IS doesn't need to order an attack to inspire it

GlobalPost
Police officers investigate a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London, Dec. 6, 2015. 
Neil Hall

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Whether the Islamic State has officially shifted focus from an internal to an external attack strategy may be irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that more and more attacks are being perpetrated in places outside of Iraq and Syria that appear to be motivated by allegiance to IS.

The Paris attacks appear to be a clear example of IS involvement, but the couple that shot 14 people to death in San Bernadino last week may have just been dazzled by IS. The militant group called the couple "supporters" but fell short of labeling them "knights" or "soldiers" as they have of those who perpetrated previous attacks. 

And just yesterday, a knife attacker slashed a man at an east London metro station, reportedly screaming "this is for Syria," in what police described as a terrorist incident. One man sustained injuries in the attack but is expected to survive.

Of course, the incident comes days after Britain approved air strikes on IS targets in Syria. The connection is not hard to make out. Whether or not IS technically asked for the allegiance of the attacker seems less important than the fact that he attacked in the first place.

Plus, there is nothing to say that IS can't sustain a two-pronged approach. News Sunday of a car bombing in Yemen that killed the governor of Aden as well as six bodyguards suggests that this is at least in part what is already happening. IS claimed full responsibility for that attack.

Meanwhile, at least 32 IS fighters were killed in Syria on Sunday in apparent US-led coalition raids.

As GlobalPost's Dan Peleschuk reports, many Europeans think that heightened military action in Syria will invite more attacks on Europe. So far, they're not wrong.

Want to know:

In some video footage of the attack in the London tube station, a bystander can be heard shouting, "You ain't no Muslim, bruv," at the attacker. 

It didn't take long for #YouAintNoMuslimBruv to become Britain's top trending Twitter hashtag. 

Twitter user Arcanequaint called it "the most British response to a terrorist attack ever." Another called Russburt wrote: "One man does more for community cohesion with one sentence than any government initiative."

Strange but true:

With all the horrible news going on, it can be hard to remember that the world is full of wonder as well.

Check out these new high-res images of Pluto. NASA is billing them as the best close-ups of the dwarf planet we are likely to see for decades!

The pics show a mix of terrains that are "cratered, mountainous and glacial in nature," according to NASA.