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ISIS Is More Than a Terrorist Group

The Case for Treating It Like a State Sponsor

Police control the access to Brussels central train station following Tuesday's bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2016. Vincent Kessler / Reuters

After the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels, for which the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed credit, it is time to start thinking more seriously about how to thwart the group. 

In this, it is important to keep in mind that ISIS is not al Qaeda. For one, the ISIS-sponsored network in Europe includes at least 90 well-trained, well-supported, and well-supplied operatives. Their tactics were honed on hot battlefields and in the bombed-out basements of war-torn Syria, not at terrorist boot camps or in the caves of the Hindu Kush, as was the case for al Qaeda. And whereas al Qaeda members mainly carried Middle Eastern passports, many ISIS members travel on European documents; the majority of those who attacked Paris in November are thought to have been citizens of European Union countries. The same is likely true of the Brussels bombers. That gives ISIS an advantage as it strikes at harder

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