ISIL has always been significantly different from all previous jihadist organizations in one all important way. It always asserted the establishment of the Caliphate as its mission right up to declaring itself to be the Caliphate. It is this distinction that has always been misconstrued and handled improperly,especially by the West.
ISIL was indeed the junior varsity squad especially when considering the international reach of the elder Al Qaeda. AQ and ISIL were both supported by and spawners of affiliates throughout the Muslim world.
I see a very dangerous and naive viewpoint being taken on the recent events credited to ISIL. I think it speaks volumes to the misconceptions and lack of appreciation that regardless an entities locale or name there is something that transcends its reality.
One thing I have always grasped was how ISIL was going to be able to stretch to other places even without ever physically going there.
I think Paris is strong testimony to this. The politicians that now ponder still stronger military actions against ISIL on its “home turf” with grand alliances of all those that loathe them also exemplify the failure to recognize an important truth.
Target countries internal policies and domestic issues are fertile breeding grounds for the IS state of mind.
France has a sizable Muslim population and a history of stirring the pot as far as jihadists are concerned. Add to this excellent infrastructure,the EUs warped border policies,and the refugee “crisis” and basically any number of European states are literally begging for islamists to kill and maim.
Don’t think I am blaming France per se. I am only pointing out that a lack of diligence has greatly helped any nut in Europe to act in gruesomely effective ways.
Bottom line I don’t think the attacks in France,be they the Charlie Hebdo,the train or the most recent large scale Paris event are the works of those we generally call ISIL. They’ll take credit but I believe them all to be the works of those inspired by the notion that the Caliphate is calling and that they draw their support not from the power of a warring entity based in Raqqa but groups walking amongst us intoxicated by the notion of a higher calling. Their numbers are not small and leveling places in Iraq and Syria will not end them.