The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished
sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or
misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Akula Manikanta, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.
ISIL is not currently a direct threat to the Western world. It concentrates the use of force to attempt to establish dominion over the Levant, which stretches from Syria to Iraq (also includes parts of Southern Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan, and Lebanon). In order for it to become a direct threat, it would have to first win its conflicts against Iraq’s military, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and Al-Assad’s own assaults. Perhaps then it would be able to convey an immediate threat.
Currently ISIL is only an indirect threat. It threatens the US and other Western nation’s interests in the region. The West does not desire to see the rise of a state even more hostile than Iran, and the US in particular is intent on supporting the Westernization of the Iraqi government.
Another indirect threat the group poses is in its use of propaganda. While it is unlikely that current members of ISIL’s militia would be able to conduct attacks on the US, UK, or most NATO countries, there is a possibility of people being inspired to conduct attacks in order to advance the cause. There have been several stories about Western citizens traveling to the region in order to engage in the cause, and it is not unreasonable to suggest that some people with that predisposition would attempt to take it upon themselves to conduct domestic terrorism similar to the Boston Marathon Bombing* (the Oklahoma Beheading incident* also seems to be relevant).
ISIL poses a threat, with the most significant, in my opinion, hazard being the possibility of them swaying people with hostile feelings towards Western nations. It remains to be seen whether or not ISIL will develop into a direct threat.