With the high-profile, headline-grabbing ISIS “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria mostly dismantled, it’s tempting to think that a good deal of steam has gone out of the terrorist movement, notes OZY senior columnist John McLaughlin. But ISIS survives in scattered enclaves there, globally and online. Meanwhile, al-Qaida is reviving in several parts of the world, and most of the larger strategic factors that gave rise to these movements are still at play, he writes:
Intelligence services and the U.S. military worry rightly about cleaning up ISIS and al-Qaida remnants and other terrorist offshoots in the Middle East and monitoring their movement to neighboring regions. None is more worrisome or riper for terrorist exploitation than the nearby region of North Africa (the Maghreb and Egypt) and the band of states to its south, the so-called Sahel.