By Andrew Bolt ~
Terrorism lecturer and Australian TV presenter Waleed Aly after Islamic State terrorists killed 130 people in Paris:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday after Islamic State terrorists murdered another 34 people in Brussels:
The recent attacks in Paris, Jakarta and now Brussels are evidence of the emerging trend in IS’s terrorism: inspiring attacks in multiple locations aiming to maximise casualties. Most importantly it is multi-jurisdictional in its scope. IS is intent on demonstrating a growing operational reach, but this is because it is hurting in Syria and Iraq, losing 22 per cent of its total territory and 40 per cent of revenues from its peak in 2014.
The early signs show that, like the Paris attacks only four months ago, the bombings in Brussels were inspired, if not planned, by IS in its Syrian headquarters of Al-Raqqa.
The Islamic State is only weak relative to, say, a modern nation state. And you could argue it’s weaker in Syria than it was a year ago, although its world-wide influence actually seems greater.
But that ignores the central truth about the Islamic State: far from being weak, it is the strongest and most dangerous terrorist group we have seen in many decades. While its territory in Syria and Iraq has shrunk, hundreds of its fighters seem to have fanned out around the world.
That helps to explain this:
Since declaring its caliphate in June 2014, the self-proclaimed Islamic State has conducted or inspired more than 70 terrorist attacks in 20 countries other than Iraq and Syria, where its carnage has taken a much deadlier toll; those attacks outside Iraq and Syria have killed at least 1,200 people and injured more than 1,700 others.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.