As an idea, the Islamic State has gone global, attracting far more foreign terrorist fighters than all previous jihadist conflicts combined. But as a so-called state or "caliphate," how successful has it really been at expanding its global footprint through the establishment of "provinces" around the world? And what will become of these affiliates once the group's strongholds in Syria and Iraq are dismantled?
In this Policy Focus, Institute fellow Katherine Bauer has compiled essays examining how these questions are playing out in jihadist hotspots such as Libya, Yemen, Sinai, West Africa, the Caucasus, and elsewhere. Written by a wide array of scholars and practitioners, the chapters are informed by a recent workshop in which senior U.S. officials and other participants gave candid, off-the-record assessments of numerous key issues, including governance, fundraising, military recruitment, social media communications, public opinion, and religious ideology.
Introduction | Matthew Levitt
PROVINCE TIES TO THE ISLAMIC STATE CORE
Islamic State in Libya | Mohamed Eljarh
IS in the Sinai | Mokhtar Awad
The Role of Tunisians | Aaron Y. Zelin
IS in Yemen | Katherine Zimmerman
WHAT MAKES THE PROVINCES TICK?
Governance | Aymenn al TamimI
Ideology | Cole Bunzel
Foreign Terrorist Fighters | Jean-Francois Pactet
Financing | Katherine Bauer
LOCAL POPULAR SUPPORT FOR THE ISLAMIC STATE
Social Media | Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Public Polling | David Pollock
Sinai Province | Muhamed Sabry
BEYOND THE MIDDLE EAST
Boko Haram | Jack Gaines
The Caucasus | Anna Borshchevskaya
Katherine Bauer is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute. Previously, she served at the U.S. Treasury Department, where her posts included financial attaché in Jerusalem and the Gulf and senior policy advisor for Iran in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.