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Al-Azhar Warns of ISIS Efforts to Regain Status

Cairo- Waleed Abdurrahman:

The Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism warned against ISIS efforts to regain the group’s status and compensate for losses incurred following its defeat in Iraq and Syria over the past months.

In Iraq, according to the Observatory, a reformation attempt has been detected and feared to give initiative for renewed deployment of the terrorist group.

Security expert Major Farouq Al-Megrahi told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS will continue to rely on the recruitment of young enthusiasts that have been radicalized.

Megrahi added that ISIS heavily depends on the recruitment of lone wolves, individuals, and sleeping cells.

Speaking on ISIS reinstating itself to its former strength in Iraq, Megrahi said: “I don’t think ISIS will return with the strength it enjoyed during 2014 and 2015.”

Megrahi attributed his belief to regular state forces and the international coalition regaining control over large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. He, however, warned of the terror group resorting to guerilla warfare.

ISIS sleeper cells in Iraq are difficult to capture given that they stay in rural hideouts nestled in mountains and tough terrain.

The Observatory also noted that digital platforms have become popular among extremist and terrorist movements and groups. They use the digital space to communicate, spread their ideology and contact supporters.

“World governments and institutions, especially those specialized in the field of technology, must unite efforts among themselves to address ISIS’ resurgence schemes,” the Observatory said, expressing its appreciation for the continuous operations carried out by Iraqi forces to arrest the remnants of the terrorist organization.

AL SHARQ AL AWSAT

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