Newsweek

The Battle Against ISIS Won't End with Iraq and Syria

Until the West crushes ISIS’s ideology, bombings like the one in Manchester are going to continue—and maybe become more common.
People look at flowers in St. Ann's Square, close to the Manchester Arena where a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the venue on Monday night.
06_09_Manchester_01 Source: Peter Byrne/PA/Getty

Orlando, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Würzburg, Ansbach, Munich, London—and now Manchester. The pattern is becoming depressingly familiar. The news breaks with blurry cellphone footage—pedestrians strolling on a seaside promenade, shoppers enjoying a Christmas market, excited kids leaving a pop concert. Then come the gunshots, a rampaging truck or the jolting explosion—followed by panic, people running, inert bodies. Within the hour, politicians are on the air with a litany of condemnations and condolences.

Even more familiar: the description of the killers—loners, misfits, members of poor Muslim immigrant communities, most of them followers of the death cult known as the Islamic State militant group. Like the attackers who shot up the Bataclan theater in Paris in 2015, the suicide bombers who hit Brussels Airport six months later and the perpetrators of at least 15 attacks against the West over the past three years, Britain’s Manchester bomber was an alienated, angry young son of immigrants who got wrapped up in ISIS and decided to vent at the world by murdering innocents.

The personal motivations of all these suicide killers vary—the 22-year-old Manchester bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, whose parents immigrated to the U.K. from Libya, was reportedly angry at a friend’s death last year in what he felt was an

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