Episode
November 28, 2017

Defeated in battle but is ISIL winning online?

As the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant loses territory, experts ask whether its ideology persists.
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There is no question. ISIL has been utterly defeated on the battlefield. Last month saw the end - at least for now - of the feared armed group's ability to hold any significant territory as it was finally pushed from the Syrian city of Raqqa, its de-facto capital and ideological hub since 2014.


But was that really it? Some experts believe the war on the front lines of Syria and Iraq was just the beginning. Far more important than defeating ISIL on the battlefield is defeating it ideologically, they say. Many of those same experts are now looking online, where the group spread its message and attracted so many of its foreign recruits. Is ISIL morphing from wanting to build its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, to building a new one in the digital space?
 

If so, what does that shift mean? How can it be countered? And what could its impact be on the communities in which the group operates?


On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Haroon Ullah @haroonullah
Author, Digital World War

Tania Joya @Joyageo7
Counter-terrorism Consultant

Imran Khan @ajimran
Al Jazeera English Correspondent

Fahid Qurashi
Lecturer in Criminology, Canterbury Christ Church University

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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