Since the beginning of armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, thousands of militants from the Caucasus region have participated in the war. However, dislodging Daesh and a collapse of the insurgency in the North Caucasus have substantially diminished the capacities of North Caucasian jihadi groups. Nevertheless, militancy in the region has potential.
Daesh, Al-Qa’ida and other terrorist organisations may appear to be in current retreat. But rather than being eradicated, they have scattered. The violent extremism they have spawned has not entirely disappeared and understanding how it might evolve is going to be a central preoccupation for security planners.
Scapegoating tech companies for online radicalisation is not only misguided – it detracts attention away from the crucial responsibility that society must bear in fighting the spread of violent extremism where it matters most: in the real world.
For all intents and purposes, Daesh has been defeated in Iraq and Syria, but key leaders and administrators of the short-lived Islamic State will not simply vanish from the global jihadist environment. They have their eyes set on Afghanistan, and intend to give the Taliban a run for their money.
While it is true that Italy has not, as of yet, experienced a large-scale terror attack like those seen in other parts of Europe, this is likely not the consequence of collusion between Italian mafias and jihadist cells as some have claimed.