A leaked briefing document written for the White House says that ISIS has "fully operational branches" in eighteen countries. A 2014 State Department documents said that ISIS was operating in only seven countries. In twelve countries, ISIS has "official branches," and in six more countries it has "aspiring branches."
The "heat map" included in the briefing suggests a three-fold increase in the number of areas around the world in which the Islamist group is now operating.
NBC News notes that a 2014 State Department documents said that ISIS was operating in only seven countries.
The map, prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center, is part of a classified briefing document dated "August 2016." It identifies ISIS's "core" states - Syria and Iraq - along with countries where the organization has "official branches," including Algeria, Nigeria, Libya, the Sinai Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Caucasus region to the south of Russia.
The map also shows "aspiring branches" of ISIS in Mali, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
In addition to encouraging disparate Islamist group to declare their allegiance to ISIS, the terror group has also encouraged lone wolf attacks throughout Europe.
Source: Homeland Security News Wire