance

Islamic State (IS) has expanded its network abroad since the collapse of its geographical 'caliphate'. Its activities abroad seem to fall into two categories: small networks of ex-combatants and supporters capable of limited urban terrorist attacks, and more structured 'provinces' that claim a cohesive existence, although this is increasingly untrue.

Impacts

  • The more structured IS provinces become, the more they become vulnerable to military attack.
  • Cutting off external cashflows would reduce the ability of functioning IS provincial structures to pay wages and buy arms.
  • Western governments will focus on tracking individuals of interest, especially but not only those returning from the Middle East.
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