The Islamic State after the Caliphate - Can IS Go Underground?

Thomas R. McCabe


While ISIS may intend to resume its underground existence in Syria and Iraq as the ISIS statelet is about to be defeated, this may turn out to be significantly more difficult than many expect. At first glance, the postwar environment may appear fertile for ISIS to pursue such a strategy, but other factors – widespread factional and popular hostility to ISIS and the loss of theological/ideological and functional legitimacy due to defeat - will make it difficult for IS cadres and rank and file to go underground. It will be especially difficult for many of the foreign fighters - in particular Western foreign fighters - who joined ISIS to go underground. 

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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