The Attacks of ISIS in Europe- An Analysis

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In 2015, ISIS attacked Paris, France twice- in January in a smaller gunman attack that killed 17 bystanders, and in November in a large, coordinated attack that killed 130 bystanders. The November attack was the worst in France since the Second World War.

On March 22, 2016, ISIS-related suicide bombers attacked in Brussels, Belgium, killing 35 bystanders and injuring hundreds of others. The perpetrators of this attack were related to the same cell that caused the November attacks.

Furthermore, on March 24th, 2016, CNN reported that investigators had discovered that ISIS had deployed dozens of bombers and gunmen to attack various major cities in Europe. The known cities that they plan to attack include London and Berlin, which haven’t yet suffered Brussels’ or Paris’ fates.

CNN’s report raises an obvious question- where is ISIS most likely to attack next?

A few conclusions can be drawn. ISIS appears to have its sights set upon launching more attacks in Europe in the near future. According to a recent video, the militant group promises to “arrive in Europe [and] expand across all of Europe, to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and also the USA.” Recent precedent and CNN’s report have also established that ISIS is determined to wreak more havoc upon that continent. That ISIS hates Europe so greatly is, after all, justifiable- the Counter-ISIL Coalition, which launches airstrikes and other military operations within ISIS territory, contains every member of the EU except for Malta (whose lack of involvement does not make much of a difference because Malta is a tiny island nation in the Mediterranean). 

ISIS also attacks the most important cities in a given target zone. Paris is the capital of France and Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the European Union. Paris is the most populous city in France and the 5th most populous in the EU (and is the city with arguably the most cultural value in the entire continent), while Brussels’ metropolitan area is the largest in Belgium. London and Berlin, possible targets of ISIS, are also capitals and are the most populous cities in the European Union.

So, then, it is very likely that ISIS will attack either London or Berlin next. Here, then, is the final, tentative conclusion of this article-

ISIS may very well attack Berlin next.

The evidence points toward Berlin rather than London as being the target of their next assault. Remember their statement that ISIS will “arrive in Europe [and] expand across all of Europe, to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and also the USA.”? Note that the terrorists attacked in France first, then Belgium. If the sequence is meant to reflect ISIS’s future plans, Berlin is next.

Note also that France, Belgium, and Germany were the founding members of the EU. All three nations are pivotal toward its continuing existence, as Belgium is its capital, France contributes a sizeable portion of its military, and Germany guides much of its policy. While the United Kingdom does also contribute to the EU military, it has always distanced itself somewhat from its policies.

The EU’s members account for almost one-half of 59 states in the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Therefore, the leaders of ISIS might reason that if the pivotal members in the union decide to give in, then perhaps the entire union will stop fighting against the insurgency. Since Germany is such a strong force within the EU, that nation’s continued cooperation may make or break the war.

            Obviously, this is all very shaky speculation. Berlin hopefully will not actually be attacked by ISIS. Still, if you would like to respond to this article, write us at thegccollegian@gmail.com.

This article was written by Joshua Fitzgerald.

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