Nasser Weddady, who has also advised other US government agencies on radicalism, told NRK the jihadis were playing a high stake game and needed to strike fear in the heart of Europe to prove they are still a genuine threat to the West.
The expert said: “ISIS, particularly at this moment, is playing a very high stakes game.
“They want to maintain the perception that they still exist and also carrying their own agenda because if they don’t carry [out] attacks, they lose the ability to recruit and inspire future members.
“And at the same time, they can justify to their own members, continuing their operations because they can point to their ability to inflict damage on the enemy, which is the rest of us.”
NC • NRK
ISIS uses terror attacks to recruit new members, Nasser Weddady said
Mr Weddady said he was not surprised the terror organisation had targeted the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester city on Monday evening as he explained ISIS want to inflict maximum damage.
He said: “ISIS makes a point of inflicting maximum damage and they are unlike terrorists in the past, they make a point of going for these kinds of gatherings.
“They don’t care civilians or the presence of children because part of their strategy… they see it as an effective means of deterrence to scare people around the world.
“But at the same time to make a point about their willingness to go to any length to carry out their goals. So it’s not a surprise at all and I am heartbroken over having to say this today.”
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Handout photo courtesy of Alex Finnie, of men wearing body armour during a raid of a block of flats in Blackley, north Manchester, following the attack on Manchester Arena
ISIS, particularly at this moment, is playing a very high stakes game
He added: “The war has never stopped and it is not likely to stop.”
Mr Weddady claimed ISIS was “extremely successful” in its mission because it understood its audience and were fighting for an ideology.
He said: “People tend to discount ISIS and Al-Qaida type of terrorism and their barbarism as a [passing] threat.
“But these people have a world view, they have an ideology. That need to be acknowledged in order to be able to respond to it.
“I think here in the west we have grown accustomed to be shy of stating the obvious; democracy is a better way of government.
“A liberal open society is a superior way of life to the Caliphate. We need to be able to wage that battle of ideas and win it effectively rather than indulging ourselves in some superficial measures.
“ISIS has been extremely successful in doing what they do because they’ve studied and they understand the audience they are targeting. I’m not sure Western democracies have done the same.”
On Wednesday, British author Douglas Murray claimed the Manchester bombing, which claimed the lives of 22 people, happened because people refuse to believe extremists mean what they say.
Speaking to BBC’s Daily Politics, Douglas Murray said the West was failing to learn its lessons and was going in a “strange cycle”.
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Vikki Baker and her daughter Charlotte, who were at the Ariana Grande concert, leave the Park Inn, where they were given refuge
As Andrew Neil asked “What lessons are we failing to learn?” the author said: “Every imaginable one, we don’t want to listen to what extremists say.
“We don’t want to believe they mean what they say. We still seem to be, even after all these years and this strange cycle, we’re not preparing to fight this ideology.
“Our politicians I think, from all parties, are very reluctant to even name the ideology in question.
“There is a concerted effort after an attack like that on Monday night not to listen to the sort of things that are said that would impel somebody to do something like that, to listen to what they say, what they mean.”