Reuters reports: President Donald Trump has set out to crush Islamic State when it is already at a low ebb, but Islamists and some analysts say his actions could strengthen the ultra-hardline group by creating new recruits and inspiring attacks on U.S. soil.
IS has been weakened in recent months by battlefield defeats, the loss of territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and a decline in its finances and the size of its fighting forces.
Trump’s pledge to eradicate “Islamic extremism” looks at first sight to be yet another blow to Islamic State’s chances of success.
But Middle East experts and IS supporters say his election triumph could help revive the group’s fortunes. They also believe his move late last month to temporarily ban refugees and bar nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries could work in the group’s favor.
The executive order, on which IS has been silent, is in limbo after being overturned by a judge. But whether or not it is reinstated, it has angered Muslims across the world who, despite Trump’s denials, see it as evidence that he and his administration are Islamophobic. [Continue reading…]