The Sousse attacks embody the main characteristics of terrorism and insurgency as pursued by ISIS. They are presented here as overarching examples of the underlying themes examined in this paper. In the first section, we give an outline of the facts that occurred in Sousse, Tunisia, highlighting features that mark the importance of the events in themselves and in the broader context of terrorism studies. In the second section, we offer a qualitative analysis of the traits of modern-day terrorism threat in the post-ISIS era—in particular, a marked preference for soft targets, all-around enemification of nonconformers, loose ties with perpetrators, massive use of communication technologies and propaganda, dissemination of paramilitary and insurgency know-how, and training. In the third and final section, we discuss the lessons that can be drawn from the events of Sousse, with a specific focus on soft target defense, as relevant for future challenges emerging from the rise and fall of ISIS as a pseudo-state entity and the dissemination of its personnel, ideology, and knowledge outside the territories it once occupied. In particular, we propose a departure from the model of soft target protection to one of defense.
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