Terrorism and sexual assault cast shadow over Japanese travelers by the Japan Times mentions that Japan is regarded as a target by daesh:

In the same issue, Isao Itabashi, a specialist in terrorism at the Council for Public Policy, notes that Dabiq, the online PR publication issued by the Islamic State group, “made references to targeting Japanese in four issues between February and December” of 2015. “As terrorists in other parts of the world under the sway of the Islamic State group are reading Dabiq, I would say that the risk of more Japanese falling victim to terrorism has increased.”

While Japan has not been totally isolationist, it has been somewhat pacifist since WWII. It is also a long distance away from the middle east.

Are there any countries which daesh does not consider a target?

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    The goal of every extremist [censored] group is submission of the entire world to their [censored]. Jul 21, 2016 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


No, there are not, only countries that are lower down on the list.

The Islamic State has declared they are "The Caliphate", which in their eyes is the promised global state to end all states. All Muslims are expected to swear fealty to the Caliph and everyone else is an infidel that needs to die. By not submitting to the Caliphate, even "proper" Sunni Muslim governments have made themselves into targets.

A Christian equivalent would be some armed group announcing their leader is Jesus returning to the world to establish the Kingdom Come, and that the Pope, all governments and all people of the entire Creation needed to submit to him for Judgement. You can imagine the governments of even Christian-majority countries wouldn't like that too much. You can imagine as well that with such a declaration, there can be no compromise, no "Except Switzerland, they are neutral where the Lord's Judgement is concerned".

This is also the reason that the various Muslim countries around IS territory have been somewhat more serious about fighting them than previous extremists. Most of it is still jockeying of the various factions to gain an advantage against each other, but IS is a threat to all of them.

Underneath that logic is of course common political strategy. Japan doesn't have a sizable Muslim minority that can be incited to acts of terrorism, I think, so they are low down on the list unless they draw attention to themselves (IS is very PR conscious). But there is nothing short of converting to their brand of Islam and swearing fealty to the Caliph that will disqualify any country or its citizens from being a target.

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    Citation RE Islamic State's policy? At least, I had the same perception as you, but we need a way to check.
    – user8398
    Jul 21, 2016 at 15:49
  • I've added the obligatory Wikipedia link, which states roughly the same in the opening paragraph, and an opinion piece from the New York Times. I'm not going to visit some IS site to get their version, feel free to do that yourself...
    – Cyrus
    Jul 21, 2016 at 19:52

No, the point if 'the caliphate' is to convert the world into their own aggressive twisted version of Islam and so all countries that are not affiliated with that aim are at risk - all current countries.

However that said, they are unlikely to attack countries that do have a mindset that is similar to their's like the extremely conservative Islamic country Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the indication that Saudi barons have donated to or been complicit to the group's rise would probably mean that the Saudi Arabian elite is safe for now.

  • "probably mean that Saudi Arabia is safe for now." You might want to think again. There's a big difference between factions within Saudi society. They are not all loyal to the royal establishment and their clerics.
    – user8398
    Jul 21, 2016 at 17:47
  • Well spotted, I meant that the elite are safe, certainly not those who are under attack. Jul 21, 2016 at 17:50
  • Saudi Arabia is quite at big risk actually. At very big risk.
    – Anixx
    Jul 22, 2016 at 23:11

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