THE beheading of a second American journalist and the continuing acts of barbarism by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) that are tactically dispatched as propaganda materials over social media are sending a repugnant horror to well-meaning citizens of the world--and should now be raising the bar of political consensus among strategic world leaders.
But more than the horrible spectacle being peddled to its global audience, the ISIS, which has declared a self-styled caliphate, holds roughly a third of Iraq and Syria, including several strategically important cities like Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. According to media reports, it now rules over a population of several million people that adheres to its fundamental religious perspective--the strict interpretation of the Islamic law. It has now its own civil administration and judiciary and claims thousands of heavily arms fighters that are recruited from all over the world.
"It acts as a state in areas that don't have a state at the moment. It's effective because it provides services, it has a military presence, it speaks as a state," said Hassan Hassan, an analyst at the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi, as reported by Associated Press. In propaganda videos now going viral in social media, this group lays out ambitious expansion plans that include global targets. "They represent a great threat to humanity. These groups don't just want to conquer a piece of territory and stay there. Their objective is the whole world," said Amel Shamon Nona, the Chaldean archbishop of Mosul in an interview over Vatican Radio. "There is reason to be worried and the possibility is real. I'm really worried," said Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela in Basilan who is in constant grip with a local terrorist group.
It is well organized, heavily bankrolled, sophisticated and, maybe, over the league of the Third Reich of Germany's Adolf Hitler. While Hitler's soldiers were all Germans, the military recruits of ISIS emerge from all over the world; Muslims who presumably spouse the same jihadist perspective and fervor. They are well trained and heavily indoctrinated. After their brush of barbarism with the ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria, it must be chilling to watch when these recruits return to their respective countries or when sent on mission to global targets.
Definitely a hundred times bigger than Al Qaeda that took the Americans 10 years to neutralize, ISIS is the new face of terrorism.