Not only to Israel's north and east, but also to its south, ISIS is anything but defeated. In fact, in the Sinai Peninsula, it is taking over large swaths of territory - just across Israel's border. It is also winning converts inside Israel. The entrenchment and advances of Islamic State have a direct bearing on yesterday's vehicular terror attack in Jerusalem.
Vocativ, a deep-web intelligence gathering news service with offices in Tel Aviv and New York, has uncovered an ISIS hit list of US churches targeted for terror attacks during the holidays. The summons is consistent with recent events in Cairo and Berlin. It also fits Islamic State's recent issue of its English magazine titled, "Break the Cross."
With ISIS under attack by the Russian coalition in Syria and the US coalition in Iraq, it should be on the run. Instead it is on the offense, launching a terror attack in Cairo yesterday. That attack could be the first strike in Islamic State's promised holiday terror campaign throughout the Middle East - and beyond.
The US-led coalition to liberate Mosul from ISIS has petered out. ISIS leaders and troops are strolling back into town without a fight. Meanwhile in Aleppo, ISIS is on the run from a Moscow-Tehran coalition. Why has the US op failed? And when Trump inherits the problem, Jerusalem wonders, will he turn the entire fight against Islamic State over to Putin, and by default Iran?
Dr. Jacques Neriah is the former Deputy Head for Assessment of Israel's Military Intelligence. In this video, he contends that Arab country crackdowns are creating recruits for ISIS.