The recent ISIS terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils likely cost no more than a few thousand dollars—little more than the cost of renting vehicles and housing and feeding operatives for a few weeks. These attacks fit a pattern of high-impact, low-cost terrorism across Europe. Even the Paris attacks in November 2015, which killed 130 revelers, likely cost no more than $10,000.
It’s not clear whether the terrorists in Spain received money from abroad or raised funds locally to carry out the attacks. But we know that even as coalition military forces have scored victories against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, ISIS operatives and terrorists have turned to these kinds of low-cost attacks across the West. Just since the beginning of January, we have seen horrific examples in London, Paris, Manchester and Stockholm, in addition to the attacks in Spain.
Read the full article in Politico.
More from CNAS
VideoThe Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas
On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...
By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens
VideoThe Bottom Line
Although lawmakers and the public frequently debate the size of the U.S. defense budget, a fundamental question usually receives less attention: What does U.S. military spendi...
By Susanna V. Blume
CommentaryIt’s the Logistics, China
In protracted warfare, logistics and sustainment capabilities are as important as force composition, something China will struggle to mitigate. Despite recent successes by ...
By Will Mackenzie
CommentaryTrump, Racism, and the Military
Throughout his administration, President Trump has misused the US military to advance his racist and discriminatory political priorities. He has used the Department of Defense...
By Susanna V. Blume