After the Caliphate: The Islamic State & the Future Terrorist Diaspora

Polity. Jun. 2019. 240p. ISBN 9781509533879. $59.95; pap. ISBN 9781509533886. $19.95. POL SCI
The modern caliphate, proclaimed by the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, suffered major defeats by Syrian and Iraqi forces beginning in 2017, thus prompting recent reports of its elimination. The threat posed by the IS brand of Salafi jihadism, however, is far from destroyed, as RAND Corporation political scientist Clarke (Terrorism, Inc.) points out. According to the author, the diaspora of terrorists is the result of the caliphate’s fall, as former IS fighters return to their countries of origin, including Europe and Russia, or disperse to affiliate organizations abroad, each with varying degrees of extremism. Clarke offers the most up-to-date analysis on how different regions possess unique vulnerabilities to terrorist insurgency in a postcaliphate world, especially in failed states such as Syria, and offers predictions on how IS might survive in part by adapting, rebranding, or possibly being absorbed into al-Qaeda. Similar recent studies include Stanly Johny’s The ISIS Caliphate, which also discusses how ISIS earned loyalties from failed state regions and consequently spread its influence, and Peter Neumann’s Radicalized: New Jihadists and the Threat to the West, which warns of threats posed by radicalized Europeans.
VERDICT Recommended for academic libraries
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