A recent report published by Egypt's Observatory for Monitoring Takfiri Fatwas and Extremist Ideologies at Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta suggests that the Daesh terrorist organisation's ideology and discourse have failed, and that the group has splintered into scattered offshoots and individual actors.
The analysis centre of the observatory at Dar Al-Ifta – which is responsible for issuing Islamic edicts (fatwas) – conducted analysis of Daesh activity from 2014 to 2018.
The study says that 2014 to 2016 witnessed a high volume of visual, print and audio-visual propaganda released by Daesh, where the organisation focused on promoting holy war and the expansion of their self-proclaimed state, as well as showcasing their military capabilities.
The study also says that 2017 to 2018 saw a decline in the volume of propaganda released by the group as well as major losses in territory. In this period, Daesh sought to promote patience among its followers and warned of the consequences of fleeing the battlefield.
The Observatory said that the initial phase after the organisation's emergence, from 2014 to 2016, saw a state of disarray within the group, which lacked a clear social project in the areas it controlled.
The report also said that 2018 saw a major decline in the organisation's activities on all fronts.
"The organisation has resorted to republishing old material and pamphlets, which reveals a decline in leadership and resources for the organisation," the report said.
The observatory says the future of the group is uncertain, as the number of its deserting members is expected to increase due to the absence of a clear strategy following the group’s failure to accomplish its goals.
The observatory said that the dissident and fugitive members of the organisation will have to choose between joining the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation and its affiliates or forming new separate groups and cells adopting a similar discourse or approach.
The observatory said that Daesh has been attempting to regain control over its lost territories in Iraq over the past six month through guerilla warfare and small-scale urban combat, as the organisation has lost many members and resources due to battles, desertion or internal splits.
Dar Al-Ifta's Takfiri Monitoring Observatory was created in 2015 to track and combat extremism, reform religious discourse in Egypt, and respond to erroneous and extremist interpretations of Islam, especially those that promote violence. The observatory's website produces content in 10 different languages.