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ISIS attacks and Europe's "horrible" politics lead Ian Bremmer's 'top risks' for 2015

Aaron Task
·Editor in Chief

The Twitter and YouTube sites of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) were back online Tuesday after being temporarily shut down Monday following a hack by Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizers. CENTCOM called the hack a "case of cybervandalism" and claims no classified information was posted.

A cyberattack on "commercial, non-Defense Department servers" looks fairly innocuous in the wake of multiple deadly attacks by ISIS in Paris last week. Unfortunately, Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, expects more attacks from radical Islam in Europe this year, particularly in France.

"As much as we want to say 'four million people turned out [for the march], France is unified', France is a worryingly and deeply divided society," Bremmer says, describing France's Muslim population as "completely disenfranchised, living in slums [with] massive unemployment among young Muslims."

On the other hand, 34% of French citizens support Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration Front National party and "they were not marching in the unity parade," Bremmer says, adding that over a dozen acts of violence against Muslims occurred in France in the two days after the attack on Charlie Hedbo last week.

Similarly, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise in Germany, where at least 25,000 people in Dresden marched Monday in a parade organized by a group called the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.

This matters for investors, Bremmer says, because "European politics" is Eurasia Group's top market risk for 2015.

"It'd be one thing if the European economy was doing just fine and they had to deal with this," he explains in the accompanying video. "But the politics look horrible on every front and I think that's a great market risk," especially when combined with the ongoing weakness of the European economy and geopolitical tensions with Russia.

As for ISIS, their ability to "actually become the 'Islamic State' is really limited," Bremmer says. "Institutionalizing yourself in a big way is a dangerous thing."

ISIS is the world's wealthiest terrorist organization, according to Forbes, but Bremmer says "they're not going to govern well and don't have a big enough budget to pay for all their constituents."

That's in part because ISIS has to use its funds defending its territory and now faces opposition from U.S. bombers, Kurdish peshmerga forces and an Iraqi Army that Bremmer says "can actually pick up some ground" thanks to support from the U.S. and other allies.

"ISIS will weaken somewhat as a state but ISIS's capacity in terms of recruiting, brand building and in terms of attracting more people willing to engage in acts that will support militant Islam not only in the region but also in Europe" will grow in 2015, he warns.

Not surprisingly, ISIS is also on Eurasia Group's list of Top Risks for 2015, with the research and cosulting firm predicting "its ideological reach will spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa."

Aaron Task is Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter at @aarontask or email him at altask@yahoo.com.