This is the first time I've referenced the ISIL as the Islamic State(IS). I do this because it is what the group calls itself. But to state that I am not baffled, worried, intrigued nor mesmerized by the IS would be a gross understatement. That the IS has attracted so many young, varied, local, foreign and international followers, fascinates me. Why and how has the IS attracted so many youth from France, Germany, the United Kingdom(UK), the United States(US) and other Western nations and now a reported 300 Chinese along with other un-numbered eastern followers?
To halt the rise of the IS, I opine that the fore mentioned questions must be answered, understood and studied before any major successes are achieved against this group.
While the broad premise of the IS to create and to govern a Caliphate in the Levant stands as perhaps the biggest lure to newly converted radicalized Islamists, there must be the presence of a conversing push within the homes of the youth which fallibly sends them to the violent exercises of the IS which has killed many Muslims and non-Muslims from Iraq to Syria.
Moreover, the humanitarian tragedy that Bashar al Assad has created in waging war against the Syrian people - killing thousands of children, as the the death toll from over three years of conflict exceeds 200,000; serves as yet another major component driving youth to Jihadism as they seek justice for those fallen and victimized by the Syrian regime.
The International Coalition charged to repel the IS admitted at the beginning of the campaign that it could take some five years to defeat the IS. Months of air strikes by the International Coalition on the IS, according to reports, are beginning to have some impact. Ground fighting by the Iraqi army and Kurdish fighters have gained some advances upon the IS, yet the group continues its stated purpose to create a Caliphate. If official intelligence figures putting the IS ranks at 31,000 are true, then the organizational skills and recruitment methods of the group, must be extraordinary to have allowed the group to survive despite months of air attacks.
Thus, if a small group of fighters have been able to wreck havoc on the Levant and still able to attract so many international fighters, then more attention as to the mood and condition of the homes of international youth, merit full attention and study.