Daniel L. Byman - Mentions and Appearances
The [Barcelona] attacks, to me, show both the strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are obviously that [the Islamic State] has an array of supporters, especially in Europe, that it can call upon to do attacks. The weakness, though, is that it has had difficulty doing more sophisticated operations.
Part of [the Islamic State's] brand is, 'We're the most violent,' and it seems to be working.
The objective of this kind of [safe zones] project may be described as fundamentally humanitarian, but the reality is that any number of parties, starting with the Assad regime and the Islamic State, are going to see it as a threat, and that’s going to make it a target instead of a safe place.
No vetting system is perfect, but if you look at those who have been arrested for suspicions of being linked to the Islamic State, for example, the vast majority have been American citizens.
If [ISIS] can't claim attacks, they can't get recruits and can't raise money.
I think this sort of low-tech terrorism is exceptionally hard to stop. It also has a momentum all its own.
These individuals were already radicalized before the Islamic State was on the radar screen, but it's reasonable to assume that Islamic State propaganda has some impact. Groups do this for a reason. And from the Islamic State's point of view, as they have more failures in Iraq and Syria, they will seek more successes with attacks abroad.
[Iran] has been simultaneously emboldened by the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and frightened by the Arab Spring democracy movement.
Everyday bin Laden survived, he was a symbol of successful defiance of the United States…his death yesterday by dramatic raid is a success.
The U.S. has relatively little leverage in Libya. There are certainly U.S. interests but they are more global interests … mostly oil.