In what analysts are calling a change of tactics, the international intelligence community is expecting a major shift in ISIS strategy from planning mass casualty attacks to lone wolf terror attacks, such as the Chattanooga, Tennessee incident.
As throngs of international supporters continue to join the ranks of ISIS, prestige and the increased competition in obtaining new recruits are being floated as causes for the change in operational style.
Whereas al-Qaeda is known to plan large grandiose style attacks, ISIS has been increasingly encouraging lone wolf attacks over the past year. Analysts believe the terror group is attempting to show that they too, like al-Qaeda, are capable of carrying out large scale attacks on foreign soil.
“I think they’re taking a lot of the new recruits that don’t have time to train, who have not been brought up in their systems, and they’re using them to create the type of mass casualty which produces the media attention, which is exactly what they want, that shows they’re still powerful,” United States Lt-Gen. (ret.) Mark Hertling told CNN.
ISIS has been incredibly successful at recruiting followers from all over the world to come and join their cause. Their violent and extreme activities, which include kidnapping, slavery, institutionalized sexual violence, large scale murder and graphic execution and indoctrination videos, have led to a widespread online following of Muslim extremists from around the world.
In an effort to steer the flow of recruits that may join other Muslim terror organizations and bring them into the ISIS fold, the terror group is promising attacks much closer to the homes of its lone wolf terrorists.