What Would We Do Without Protection from the Government? You can destroy nearly anyone, at any time, and do it within the realm of the lex-icon, lawless legal system under the benign use of protecting citizens. And they will love you for it. [MORE] and [MORE]
Under the headline, “Why a ‘Dramatic Dip’ in ISIS Attacks in the West Is Scant Comfort“, on behalf of the vested interests, the NYT re-assures the public to remain alert but rest assured the Government will keep you safe as long as you continue to give it power:
“The attacks seemed to come one after another: 130 dead on the floor of the Bataclan concert hall and on the streets of Paris. Eighty-six mowed down on Nice’s historic promenade. Twenty-two people, many of them teenage girls, killed at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Since the lightning rise of the Islamic State in 2014, law enforcement has scrambled to stop an endless array of plots. It is only now, more than four years after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate, that the cadence has finally slowed.
Islamic State attacks in the West fell steeply in 2018 compared with the previous four years, the first time the number has fallen since 2014. But the number of attempted attacks remained steady, suggesting that the group remains committed to carrying out catastrophic harm.The difference, analysts say, is that law enforcement is increasingly foiling the plots.
The Islamic State remains the world’s deadliest terrorist organization, and its attacks are on the rise in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. But in the West, not only has the number of attacks plummeted, but the devastation inflicted by each has also declined.
The Islamic State carried out 14 successful attacks in Europe and North America in 2015, 22 in 2016 and 27 in 2017, according to data collected by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. But in the first eight months of this year, it only carried out four.
“It’s an absolutely dramatic dip,” said the program’s director, Lorenzo Vidino.
The scale of attacks has also fallen. The largest toll in a single attack fell from 130 in 2015, to 86 in 2016, to 22 at the pop concert in Manchester in 2017. So far in 2018, the worst single-day toll was in the aisles of a supermarket in Trèbes, France, where a man acting in the name of the Islamic State gunned down three people in March.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has lost 99 percent of the land it once held in Iraq and Syria, and the fight to evict it from the last vestige started this week. Some analysts have linked the drop in activity to the loss of territory.
But the number of attempted attacks in Europe has remained unchanged, according to data collected by the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism in Paris. That data suggests that while the Islamic State’s capacity may have been diminished, its effort has not.
“We are able to conclude that there is no correlation between their military setbacks and the loss of territory and the intensity of the threat,” said Jean-Charles Brisard, the director of the Paris-based center. “Even if the Islamic State is losing both militarily and in terms of terrain, the ideology of ISIS remains present in the hearts of individuals who want to harm us.”
According to the center’s database, the Islamic State carried out 15 attacks last year in the 28 countries of the European Union. But another 47 plots were intercepted in the planning stages or thwarted during the execution. In 2016, there were 14 successful attacks while 40 were thwarted.
For the first part of 2018, the data collected by Mr. Brisard indicates that the number of foiled attacks has remained steady.
Facing intense public pressure to stop the attacks, Western law enforcement agencies have raised their game. Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, said several advances had made them better at hunting terrorists: “Closer monitoring of social media. Better understanding of the networks. And better coordination with other countries.” [MORE]