Out of all the 2016 predictions being made in recent times, one of the scariest is that the ISIS terrorists in America will attempt to leverage the mistrust and anger over Muslim Americans in order to divide the United States. While some Americans will swear up and down that they will leave the United States if Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump become president, some experts believe that homegrown members of Daesh will attempt to widen the political gap in order to incite a second American Civil War.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, some 2016 predictions claim that Bernie Sanders will win the election by a landslide.
As an example of the political rhetoric taking place now, Salon published an article explaining the history of the first U.S. Civil War. They relate how the rise of the Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln caused supporters of the losing Democratic Party to “railroad their states out of the Union.”
“[The followers of Democratic Party leader John C. Breckinridge] had listened to years of rhetoric about fighting and dying for democratic principles,” explained Salon. “Riled up to believe their very lives were at stake when Lincoln was elected, they picked up guns to save what they had come to believe was an America under attack.”
The report then claims that Donald Trump can be compared to the American slave owners who launched the American Civil War. In modern times, they claim the current presidential candidates of the Republican Party could cause a split in the nation wide enough for war to break out.
“Today the parties have swapped sides, but the pattern is the same. Once again, political leaders have for years used inflammatory rhetoric to bolster a system that favors the very wealthy. Once again, their rhetoric has created an insurgency that they cannot control. Once again, that insurgency appeals to Americans who have never actually had to grapple with what it might mean to fight for an ideology.”
It is this kind of self-implosion that ISIS in America may hope to inspire and exploit. According to Pascale Siegel, founder and President of Insight Through Analysis, leaders of the Islamic State “will fully implement the strategy recommended by Abu Musab Al-Suri…. This strategy calls for the next phase of jihad to be fought by small, hard-to-detect, self-generating autonomous cells combined with multiplying open fronts.”
The ISIS terrorists behind the San Bernardino shootings may be used as an example of this new strategy. The married couple apparently did not have direct contact with ISIS leaders, but their terrorist attack was ISIS-inspired. Operating as a small terror cell, reports indicate that they had hoped to launch a larger attack using the explosives and weapons found in their home, but thankfully they were stopped before they could carry out their plans.
Over the long term, Siegel argues that ISIS will attempt to use anger toward American Muslims as a method to instigate a second American Civil War.
“Large attacks will be directed and planned by ISIS, while other smaller plots will be self-generated by autonomous cells and individuals inspired by its ideology,” she wrote in a 2016 predictions report compiled by Wikistrat. ” In the West, a wave of attacks will be designed to tear apart the social fabric of societies and polarize inter-community relations (i.e., Muslims vs. non-Muslims) up to the point of fomenting civil war.”
In the Middle East, it is predicted that ISIS may continue to grow and absorb jihadists who currently fight for other Islamic groups. Tim Foxley, an independent political and military analyst with 22 years of experience as a defense analyst for the British government, believes the Taliban will lose stature and Daesh will capitalize on this power vacuum.
“The emergence of ISIS will continue to complicate matters, as disgruntled local Taliban fighters weigh old loyalties against a new and better-resourced form of jihad,” he writes. “If the Taliban continue a process of fragmentation, it could produce a power vacuum for ISIS and local militias to fill and capitalize on.”
But ISIS recruitment could also see a surge within the United States. A recent Pew poll discovered 13 percent of American Muslims “agreed that there were circumstances in which terrorist attacks in the name of Islam could be justified,” which means that there are roughly 234,000 adult Muslims living in America who believe terrorism against civilian targets can be justified.
“They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric,” Rita Katz, an expert from the SITE Intelligence Group. “When he says, ‘No Muslims should be allowed in America,’ they tell people, ‘We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.'”
The predictions for 2016 do not have a happy ending. By the end of the year, Siegel believes ISIS will reinforce their current strongholds and open new fronts in their war on the rest of the world. It is believed that the concentrated Western aerial bombardment campaign in Syria will cause ISIS members to spread their most capable jihadists to “friendlier, less-monitored and less-patrolled territories.” The report claims that “learning to live with terrorism will become a new normal in an increasing number of countries.”
“In Western Europe, North America and Australia, inter-community relations will be at a nadir [the lowest point],” she writes. “Governments will have requested and received exceptional legal powers. Western Muslims will feel increasingly alienated.”
Hopefully, if these 2016 predictions come true, then this low point will not be enough for ISIS to twist the United States into a second American Civil War.
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