The Wall Street Journal reports: During a rare spate of attacks in Jordan recently, Western officials in the capital Amman intercepted messages from Islamic State leaders urging supporters to spread terror at home rather than join militants across the border in Syria.
That call, which was sent to all the group’s affiliates, and a similar appeal in a public speech by an Islamic State spokesman were followed by attacks outside the boundaries of its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq. In the past week, supporters with suspected or confirmed ties to Islamic State have launched deadly strikes in Turkey, Iraq and Bangladesh.
Islamic State is increasingly reverting to less expensive but spectacular guerrilla maneuvers, calling on supporters to launch assaults while its costly makeshift army faces retention problems and casualties, Western officials said. It is expanding its global scope, inspiring groups and individuals spread across several continents, even though they may have different agendas and operational methods.
The frequency of attacks outside Syria and Iraq has increased in tandem with battlefield and territorial setbacks that have deprived the militants of key sources of income such as oil. The group’s shift in tactics has been prompted by those territorial losses, U.S. officials and security advisers say. [Continue reading…]