The cowardly attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils show one thing. ISIS is almost dead. I know, it may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but think about it. These terror organisations used to throw big and well coordinated attacks performed by big and well organised terror cells that used to reside in target countries for months and years, and meticulously plan their actions. They used sophisticated tools and strategy to hit as many people as possible, they used to choose important locations and they used to deliberately select particular occasions, like public holidays and anniversaries, sports events, political summits…
Now they’ve resorted to lone wolves using the easiest possible means, like taking a vehicle and ramming it into crowds of people. Sure, the Cambrils group had bomb vests, and it was only thanks to their hapless inanity that their van capsized, which allowed the police to shoot them. But the general trend is clear: ISIS is now using the operatives it brought along with the refugee wave to infiltrate Western societies – lone people who’ve been radicalised on the Internet, and possibly trained in ISIS-controlled camps. They don’t have the resources they used to have before. These are the desperate last efforts of a dying network. A snake still lashing out after its head has been chopped off.
This will be ugly. No one is stupid enough to believe it won’t be. But peace will prevail in the end. Make no mistake about it.
The bigger question is, what then. How do we prevent another network like Al Qaeda and ISIS from showing up again. Because, unless we’ve changed our policies both at home and abroad, it’s going to happen. And we’ll be back to square one.