ISIS Terror Tactics Continue to Evolve Into More Effective and Deadly Outcomes.

The following is a quick summary of the March 2016 Homeland Security Committee Briefing entitled:


The report is intended to capture and profile the terror activity of ISIS since the group’s formation focusing on the scope of operations against Western countries, including the U.S. The report compiles open-source information.

From 2014-2016, this report compiled 75 ISIS-linked terror plots against the West and include the following data:

  • 43 percent of the plots were executed to some extent – this is a high success rate.
  • 53 percent of the plots were disrupted
  • 67 percent were inspired attacks prompted by various media/propaganda
  • 33 percent were directed attacks specifically orchestrated by ISIS
    – This percentage doubled between 2014-2016
  • 50 percent of the plots were carried out by “lone wolf” attackers
  • 33 percent of the plots were aimed at the U.S. or U.S. overseas interests
  • 22 of the 75 plots were aimed at the U.S. (the most targeted country)
  • 12 of the plots were aimed at France (the second most targeted country)
  • ISIS-linked plots are becoming more deadly:
    – In 2014, terror plots averaged 1 person killed per attack
    – In 2015, terror plots averaged 11 person killed per attack
    – In 2015, terror plots averaged 30 person killed per attack
  • ISIS terrorist prefer “DIY” jihad over complex plots
    – 67 percent of terror attacks include small arms and edged weapons
    – 33 percent of terror attacks involved explosives
  • ISIS terror suspects are 90 percent men and 10 percent women
  • ISIS terror suspects are overwhelming young: 94 percent are under age 34
  • The average age of a terror suspect is 26 years old
  • ISIS is utilizing the refugee crisis and fake passports to infiltrate target countries

In the final analysis, ISIS is proving adept at changing tactics to better suit the tactical landscape and reinvesting efforts in successful processes across a myriad of terror-related efforts. The U.S. and allies seem to be in reaction mode – trying to maintain the pace and rhythm of an ever-evolving enemy.

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