Monday, November 23, 2015

Islamic State Demonstrates Wider Range of Tactics

From earlier, "Scale of #ParisAttacks Underscores Global Threats."

Here's the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, "Islamic State Tactics Shift, Borrowing From al Qaeda."

And now from yesterday at the Los Angeles Times, a great piece, "Islamic State shows the ability to shift to more sophisticated tactics":
Islamic State militants may be under bombardment by a dozen world powers bent on wiping them out, but they have managed to expand their repertoire of terrorist tactics to carry out ever more sophisticated attacks that disrupt Western society.

The band of extremists has succeeded in escalating the pace and scope of deadly attacks with nimble improvisation and the ultimate commitment of its perpetrators: readiness to die for their cause.

In less than a month the extremists professing to be defending their "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq have blown a Russian passenger jet out of the sky with 224 people on board, executed two foreign hostages and terrorized Paris with coordinated strikes at the "soft targets" of a sports stadium, a theater and a pair of lively cafes.

On Friday, militants linked to a fellow Al Qaeda offshoot killed at least 20 people at a luxury hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako.

Aimed at jacking up the death toll and prolonging their time in the media spotlight, Islamic State and its affiliated militias have perfected their operations with practice and put their perceived enemies on notice that there is much more savagery to come.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned in a speech before the National Assembly on Thursday that France and the West face a new kind of war in which "terror is the first goal and the first weapon."

"The ways of striking, of killing, are constantly evolving. The macabre imagination of those giving the orders is without limits: assault rifles, decapitations, human bombs, knives, or all of them at once, carried out by individuals, or in this case, specially organized commandos," Valls said.

Since the cleaving of Islamic State from its Al Qaeda parent two years ago, the militants have shifted from a focus on battling rival Muslim factions in Iraq and Syria to waging multi-pronged attacks that compound their terrorism. The Paris attacks were their first European mission to adopt the methodology of deploying multiple strike forces that combine suicide bombings with random shootings, a hybrid tested in Mumbai, India, in 2008, when 166 were killed in a dozen separate attacks that paralyzed the city for four days.

The "complex operations," as they are called in counter-terrorism parlance, have the advantages, from the perpetrators' perspective, of dispersing law enforcement's response and portraying the militants as an omnipotent force, aiding them in recruiting other extremists...
Keep reading.