This Quick Video Explains Why ISIS Isn't As Scary As It Wants You To Think

Following recent terror attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, California and Brussels, Belgium, among other places, it's easy to feel as though ISIS is rapidly expanding across the globe. But, that's exactly what ISIS wants people to think, and it's far from the truth.

The present reality is ISIS is rapidly losing territory in Iraq and Syria, and its fighting force has been cut in half since 2014.

ISIS is not the vast in-the-shadows terror network it would like you to believe. So, even when individuals, like the San Bernardino attackers, pledge allegiance to ISIS, it doesn't necessarily mean they have close ties with the terror group.

In other words, there's an enormous difference between an ISIS-inspired attack and an ISIS-directed attack.

It's important to remember terror groups like ISIS want people to think they are a lot more threatening than they actually are. That's the purpose of terrorism. Terrorists seek to spread fear across society and cause people to behave irrationally and change their ways of life.

This is not to say ISIS isn't dangerous at all, but only it's important to keep things in perspective.

In this sense, the best response we can all offer to ISIS is to not buy into the fear it's desperately trying to sell. As President Obama stated in the wake of the Paris attacks,

The most powerful tool we have to fight [ISIS] is to say that we're not afraid, to not elevate them, to somehow buy into their fantasy that they're doing something important.

This video from The Atlantic offers a succinct and accurate analysis of why ISIS is not as influential (and scary) as many might believe. It's fewer than three minutes, and it's definitely worth watching.

Citations: The Exaggerated Influence of ISIS, Visualized (The Atlantic), ISIS Lost 40 Percent of Territory in Iraq, 20 Percent in Syria: Coalition Spokesman (NBC News), Obama warns against overreaction to Islamic State attacks (AP)