Transnational terrorism, an enduring phenomenon that became a hallmark of the post-cold-war era, continues to evolve. This chapter explores several emerging trends in Islamist terrorism that are likely to challenge European security institutions in the coming years and decades. The chapter argues that the Islamic State has revolutionized the jihadist landscape. ISIS has effectively eclipsed al-Qaeda, modernizing its predecessor’s hidebound model of allegiance and recruitment, sponsoring and facilitating attacks overseas, lighting sectarian fires across the Middle East and North Africa, and exploiting cyber tools and social media to propagandize itself widely. Relatedly, European foreign fighters have joined ISIS at an unprecedented clip: several thousand have fought within its ranks. Combining these trends helps illustrate how transnational terrorism challenges European security in new and complex ways.
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