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Why Rising Number of Daesh Attacks 'Won’t Decrease in the Short Term'

© AP PhotoA Free Syrian Army fighter stands in front of a painting left by IS militants in Jarablus, Syria (File)
A Free Syrian Army fighter stands in front of a painting left by IS militants in Jarablus, Syria (File) - Sputnik International
The number of Daesh attacks has increased despite the group’s losses in Syria and Iraq, according to a report from the University of Maryland. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with the author of the study, Dr. Erin Miller, who said that the terror attacks wouldn’t decrease in the short term.

According to the findings, Daesh had carried out more than 1,000 attacks last year, which resulted in the deaths of over 7,000 people. 

“What we are seeing is terrorist attacks coincide with the operations that have been taken against the [terrorist] organization. This study goes through 2016 which was when the military operations against the group were intensified,” Miller said.

She further said that this conflict could lead to an “increase before it leads to a decrease.”

Statistically there is a nearly 20 percent increase compared to 2015. The rise occurred despite an almost 10 percent fall of overall militant attacks worldwide. 

“The challenge is that the group will continue to evolve and change its tactics. It will continue to encourage individuals and small groups around the world to radicalize and carry out attacks in its name,” Miller said.

A street is cordoned off after a van crashed into pedestrians near the Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, Spain August 17, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Looking at this situation and whether it is possible to prevent the terror attacks and the lone wolf attacks, Miller said, “It is impossible to completely prevent these attacks just as it is impossible to zero out the crime level; however there are some strategies that law enforcement can take into consideration.”

According to her, counterterrorism practices must be extremely precise and strategic.

She further spoke about the variety of factors that drive people to join such terror organizations, and she said that primarily it is the desire to be a part of something big and “not feel alienated” that drives people to join terror groups like Daesh.

Miller also spoke about how social media today puts in tremendous effort to curb radicalization via the internet. However, according to the expert it will take some time to fight off the group because it is a very far-reaching organization.

“In the short term we are not likely to see massive reductions because this organization has been one of the most violent and active terror organizations that we have seen so they have a long way to fall,” the expert concluded.

Senior US counterterrorism officials suggest that the terror group has learned from its past battle failures, choosing to call for attacks carried out by individuals or small groups. 

Moreover, the tendency can also stem from an increase in the number of terrorist groups that pledged allegiance to Daesh last year. The report said that the group has affiliates in Bangladesh, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Philippines.

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