ISIS, Al Qaeda and others: Some context of Islamic Terrorist groups

40 years ago, the tactics used by ISIS and Al Qaeda would not have worked. Strongmen rulers in the Middle East cracked down on dissidents and had influential and powerful support from the United States and the Soviet Union. A terrorist attack against a civilian populace would be met with swift and brutal retribution. Additionally, there was not a large support base for extremist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda.

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Chest rack full of Ammo and an American weapon. ISIS is another complicated group.

Prior to large involvement from the West and the Soviet Union, traditional Muslim countries did not have a fear of creeping decadence. After seeing heroin use by Soviet Soldiers in Afghanistan (some historians estimate that 85% of Soviet Soldiers used heroin during their deployments to Afghanistan), and some lewd, amoral lifestyles lived by Europeans and other westerners, Muslims became increasingly concerned with decadence. The majority of Muslims and Muslim groups combated this fear by encouraging a return to traditional, conservative Islamic values and preaching a combination of family values, nationalist strengths, and neighborly love. However, with the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, an increasingly heated Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the perceived corruption of many dictators, violence began to emerge as a solution.

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