Politicians in the West along with security services, the business community and the general public feel ever more under threat.
Organised mass killings such as in Paris and Brussels or an individual running amok committing carnage in Nice sow the seeds of fear and insecurity and challenge consensus politics.
These days acts of extreme violence, particularly in Europe, are laid at ISIL’s door, not necessarily proven in fact or by claims of responsibility, but more worryingly in the imagination of many.
ISIL, via its website Amaq, will promote any individual who claims to be a ‘soldier of the Caliphate’ without any previous contact or knowledge and steal any act of violence as its own.
Violent, aggressive words and thoughts are posted on the Internet just to see where they land and if they take root.
The Nice killer, Mohamed Bouhlel, could well have answered the call, investigators believe he was radicalised quickly and allowed to act independently.
ISIL claimed he killed out of revenge for coalition attacks on its territory in Iraq and Syria.
Gilles Kepel is a French political scientist and an Islamic scholar:
“What struck about the Nice attack, is that compared to the previous ones, we saw a change in strategy and dimension. It was someone who had an unusual, strange profile, someone who used an everyday object, a delivery truck, which he ploughed into a crowd and killing anyone in his way including many children. This reality creates an extraordinary horror. When there was the attack in Magnanville, the person who killed the police officers, he made his video, made his claims then when it was posted on the Internet it had been extensively editied, the video had gone too far, ISIL wants to keep potential recruits onside, it was afraid it would scare potential supporters.”
As a mass army in Iraq and Syria the group is under continued attack and is losing territory.
Away from the frontline its plan is simple to fish for individuals to radicalise to keep ISIL on the front page and at the forefront of people’s minds.