The Islamic State was quick to call the London Bridge attack in which 7 people were killed by a group of three which included a Pakistani. If one looks at this group, it is clear that they were inspired by the ISIS and carried out a text-book styled attack.
Very often while reporting matters on terrorism, we journalists say that it was a module that carried out the attack. However in the case of the IS there is a difference since these are not technically modules, but inspired modules.
An inspired module is one that draws inspiration from a group's ideology. The members of the group of a lone person is not in touch with the members of the terrorist group. The planning of an attack is not discussed or known to the members of the group. The ideology is in circulation and it is up for grabs. Any person can draw inspiration and carry out an attack in the name of the terrorist group.
In India too several such modules were busted. Most of the members were not in touch with any of the members or handlers of the ISIS. They drew inspiration from the material circulated online and planned and tried to execute the attack on their own. This also meant that the ISIS or the al-Qaeda did not have to fund these modules. The members collect funds and go about their business on their own. For using the ISIS ideology, the group only would seek credit in return.
One needs to bear in mind is that the ISIS does not function like other terror groups. The ISIS does not function on the module theory. It is an outfit that works like an army in Iraq and Syria.
The function it gives its recruits in Iraq and Syria is very different to that it expects from its men in other parts of the world. When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the boss of the ISIS delivered a message a year back, he made it amply clear that the outfit needed people who were inspired by it. He wanted to spread the ideology of the ISIS across the world and directed all to set up the Caliphate in their respective countries.
Top Intelligence Bureau officials say that the ISIS functions on inspiration. There is no set pattern that it works on. It has thrown a lot of material online about ideology and how it expects its men to function. It does not call for an attack that would require a great deal of planning.
Do not follow the rules is the message that it delivers. For instance, if a 'non-believer' is pushed down a building, the IS would call it an attack. The Nice attack in which a lorry mowed down several people was also called an attack. That attack was carried out by an ISIS inspired man who was not part of any module.