This week’s terrorist attack in Manhattan underscores that those declaring ISIS defeated and crowding the bandwagon to take credit for the terror behemoth’s demise spoke too soon.
“ISIS is now giving up” because he’s in office, President Trump said last month. “ISIS is on the run,” Vice President Mike Pence said days ago at Minot Air Force Base, echoing terminology President Obama frequently used in stump speeches about a very resilient Al Qaeda.
That’s not how the terrorists themselves see it.
After ISIS lost Mosul to the Iraqi security forces and Raqqa, their declared capital, to the Syrian Democratic Forces, the eternal jihadist optimists have been selling a different story: that they passed through the “beginning stage” and are now stronger because they have lessons learned and “generations ready to fight.”
They also have drawn scores of often unskilled would-be jihadists who may never step foot in a training camp but are willing to kill by whatever rudimentary means possible on behalf of a virtual caliphate that is in many ways more insidious than ISIS’ swath of occupied cities.
The New York terrorist’s reported note declaring “ISIS Lives Forever” sounds like a groupie scribbling on a junior-high binder, and the terror group won’t like that he was captured instead of “martyring” via suicide-by-cop or escaping to wage another attack.
But the terror group is undoubtedly pleased that Sayfullo Saipov proves them correct in warning there are stages of ISIS to come, and they will visit bloodshed on the West.