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ISIS Could be Weakening, Makes U.S Threat

todayNovember 19, 2015 3

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by Kasandra Garza
News reporter

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Photo by Emily Parma

Following the recent Paris terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS, the Islamic State is now threatening to bring similar attacks to Washington D.C.

Since the attacks, more than half of the nation’s governors have stated they will not let Syrian refugees into their state, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

ISIS has gained their control through the extraction and production of oil in the Middle East. This is how ISIS is able to fund the materials used for terrorist activities.

Jeremy Wells, political science lecturer for international politics, said ISIS is “interesting” because of how the organization has been able to recruit people from all over the world with different backgrounds. With more than 20,000 foreign fighters, ISIS has recruited people from all walks of life.

Wells said particularly youth are joining ISIS, possibly because they aren’t aware of what it really is. Wells added that individuals are joining ISIS then immediately want out once they see how people are treated and how they terrorize others.

However, to say ISIS is “powerful” is not an adequate statement, Wells said.

ISIS is not politically powerful, nor is it militarily powerful. ISIS claims to be a “state,” hence the “Islamic State.” However, the political response to ISIS has been in opposition. ISIS has been rejected by full state systems and has not gained international recognition as a political entity.

Wells said the Paris terrorist attacks show ISIS is losing ground.

“I think the attacks actually indicated a weakness for ISIS not really strength,” Wells said. “I think lashing out in this manner shows ISIS is having to take the fight beyond their control.”

ISIS has been called an anti-western, anti-establishment reactionary movement that opposed what had been going on for the last several decades in the Middle East.

Wells said he believes over the last year, ISIS has shown its “true colors.” And following the attacks in Paris, ISIS support will begin to decline.

Wells said the response to the Paris terrorist attacks can go either two ways.

The crackdown in France and the U.S on suspected terrorists and fears among politicians and society of Muslims, society can face “serious backlash” and ISIS will gain support.

“I think this could be taken as a clear sign that there are strong elements within the US and I think the western world in general that aren’t accepting of Muslims and of Islam. I think that will create a rallying point for ISIS. That could cause a worsening of the situation.”

On the other hand, if society were to respond positively and not exclude certain races, ethnicities and religions, it would weaken the appeal of ISIS.

Following the Paris attacks, Obama announced his plan to continue to strategically bomb ISIS as the war continues.

Wells said he doesn’t believe this is an effective plan. Wells said strategic bombing is not capable of eliminating a government, but rather increasing the cost of continued action.

Wells said as military forces continue to weaken ISIS, society should expect to see more Paris-like attacks in the future.

“I think as ISIS weakens the likelihood of seeing more similar kinds of attacks will only go up,” Wells said.

Wells said in regards to the D.C threat, D.C is the least likely places to see an attack and it has been since 9/11. The number of obstacles an attacker will have to go through to get to a target like Washington D.C or even New York City “wouldn’t be worth the effort.”

Major cities such as New York and D.C are going to be on alert, making the probability of there being successful attack incredibly low.

Wells said though people believe ISIS emerged after the invasion of 2003, it depends on what people think Iraq would look like today if the invasion hadn’t happened.

“To say that the invasion lead to the emergence of ISIS, I don’t think that’s a completely true,” Wells said. “I think it’s one of the factors that lead to the emergence of ISIS but I think there could have been plenty of things that could have resulted in the same outcome without the invasion.”

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