New reports suggest that ISIS is struggling to keep foreign members committed to the cause after dozens of fighters deserted the group or defected to rival militias.
Anti-ISIS activist group, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, claim that many militants assigned for suicide operations have either fled the battlefield or defected to other groups.
This news comes after ISIS failed to seize the city of Kobane. Recent coalition air strikes have also left ISIS with a shortage of experienced commanders.
ISIS has reportedly gone as far as to setting up roadblocks and imposing strict security checks to stop suicide bombers from abandoning their missions.
“There is a great tension in Raqqa city, where IS group suffered many defections in the past few days,” said Abu Mohammed, a member of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. “A source from within IS has confirmed that most of defections are from suicide bombers where these defections are considered a painful blow to the group.”
Mohammed added that those who flee from their mission face summary execution but after the constant air strikes and fighting Kobane, many foreign members of the suicide units are willing to take that risk.
Special training camps have been established to train foreigners with no military experience to prepare for suicide missions, according to an ISIS insider who fled the group.
A security source working with British Muslim communities to combat extremism told Mail Online that he is not surprised British recruits are having second thoughts.
“The problem is that young British Muslims who go over to Syria thinking they will be treated like equal brothers by IS find out very quickly that they are being told to strap on suicide vests and prepare for Jannah (heaven),” said the source. “... it’s hardly surprising that they have cold feet about these missions.”
While some experts believe that ISIS is just trying to distract the public from their territorial losses with their shocking and violent acts - most recently the burning alive of a Jordanian Pilot - others still believe they are a credible threat.
Charlie Winter, member of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam told Mail Online acknowledge that the Islamic State has suffered some momentary setbacks but they are still dangerous.
“Obviously ISIS do get through quite a few suicide bombers but I think there’s always a risk that people will run off at the last minute,” Winter said. “I do think a lot of the talk of Islamic State being in decline is to an extent wishful thinking but it certainly is having a tougher time of things now.
“(However) there’s still a broad base of support in Iraq and Syria. It is seen as the lesser of two evils by a significant amount of people who wouldn’t want to return to the status quo.
“Kobane was a great loss for Islamic State, it was a big symbolic loss,” Winter added. “But losing Kobane doesn’t mean that Islamic State is going to keep on losing everywhere.
“In its essence it is a nebulous entity – where it loses in one area, it can expand it another.
“For example, as it has been rolled back in Iraq, it has taken more territory in Syria," Winter concluded. "That said it’s not storming across the country as it had been a few months ago and it is under much greater financial pressure now, given the price of oil.”