Manchester is a window on a wider trend
Though shocking in the choice of target and victims, unfortunately the Manchester bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert was not surprising given Islamic State recruiting materials and a pattern of escalation that mimics a grossly overdone series of horror movies.
If ISIS feels that people aren’t paying attention anymore after two years of beheading videos, they go for even more twisted.
In recent months, ISIS has suggested concerts among other crowded venues as choice soft targets for lone or team jihadists. They’ve suggested targeting teens playing sports in a neighborhood park. They’ve tried to escalate the shock value of attacks, even suggesting in their most recent Rumiyah magazine that jihadists emulate serial-killer modus operandi by taking out fake job ads or apartment ads on sites like Craigslist and murdering people who show up to interview or look at the flat for rent.
What’s especially vile about the Manchester attack is that the terrorists who view those tween and teen girls as legitimate targets also view them as potential recruits.