ISIS have issued a statement following the attack in Brussels, saying that they intend to commit to further numerous small-scale attacks in Belgium and Europe – without the need for centralised coordination or authority from their leaders.
ISIS say that individual militants and cells are now free to operate semi-independently – opening the gates for many more spontaneous attacks throughout Europe.
The thinking now is that ISIS cells have been given a certain amount of autonomy from central command in Raqqa and Mosul because, well, because there’s really no telling if there even is a central command at this juncture. One gets the impression that al-Hayat Media Center just kind of waits to see what happens and then if there’s a “successful” attack (Allahu akbar), then the propaganda arm simply claims it after the fact.
That dynamic in many ways makes the group more unpredictable, as semi-autonomous cells do not need al-Baghdadi’s approval before carrying out attacks.
With all of that in mind, we present the full statment from ISIS regarding the attacks on Brussels and a reading of the proclamation in French (the .mp3 is of course from al-Bayan, the caliphate’s radio network).
As you’ll see (and hear if you speak French) below, ISIS has now promised a larger attack on Belgium. In the context of what we said above, consider that in reality it’s probably not a more spectacular attack that Belgians should fear, but rather a series of “small” attacks like what unfolded Tuesday, perpetrated by a collection of individuals who do not need to appeal to a central authority and thus are free to hit soft targets spontaneously.