On New Year's Eve a man killed thirty-nine people in an Istanbul nightclub. But what the attack demonstrated was the more modern form of terrorism that has been used throughout the world in recent times. This is the form of terrorism used by groups such as Islamic State (IS). But I think the more leading question is why such a form of attack has been used more regularly in recent times? Let us investigate.

The evolution of attacks

The man who carried out the attack was called Abdulgadir Masharipov and as reported by the Guardian, acted on behalf of Islamic State.

In addition to this was the revelation that Masharipov not only had training in Afghanistan but entered Turkey illegally last year. But what is most significant is not only that he acted alone but also that this form of terrorism represents a change with the past. In the immediate period post 9/11 the main form of attack was suicide or bomb attacks. Examples include the Bali bombings in 2002, the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the London train bombings in 2005 as stated on the Newsone website. Although there have been a few further instances, this form of attack has been far less frequent in recent years. And this I believe is due to the increased security within Europe and the West. The presence of police at the airports and on the streets, the sharing of Intel by the major intelligence agencies and greater efforts made to preserve the safety of such nations has helped greatly.

Altering their tactics

It is as a result that groups such as Islamic State have had to alter their tactics. They cannot longer simply walk into a busy shopping centre and set off a bomb. They can no longer do or act as they wish. It is because of this that we have seen more recently 'lone-wolf' attacks. An example of such a method can be found in the attack of an Orlando nightclub in June of last year by Omar Mateen which killed forty-nine people.

What is significant is that Mateen claimed that he was working on behalf of IS and even went further to pledge allegiance to the terrorist group as reported on The Wall Street Journal. The Islamic State has even gone further to promote such types of attack. The Australian newspaper revealed that IS urged its followers to "burn, shoot and kill" people in Sydney and Melbourne.

How to look at the situation

I believe that there are two ways of looking at the situation. On the one hand such lone-wolf attacks are a cause for real concern. It is hard to stop and the damage can be extensive. But on the other hand, the fact that terror groups such as IS have resorted to such attacks is an illustration of how far they have fallen. They can no longer conduct far reaching large-scale attacks and are restricted to killing less. They are still dangerous but the fact that the international community has become far more effective in dealing with such attempts to kill is the reason why such attacks are being used more regularly in recent times.