The city of Berlin and the Jordanian Crusader town of Karaka are 3,000 kilometers apart (1,864 miles), but the distance did not stop Islamic State killers from taking 26 lives and injuring 18 more, some very seriously, in the two countries. It is also the likely cause of the missing Israeli in Berlin, Dalia Elkayam.
In Berlin, German security is out in force to hunt the terrorist who rammed a hijacked Polish truck into a throng of Christmas gift seekers.
The search is an attempt to find a needle in a haystack.
In short, Germany does not have a clue. They do not know if the terrorist operated alone or was part of a cell. If a cell, is it ready to strike again? The possibility of a multiple strike strategy recalls atrocities in Paris which claimed 132 lives before a campaign of attacks finally ended.
Meanwhile in Jordan, terrorists followed up on a first shooting attack against police by taking tourists hostage in a three-day gun battle with security forces in the alleys of Karak. Four soldiers were killed by ISIS terrorists barricaded in a building.
These episodes are not over in Germany.
And the war against ISIS in southern Jordan has only just begun.
In both countries, regardless their different forms of government and the distance that separates them, ISIS is seriously shaking ruling establishments.
German chancellor Angela Merkel is standing for a fourth term in the coming election. She faces an outcry against her open-door immigration policy. In Jordan, the throne of King Abdullah II is at risk if he fails to crush the Islamists.
Merkel’s policy has brought a million refugees to Germany. For his part, Abdullah has given refuge to 650,000 distressed Syrians. Unlike the chancellor, the king has finally sealed his kingdom’s borders to further entry - thanks to US and Israeli assistance.
It may be counterintuitive, but European and Middle East rulers find themselves in the same boat. They are all exposed to an organized Islamic terror offensive with no notion of when and how the deadly strike will come.
This is nothing but a colossal failure of the global war on ISIS.
Germany and Jordan were not the only ISIS targets on Tuesday, 12 December. That same day, the organization also hit two fronts in the Mosul region of Iraq – one to punish the pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi militia near Tal Afar and the other, Iraqi army forces holding some of the southern and eastern outskirts of Mosul.
In Iraq, the US-backed army offered little or no resistance.
Nonetheless, the Obama administration has stuck to its standard refrain. In spite of ISIS taking credit for the Berlin attack, it has refused to blame ISIS without corroboration. In fact, the failure of US intelligence failure to identity the perpetrators exculpates ISIS.
Even so, Washington continues to bury its head in the sand.
Suddenly, Israel finds itself with a new strategic dilemma. Threatened with ISIS and other terrorist groups from its Golan border in the north and its Sinai border in the south, Israel is now beset, as well, from its eastern border in Jordan.