Since its offensive in 2014, the Islamic State has seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. However, recent attacks in Tunisia, France, Kuwait, Yemen, and Egypt, among others, showed that the Islamic State wields influence well beyond the territories it directly controls.
This article in The Economist provides some interesting information about the relationship between the Islamic State and its many affiliates:
1) The Islamic State has so far recognized as legit affiliates groups in eleven countries.
2) There are strict critiria to be elegible to become an affiliate to the Islamic State, including: a group must appoint a governor, set up a ruling council, implement IS’s version of Islamic rule, and must have a plan to conquer territory.
3) The Islamic State’s franchises in Libya and in Egypt seem to have the closest relationships with the IS leadership in Syria and Iraq. The article suggests that “This may be because the Egyptian and Libyan provinces were cultivated by IS’s Khilafa army, which is sent out for foreign operations, including training prospective affiliates.”
The entire article can be read here.
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