Isil may be facing the end of the Caliphate – but footholds across the world safeguard their brutal ideology

When Isil first grandiosely declared its "Caliphate" after capturing the Iraqi city of Mosul in the summer of 2014, its more fanatical supporters thought they had a home forever. Less than five years on, the fall of their last remaining stronghold in the Syrian town of Hajin means they have nowhere in the Middle East to call their own.

Still, those Islamic State diehards who wish to continuing fighting are not short of theatres of combat to choose from. Like its predecessor, al-Qaeda, Isil now has chapters all around the world, from the tropical islands of the Philippines to the mountains of Afghanistan and the empty Sahel regions of west Africa. More pertinently for Western security officials,…

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