The rise of the so-called Islamic State in the last few years has drastically changed the world as we know it.
We’re facing the largest displacement of people since the Second World War, with Syrian and Iraqi citizens fleeing war-zones left, right and centre to find a better life in Europe.
But Europe isn’t immune to the horrific threat posed by Daesh, with the continent being plagued by several high-profile terrorist attacks, killing hundreds of people over the last couple of years.
As a result of this we’ve seen a surge in popularity for super right-wing, anti-immigration parties such as Marie Le Pen’s National Front in France- who create a dangerously hateful rhetoric towards refugee. A site which has sadly become all too common in recent history.
But after years of fighting, it’s been claimed that Daesh leaders are set to accept defeat in their strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa and now shift their attention to even more high-profile attacks in Europe, two foreign fighters who are abandoning the Islamist group claim.
Speaking to The Independent, Rachid and Yasin, said that the killings of some of their most high-profile commanders and fear of treason has contributed to the terrorist group’s shift in tactic- as it faces an assault in Mosul and an impending attack on Raqqa.
They also claim that since the Americans and Russians started their airstrikes, their ‘suicide cars’ which were originally effective on inflicting fear and terror don’t even reach their intended target- something that has had a detrimental effect on the group.
Rachid, 27, told The Independent:
When the Americans and the Russians started their air strikes these cars were getting blown up before they got to the enemy, so not so effective now and also numbers of people volunteering to be suicide bombers has fallen. But you can get people prepared to be suicide bombers in Europe and they can cause much more damage. So, the leaders of Daesh are saying that is where the struggle should take place. A lot of the brothers now feel Mosul cannot be held, Raqqa cannot be held. So, the fight is moving to Europe.
Both of the men, who fled to Syria from Belgium, joined the group after being angered by violent suppression of protests by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
They say their reason behind joining the group was because it was the best jihadi group at fighting the regime- but they soon became disillusioned with life as ISIS fighters as paranoia crept into leaders of the group.
Rachid and claimed that the group’s leadership feared that they had be infiltrated by Western intelligence agencies, something which even effected its planning.
But this barely scratches the surface of the groups underlying problems. They cite a severe lack in revenue, which has only reduced as it loses territory- particularly the oil fields it used to control.
The group has also made a considerable amount of money from ransoms paid by the Western government over the years, totalling hundreds of millions of pounds to free hostages.
But this money is now also drying up as U.S and UK governments now refuse to pay ransom for American and British hostages.
However, despite all these problems the group currently faces, Rachid had a stark warning for those thinking that defeating Daesh in Iraq and Syria will mean the end of the terrorist organisation.
Look how long it took them to get to Osama bin Laden. You will be surprised at what countries may want to hide Daesh leaders and give them protection. The capture of Raqqa will not mean everything is finished.