Al Qaeda versus ISIS: The Big Difference

As the left continues to insist that Islamic terror isn’t a real problem, in recent weeks we’ve witnessed the terrible bombing of the Ariana Grande concert, the London bridge attack where terrorists plowed a vehicle into pedestrians and then exited the vehicle and began stabbing people, and a shooting attack in the Iranian parliament that’s claimed 12 lives so far — it’s unfolding as I’m writing this. (And you read that correctly. ISIS just executed a terrorist attack in Iran. They will target anyone who doesn’t lock-step agree with their radical theology of Islamic supremacy.)

And these are just the major attacks of the last two weeks. There have been other smaller incidents as well.

The nature of Islamic terrorist attacks has changed in recent years. I don’t know if you’ve noticed.

When al Qaeda was the primary threat, attacks were big. With a flair for the dramatic, al Qaeda tried to outdo itself with each subsequent attack. And every attack had to be symbolic. These kinds of attacks take a ton of planning. Enough so, that the perpetrators were usually caught before they were able to pull off their attacks. Building big bombs tends to attract attention.

ISIS is a different beast. ISIS radicals are content to hop behind the wheel of a truck and start plowing through people, killing as many as possible before they’re taken down by police responding to the scene.

ISIS attacks, for the most part, aren’t big. They’re small, deadly, and frequent.

And very difficult to prevent.

We can see what’s happening in Europe. It’s only a matter of time before it begins happening here — a good reason to support Trump’s travel ban and stepped up screening of people immigrating here from areas with a high concentration of radicals.

To learn more about how ISIS is a bigger threat than al Qaeda because of its willingness to do small attacks, check out this article from Brookings.

And stay alert. Surviving the kinds of attacks that ISIS uses almost always comes down to recognizing when things aren’t right and reacting quickly when a situation starts to go sideways.