The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) remains a critically deadly threat to the United States and the Western world. Unlike al-Qaeda, the Islamic State revolutionized the recruitment and inspiration of Islamic terrorism through their capitalization on the social media and technological revolution.
While al-Qaeda carried out the largest terrorist attack in world history, ISIS has carried out far more attacks against the Western world, by encouraging an any means necessary approach to terrorism.
While once controlling a vast amount of territory in the Middle-East, ISIS has since lost almost all of its caliphate, leading to an incredibly dangerous situation of tens of thousands of jihadists returning to their home countries, many of them Western, and attempting to re-blend in with society. Still, these Islamic State operatives remain committed to the cause of killing infidels and could strike at any moment if not properly identified and captured by authorities.
ISIS is a Sunni Salafist jihadist group, with claims of religious authority over all Muslims. and aspires to bring all of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control, beginning with Iraq, Syria and other territory in the Levant region, which includes Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, and part of southern Turkey.
However, ISIS’ desire for dominance is not exclusive to the Middle East, and instead seeks a worldwide Islamic caliphate, in which any who do not submit will be killed.
The United Nations has accused the Islamic State of committing "mass atrocities" and war crimes, and Amnesty International has accused it of ethnic cleansing against minorities in northern Iraq.
While their massacre and unspeakable brutality in the Middle East warrants immediate action, the West must not lose sight of the fact that ISIS is a globally charged entity, capable of communicating with operatives with the click of a button, and inspiring deadly attacks anywhere in the world, including any American city or town.