What was/is ISIS' strategy, wrt terrorist attacks in the West?
Over the previous decade, Islamic State were involved in a lot of terrorist attacks on the West, especially Europe, e.g. just finding ways to kill large numbers of civilians.
But if their goal was to establish their own caliphate, why did they expect this to work? Was it to try to intimidate western forces into leaving the Middle East? But surely they would have known - as recent history has shown - that the West would not simply go home because of a few civilian attacks - if anything it would make them come down harder! The response to 9/11, for example, should make this obvious. I find it hard to believe that such a well organised group would make such a basic mistake.
Also, the major occupying powers in the Middle East were USA, UK and Russia - but many of the attacks were in countries like Belgium and France.