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The Sinai Airliner Bombing Shows Just How Dangerous ISIS Is Becoming

If, as seems almost certain, the explosion that brought down a Russian passenger jet over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula was caused by a bomb, the finding will also announce the arrival of the likeliest culprit, ISIS, as the world’s first all-purpose terror organization.

Bringing down a civilian airliner is a marquee achievement, the signature attack of the terrorism age, amplified exponentially by the role civil aviation plays in the world today, a webbing of transport and travel that involves 100,000 flights a day, every one of which relies upon suspending the innate fear that rises every time wheels lift off tarmac. It’s also exactly what al-Qaeda has been trying and failing to do again since Sept. 11, and so gives ISIS yet another leg up on Osama bin Laden’s old gang.

But what makes ISIS the world’s first omnibus terrorist group are its less spectacular achievements, slowly accumulating around the globe. The group appears to be operating on levels that no previous extremist organization has even attempted — simultaneously as a military force, a political movement and apparently now, with the deaths of 224 people aboard Metrojet Flight 9268, a true terrorist group capable of eluding the security measures that have inconvenienced every air traveler since 9/11.

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