** That this brutal extremist group is dropping its pretensions to being and founding a “state” for the world’s most pious believers
** That it is doing – on the world stage – what it has already been accused of, ie terrorism
In a sense, this would mean that ISIL is finally showing that it is prepared to be seen to be doing what it really is: a transnational terrorist group with the appetite for spectacular Al Qaeda-style attacks on aeroplanes.
This Associated Press report quotes analysis by the Soufan Group, a private geopolitical risk assessment company as follows: “The Sinai attack would be a first, and would signal that the Islamic State has become both capable of — and interested in — joining the dreadful ranks of global terrorism.”
Till now, it kept boasting about its ambitious plans for a Caliphate, a currency of its own and territory that would expand from what it currently holds in Syria and Iraq.
Does ISIL not see that its insistent series of responsibility for bomb on the Russian plane doesn’t really boost its global credentials as an embryonic state but casts it ever more firmly as a common (if gross) terrorist group?
There seem to be two views on this. According to Aymenn Al Tamimi, an expert on Muslim extremist groups and a fellow at the Middle East Forum think tank, ISIL’s demonstration of the ability to conduct “attacks like this — particularly against a target now widely reviled (Russia) — this could bolster their appeal in the jihadi world”.