The Associated Press quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab on how the recent attacks in places including Paris and Lebanon signal a shift in ISIS strategy to a more global approach:

Coming soon after the Islamic State group claimed the downing of the Russian plane in Egypt and deadly suicide bombings in Lebanon and Turkey, the Paris attacks appear to signal a fundamental shift in strategy toward a more global approach that experts suggest is likely to intensify.

“The message is that this is an open war, not restricted to the conflict zone in Iraq and Syria,” said Bilal Saab, a resident senior fellow for Middle East Security at Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. Until now, the militant Sunni group had mostly focused on its internal rivals — Bashar Assad’s regime and rival Muslim Shiites, which the group considers to be heretics.

Saab pointed to another possible goal: To encourage the deployment of Western ground troops. Although many in the West argue that this would be the only way to dislodge them, many would welcome such an apocalyptic, man-to-man scenario. “ISIS would cherish that because it’s the fight they’ve been seeking,” he said.

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