It adds: “The thirst for change that Islamic State has managed to exploit will not be slaked by its totalitarian approach towards its subjects. In today’s world, no state, however remote, can hope to control its population by limiting its access to information or suppressing its ability to think. It will be no more able to harness the social, economic, and political forces around it than were the states that, through their failure, allowed the space for Islamic State to grow.”
Barrett said that international agencies had recently noted a “slowdown” in the volume of foreign fighters joining Isis, partly because some that had returned home had talked negatively about their experiences. “The fact that many people have gone home and are starting to talk about how bad things are means there’s a counter-narrative going on which has helped slow numbers,” said Barrett, whose report for security analysts the Soufan Group will be used by governments as an intelligence briefing about Isis.