IS are on the run from their self-declared Caliphate in Syria/Iraq. The movement’s mission is shattered. Yet some minds still live the dream and are prepared to turn it into a nightmare for the innocent. The difference between the time when the mission was in tact and now is that the funds and organisation and indeed the philosophy are withering away.
That is the message I take from the Parson’s Green bombing. Perhaps the philosophy is the most important. The dream of Caliphate empowered young idealists to believe those inspiring them to give up their lives. The fact that the Parsons Green bomber left his bomb and fled tells me that he was not ready to go to the lengths of sacrifice of the earlier jihadis who blew themselves up.
In terms of the failure of the bomb, this tells us it was underfunded, that money from abroad is not coming through and this was a bomb made on the cheap.
The organisation that once appeared to have the expertise to make a bomb is now fraying at the edge. Inexperienced and under resourced bombmakers are now taking the initiative. Innocent people can be hurt by the half-baked bomb, but as Parsons Green shows, the equipment is not up to speed to deliver fatalities.
One other possible lesson from the organisational failure is that the bombmaker and bomber lost courage at the last moment, a further indication that the mission has lost its power to inspire and that fainthearts are taking the jihad into their own hands, and are incapable of delivering the organised mission to murder.
We are no longer out of the woods, but the signs are growing that the menace of mission is declining.