‘Wolf pack’ attacks are rapidly becoming the Islamic State’s signature: Bruce Riedel

Washington Post

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In a Washington Post article on how massacres attributed to the Islamic State have struck on four continents this year, reflecting how the appeal of the group’s ideology is growing even as the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria has receded, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel says, “What’s striking to me about the Istanbul and Dhaka attacks is that both weren’t done by lone wolves at all.”

“These were done by teams of terrorists working with a very thought-through attack plan. I call them ‘wolf pack’ attacks. They are rapidly becoming the Islamic State’s signature,” he added. Riedel is also a former CIA counterterrorism official and analyst of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

“As Dhaka and Istanbul demonstrate, the idea is being translated into a tactic that is much more dangerous than inspiring a single individual to go out and carry out an attack,” Riedel said. “As horrific as Orlando was, had it been four guys in the bar, think how much more complicated it would have been.

“It’s making the challenge of defeating it more and more urgent, as well as more and more difficult.”

Read the full story in the Washington Post here.

This article first appeared in Washington Post on 3 July 2016. Like other products of the Brookings Institution India Center, this is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues. The views are those of the author. Brookings India does not hold any institutional views.