|The Islamic State: What You Need to Know|
The Islamic State: What You Need to Know
"We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market."
--Islamic State Spokesman Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Adnani
Imagine walking down the street when an Islamic State terrorist attacks you. Not because you are a threat to him or his group, but because he wants to behead you in a random "demonstration killing" he will put on YouTube for the world to see. Last fall, Australian police thwarted just such a plot, raiding more than a dozen properties and detaining 15 people.
Is this an isolated threat? According to New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the Islamic State has targeted his city by calling on American Muslims to perpetrate "lone wolf" assaults in Times Square. Attacks have been threatened in France, Canada, and Australia as well. The recent killings in Paris highlight the difficulty of stopping such "home grown" terrorists.
The "War On Terror" began after 9/11. From 2001 to 2014, spending on Overseas Contingency Operations to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan totaled $1.492 trillion. During the war in Iraq, 4,488 U.S. soldiers were killed and 32,226 were wounded. For years, al-Qaeda was seen as our primary threat and Osama bin Laden as our chief enemy. In just a few weeks last year, a group calling itself the Islamic State captured world headlines, superseding our longtime adversary and becoming the most powerful terrorist group in the world.