ISIS has significantly and dramatically expanded its reach of global terror and over 800 people have been killed in ISIS attacks in 2015 alone.
The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has dramatically expanded its theater of operations from its hub in Syria and Iraq, executing or inspiring a series of attacks across three continents that claimed more than 800 lives this year.
ISIS, which has recently lost territory to US-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, seeks to boost its credentials with spectacular acts of violence that attract recruits.
The scope of recent attacks and number of those killed and wounded demonstrate a level of sophistication and a determination that has shocked even closer observers of ISIS. The attacks reveal the extent to which the group is willing to go to surpass al-Qaida and prove itself the most dominant jihadi movement on the planet.
The attacks also demonstrate ISIS ability to deliver multiple and coordinated blows to an array of forces aligned against it. Last month’s downing of the Russian plane, for instance, targeted both Russia and Egypt, whose governments have been fighting the group.
On Wednesday, the ISIS announced it has executed Norwegian and Chinese captives, reflecting its intention to continue kidnapping and killing hostages inside its “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq, while at the same time pursuing mass murder abroad.
Thousands of people have been killed by ISIS in Syria in and Iraq this year in mass executions, bombings and other attacks.
A Global Map of Terror
This is a timeline of ISIS’ attacks outside Syria and Iraq this year:
November 13: At least 132 people are murdered in Paris with over 350 wounded, most at a concert hall, but some at trendy restaurants and several near a national stadium. ISIS claims the attack, the worst in the history of Paris, calling it retaliation for France’s role in U.S.-led airstrikes against IS in both Iraq and Syria.
November 12: Twin powerful suicide bombings tear through a crowded Shiite neighborhood of Beirut, killing 43 people and wounding more than 200 others. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack.
October 31: A bomb downs a Russian airliner 23 minutes after it takes off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh bound for the Russian city of St. Petersburg. The plane crashes in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, home to a potent ISIS affiliate, killing all 224 people on board, most of them Russian tourists. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack.
October 10: Two suicide bombings kill at least 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey. The attack was not claimed by ISIS but the Turkish prosecutor investigating the attack said it was carried out by a local ISIS cell.
October 6: Suicide car bombings targeting exiled Yemeni officials and the Saudi and Emirati troops backing their efforts to retake the country kill at least 15 people in the port city of Aden. A new ISIS affiliate claimed responsibility for the assault, which officials earlier blamed on Yemen’s Shiite rebels.
August 6: A suicide bomber attacks a mosque inside a police compound in western Saudi Arabia, killing 15 people in the deadliest attack on the kingdom’s security forces in years. Eleven of the dead belonged to an elite counterterrorism unit whose tasks include protecting the hajj pilgrimage. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack.
June 26: Gunman kills 38 tourists, mostly Britons, in the coastal resort of Sousse, Tunisia, while a bomb rips through one of Kuwait’s oldest Shiite mosques during Friday prayers, killing 27 people. It was the first major terror attack in Kuwait in more than two decades and was claimed by ISIS.
In a third attack that same day, a truck driver once known for radical Islamic ties crashes into a US-owned chemical warehouse in southern France and hangs his employer’s severed head on a factory gate, along with banners with Arabic inscriptions.
May 29: A suicide bomber disguised as a woman blows himself up in the parking lot of the only Shiite mosque in the Saudi port city of Dammam, killing four people. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack.
May 22: A suicide bomber strikes a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia as worshippers commemorate the birth of a revered saint, killing 21 people and wounding dozens more. The attack happened in the eastern Qatif region, the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s Shiite Muslim minority. It was the deadliest terror assault in the kingdom in more than a decade and was claimed by ISIS.
April 18: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blames the Islamic State group for a suicide bombing in the country that kills at least 35 people and wounds 125.
March 20: An emerging ISIS affiliate in Yemen claims a series of suicide bombings that kill 137 people and wound 345.
March 18: Gunmen open fire on foreign tourists at Tunisia’s National Bardo Museum, killing 22 people in the country’s worst attack on civilians in 13 years. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the Bardo attack.