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ISIS – HISTORY

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ISIS is a powerful terrorist militant group that has seized control of large areas of the Middle East. Infamous for its brutal violence and murderous assaults on civilians, this self-described caliphate has claimed responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks around the world, in addition to destroying priceless monuments, ancient temples and other buildings, and works of art from antiquity.

The roots of ISIS trace back to 2004, when the organization known as al Qaeda in Iraq formed. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was originally part of Osama bin Ladens al Qaeda Network, founded this militant group.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq began in 2003, and the aim of al Qaeda in Iraq was to remove Western occupation and replace it with a Sunni Islamist regime.

When Zarqawi was killed during a U.S. airstrike in 2006, Egyptian Abu Ayyub al-Masri became the new leader and renamed the group ISI, which stood for Islamic State of Iraq. In 2010, Masri died in a US-Iraqi operation, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took power.

When the civil war in Syria started, ISI fought against Syrian forces and gained ground throughout the region. In 2013, the group officially renamed themselves ISIS, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, because they had expanded into Syria.

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ISIS rule spread quickly throughout Iraq and Syria. The group focused on creating an Islamic state and implementing sharia lawa strict religious code based on traditional Islamic rules and practices.

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In 2014, ISIS took control of Falluja, Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq, and declared itself a caliphate, which is a political and religious territory ruled by a leader known as a caliph.

ISIS fighters attacked a northern town in Iraq that was home to the Yazidis, a minority religious group, in August 2014. They killed hundreds of people, sold women into slavery, forced religious conversions and caused tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee from their homes.

The attack sparked international media coverage and brought attention to the brutal tactics employed by ISIS. Also in 2014, al Qaeda broke ties with ISIS, formally rejecting the group and disavowing their activities.

Throughout its existence, ISIS has been called several names, including:

ISIL: This acronym stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Levant is a broad geographical region that includes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan. Some experts believe the ISIL label more accurately describes the objectives of the militant group.

IS: The shortened IS simply means Islamic State. In 2014, the militant group announced they were officially calling themselves IS because their goals for an Islamic state reached beyond the areas identified in other titles.

Daesh: Many Middle Eastern and European governments have used this Arabic acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, which translates to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, to address the group. However, ISIS doesnt approve of the name, and in 2014, threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone who called them Daesh in public.

Although theres been debate over which name most accurately describes the militant group, these titles are typically used interchangeably, and they all refer to the same organization.

ISIS became recognized around the world for carrying out heinous acts of violence, including public executions, rapes, beheadings and crucifixions. The group has earned an nefarious reputation for videotaping brutal killings and displaying them online.

One of the first widely publicized acts of ISIS violence happened in August 2014, when a few of the groups militants beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley and posted a video of the bloody execution on YouTube.

About a month later, ISIS released another video that showed the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff. A series of gruesome videos showing the beheadings of kidnapped journalists and international aid workers followed for the next several months.

In February 2015, ISIS released footage of Jordanian military pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage. The same month, an ISIS video showed militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya.

Images of a man being thrown off a building in Syria were made public in March 2015. ISIS claimed to have killed the man because he was a homosexual.

Numerous other videos and images documenting brutal executions have been released and attributed to ISIS.

ISIS has also claimed responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and around the world. Some of the most well-known attacks on Western soil that were linked to ISIS include:

Since about 2014, members of ISIS have destroyed numerous historical sites and artifacts throughout Iraq, Syria and Libya.

The group claims cultural monuments, statues and shrines are idolatrous and shouldnt be worshipped. However, several news investigations have revealed that ISIS has sold and profited from many of these artifacts.

Some of the cultural sites ISIS has attacked or destroyed include:

ISIS has been called the richest terrorist organization in the world. While estimates vary, the group was said to have made $2 billion in 2014 alone. Much of ISISs money has come from seizing control of banks, oil refineries and other assets in the territories it occupies.

The group has also used kidnapping ransoms, taxes, extortion, stolen artifacts, donations, looting and support from foreign fighters to fill its coffers.

However, a report released in 2017 by the British International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) revealed that ISIS financial revenue has dropped dramatically in recent years.

In response to ISIS violence, various countriesincluding the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, several Arab nations and other countrieshave initiated efforts to defeat the terrorist group.

In 2014, a U.S.-led coalition started airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. That same year, the Pentagon announced a program to train Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS. However, this initiative was nixed a year later when only about 150 rebels were recruited.

The United States has primarily used targeted airstrikes and special operations forces to fight ISIS. In 2015, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. had launched nearly 9,000 airstrikes on ISIS.

The United States military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS compound in Afghanistan in April 2017.

Reports have suggested ISIS has weakened both militarily and financially. The group has lost control of large amounts of territory in Iraq, and several of its leaders have been killed or captured, including the May 2018 arrest of five top ISIS officials in Syria and Turkey.

While notable gains against ISIS have been made, international efforts to control this powerful terrorist organization will likely continue for many years.

Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic States Financial Fortunes: International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed: National Geographic.What is Islamic State?: BBC.Islamic State group: The full story: BBC.Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq: Washington Post.Timeline: US Policy on ISIS: The Wilson Center.ISIS Fast Facts: CNN.ISIS goes global: 143 attacks in 29 countries have killed 2,043: CNN.The ISIS Chronicles: A History: The National Interest.How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isiss $2bn jihadist network: The Guardian.Five Top ISIS Officials Captured in U.S.-Iraqi Sting: The New York Times.

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ISIS Liveuamap.com – Today news from war on ISIS in English …

3 children killed by a mortar shell in the town of Al Suluk, North Raqqa

SDF video from the city of Sousse

19yo arrested at airport in Columbus Ohio, charged with trying to join ISIS in Afghanistan. Per @TheJusticeDept, Naser Almadaoji, an Iraq-born naturalized US citizen, intended to fly 1st to Astana Kazakhstan; said he’d also been in Jordan Egypt possibly to join a group

4 civilians from the Kakayi minority were injured when two roadside bombs went off in Shasah and said wldi villages in Daquq south of Kirkuk on Thursday Oct. 25, acording to Omed kakayi, commander of the Kakayii battalion in the Iraqi Popular Mobilization forces.

Al-Boukamal: Clashes continue between ISIS and SDF forces on the axis of Baghouz and Hjein east of Deir Al-Zour

ISIS still controls Al-Aliyat and Al-Bubadran areas within Al-Susah,and also parts of Al-Marashidah

Brett McGurk: Substantive meeting with new Iraq Prime Minister @AdilAbdAlMahdi on his first morning in the job in Baghdad. We look forward to working closely with Iraq’s new government under PM Mahdi’s leadership and strengthening our partnership under the Strategic Framework Agreement.

SDF captured the town of Al-Sousse from the city of Deir al-Zour after heavy fighting that lasted for days with Daesh, accompanied by intensive raids by the International Aviation coalition

Deir ez-Zur: Coalition targeted a mosque in Hajin city with an airstrike and killed 9 civilians

New monthly casualty report from @CJTFOIR – 1 new civilian casualty incident reported in Iraq Syria assessed to be not credible. Of 310 open reports from previous months, 104 “assessed to be non-credible” 1,114 civilians have been killed since August 2014, per @CJTFOIR

ISIS claims the assassination of 4 members of the Egyptian army at al-Arish the day before yesterday

Malaysian police rescued a woman and her 2 children from Syria after her husband who joined the Islamic State died there

11 ISIS-linked Malaysians returned home, 37 killed, says counterterrorism official.

There are at least four British children currently in SDF camps in Syria. The UK gov told us there is no desire to repatriate them in the way the French have

Daesh claimed attack against SDF near Hajin with dead and POWs

The main person calling for an investigation is MP Ahmad Al-Jubouri as cited by Knights of Jubour (Brigade 90). ISF arrested 3 ISIS posing as women in the countryside west of Mosul. They are connected to the Qayyarah bombing.

Senior Law Enforcement Source: Explosive Device Sent to CNN Featured Parody ISIS Flag, “Get ‘Er Done” Inscription

The coalition carried out several strikes against the Zawiyah mosque in Hajin city , in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside.

Several SDF fighters were killed yesterday during clashers against Daesh in the Sussah town.

Iraq Army 16th Division, 75th Brigade, ERD 2nd governmentnt, and Nineveh SWAT launched an operation in direction of Jazeera Desert as retaliation for yesterday’s terror attack.

OIR Spokesman: ISIS continues to launch attacks from mosques. They have no regard for innocent lives and protected sites. The Coalition conducted a strike today on an ISIS fighting position in As Susa mosque. The MERV will be captured soon by SDF

Egypt- ISIS claim+Amaq report on killing of soldier in sniper attack near al-Arish Airport and Amaq report on ISIS assassination by gunfire of 4 soldiers in al-Arish, North Sinai (both attacks occurred on October 22)

SDF controls 90% of Al-Susah from ISIS

SDF has captured vast parts of Al-Marashidah from ISIS

Islamic State Khurasan (ISK): IED Destroys Hummer in Manaw village, Jarbarhar District Nangarhar

Deir ez-Zur: ISIS members raided many houses in Al-Bokamal city and arrested many civilians on charges of dealing with the government forces

11 militants killed in clashes with Egyptian police in the desert region adjacent to Assiut Governorate

SDF and self-government released 102 prisoners of Syrian and Iraqi nationalities convicted of working with ISIS, but claimed to not have taken part in killing. The released prisoners, who were detained between half a year and 2 years, pledged not to harm citizens.

Photo report from the Islamic State-held Hajin pocket shows U.S. air presence over the pocket, including an MQ-9 Reaper UAV and an F-15E.

The international coalition forces found a weapons storage belongs to ISIS in Raqqa countryside

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Isis | Define Isis at Dictionary.com

[ahy-sis]

ExamplesWord Origin

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Latin Greek sis Egyptian ‘st

[ahy-sis]

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Arabic al-Sham, an ancient territory known in English as the Levant, an area on the E shores of the Mediterranean

Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2018

But sources said that the evidence so far is pointing away from an ISIS connection.

We quietly did, Reed previously told The Daily Beast of removing ISIS.

You are applying Western metrics to someone who is not using that metric against you, referring to ISIS, Bolger said.

But there is no consensus about what the attrition of ISIS looks like.

Breaking the will of ISIS, the military argues, is not a statistic.

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Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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US strike in Afghanistan kills senior ISIS commander Abu …

KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. strike over the weekend killed a senior Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) commander in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan and U.S. officials said Monday. The strike in Nangarhar province killed Abu Sayeed Orakzai, a senior leader in the extremist group, according to Shah Hussain Martazawi, deputy spokesman for the Afghan presidency. He said the operation showed the government’s “determination to fight terrorism.”

Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said American forces launched a counterterrorism strike in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday that targeted a “senior leader of a designated terrorist organization.” He did not provide further details.

“These efforts target the real enemies of Afghanistan, the same enemies who threaten America,” he said.

An ISIS affiliate that emerged in Afghanistan in 2014 has carried out scores of attacks targeting security forces and the country’s Shiite minority. Even with U.S. and NATO support, Afghan security forces have struggled to combat ISIS and the more well-established Taliban.

2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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ISIS : Summary for Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc – Yahoo Finance

U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 47 minsPrevious CloseN/AOpenN/ABidN/A x N/AAskN/A x N/ADay’s RangeN/A – N/A52 Week Rangeundefined – undefinedVolumeN/AAvg. VolumeN/AMarket CapN/ABetaN/APE Ratio (TTM)N/AEPS (TTM)N/AEarnings DateN/AForward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)Ex-Dividend DateN/A1y Target EstN/A

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ISIS: The State of Terror: Jessica Stern, J. M. Berger …

Jessica Stern and J.M. Bergers new book, ISIS, should be required reading for every politician and policymakerTheir smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations.Stern and Berger offer a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group. (Washington Post)

By far the most important contribution yet to our understanding of an organization that remains cloaked in mystery and misunderstanding . . . A brisk, readable, and eye-opening account of ISISs past, present, and future. This is a book every American should read. (Reza Aslan, author of No God but god and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)

A timely and urgent book that is essential reading for analysts and policy makers alike. In what is already a cornerstone contribution, Stern and Berger offer the kind of cold-blood analysis so desperately needed on the poorly understood phenomenon that is the so-called Islamic state. (John Horgan, author of The Psychology of Terrorism)

The first serious book to analyze the rise of ISIS . . . Stern and Berger write clearly and persuasively and marshal impressive primary research from ISISs prodigious propaganda to help explain how ISIS became the dominant jihadi group today. Its a terrific and important read. (Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad)

Stern and Berger pull back the curtain to expose facts and myths about the violent Salafi apocalyptic cult calling itself the Islamic State. A must-read. (Mike Walker, former undersecretary and acting secretary of the United States Army)

ISIS emerged in territory occupied by American soldiers, governed by dictatorial regimes, and fought over by sectarian extremists. Stern and Berger provide context for understanding ISISs past and considering how its media model may affect future extremist movements. (Kecia Ali, associate professor religion, Boston University)

A penetrating analysis . . . The book provides important context for an evolving organization and proto-state that is attempting to rewrite the jihadi playbook. (Aaron Zelin, Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

ISIS: The State of Terror is a timely and important history of a movement that now defines the 21st century. (Sam Kiley, Evening Standard (London))

This book should be required reading for every politician and policymaker. (Washington Post)

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ISIS trail of Terror | Is ISIS a Threat to the U.S.? – ABC …

Born from an especially brutal al Qaeda faction, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has grown from relative obscurity in recent years to overshadow its extremist patrons. It now terrorizes large swaths of Syria and Iraq, has become the target of the largest U.S. military operation in Iraq in years and, with the public, cold-blooded execution of multiple Westerners, dominates headlines the world over.Where Did ISIS Come From?While extremist groups are generally amorphous organizations, ISIS can trace its history directly back to the Sunni terrorist organization al Qaeda, specifically the Iraq faction, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was responsible for scores of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq following the U.S. invasion there. After al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006 by an American airstrike, leadership of the group eventually fell to an experienced Iraqi fighter, Abu Dua, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had once been in U.S. custody in Iraq.

AQI was weakened in Iraq in 2007 as a result of what is known as the Sunni Awakening, when a large alliance of Iraqi Sunni tribes, supported by the U.S., fought against the jihadist group. AQI saw an opportunity to regain its power and expand its ranks in the Syrian conflict that started in 2011, moving into Syria from Iraq. By 2013, al-Baghdadi had spread his groups influence back into Iraq and changed the groups name to ISIS, reflecting its greater regional ambitions, according to the U.S. State Department. ISIS, as the group has been identified by ABC News and other news organizations, refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Different translations of the Arabic name al-Baghdadi gave his organization have spawned other English-language versions such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (also ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It is also known as Daesh, based on an Arabic acronym.

READ: US Says ‘No Reason to Doubt’ Veracity of Video Featuring Shadowy Iraqi Terror Leader

The Iraqi government and much of its military officer corps are mostly made up of Shia Muslims, whereas much of the areas ISIS has retained in Iraq are predominantly Sunni, like ISIS – meaning the Iraqi military forces are often operating in areas where the local population may be more willing to tolerate, or even support ISIS. ISIS has also built relations of convenience with disgruntled local Sunni tribes and ex-Baathists who have felt marginalized and disenfranchised by the government in Baghdad, which has been accused of favoring Shias. ISIS wasnt handed its first major defeat until mid-August 2014 when Kurdish and Iraqi forces, supported by an aggressive U.S. aerial bombing campaign, pushed the terror group off the Mosul Dam, a key piece of infrastructure.

READ: Why Control of a Terrifying Dam in Iraq Is Life or Death for Half Million People

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS expanded its aggressive bombing campaign against the group into Syria in September 2014 and has bombarded the terror group virtually daily since. In February 2015, the U.S. military said that day by day, ISIS is losing ground in Iraq.

Nicholas Rasmussen, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told Congress in February 2015 some 20,000 foreign fighters from 90 countries had traveled to Syria to join one group or another — 3,400 of those fighters are said to have come from Western nations, including over 150 from the U.S. who have either traveled to the conflict zone, or attempted to do so.

Its very difficult to be precise with these numbers because they come from a variety of sources that vary in quality, Rasmussen said. But the trend lines are clear and concerning.

One of the gunmen in a dual terror attack in Paris in January 2015 claimed that he was part of ISIS, though the other shooters in that attack were linked to an al Qaeda affiliate. Days after the Paris incident, authorities in the U.S. announced they had arrested an Ohio man and ISIS supporter who planned to bomb the U.S. Capitol.

In addition to the so-called self-radicalized ISIS supporters, Western intelligence agencies are concerned about those who travel to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS before coming back home.The battlefields in Iraq and Syria provide foreign fighters with combat experience, weapons and explosives training, and access to terrorist networks that may be planning attacks which target the West, Rasmussen said in February 2015.

READ: How US Military Team Slipped On and Off Mt. Sinjar

In a particularly disturbing development, a pamphlet attributed to ISIS and shared online described the rules of dealing with female unbelievers as slaves. The rules allowed for forced intercourse, for instance, except in certain circumstances.

After Foleys disappearance, his family, U.S. officials and other reporters kept the kidnapping a secret until January 2013 when Foleys family decided to break their silence and beg for their sons return.Foleys captors, whoever they were, hadnt made contact, the family said. The U.S. government increased its effort to find Foley, using unlikely messengers including the Turks, the Czechs and the Russians to get word to potential abductors on either side of the Syrian conflict. In November 2013 a ransom demand for an astronomical sum of money — $132 million — was received, according to GlobalPost CEO Phil Balboni, but it wasn’t taken seriously. Efforts continued to free Foley, including a secret, failed U.S. military rescue mission in the summer of 2014. But following U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in August, Foley was killed on camera by a self-professed member of the terror group.

READ: Could Money Have Saved James Foley? ISIS ‘Wasn’t Serious’ About Demands, Officials Say

Sotloff was a freelance reporter whose work on the Middle East appeared in TIME and Foreign Policy among others. He disappeared in Syria in August 2013. After Foleys execution video appeared online, Sotloffs mother, Shirley, made a videotaped plea to ISIS leader al-Baghdadi to have mercy on her son.

At the end of the video that appeared to show Sotloffs death, the militant in black stands beside another kneeling hostage, identified as a British citizen.

We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State [ISIS] to back off and leave our people alone, he says.Once again, the airstrikes continued and other Western hostages were killed on camera in similarly gruesome fashion.

ISISs last known American hostage, 26-year-old Kayla Mueller, died in the hands of the terror group, the White House said in February 2015, though its unclear how she died.Mueller had traveled the world as an aid worker before her death, going wherever she thought she could help those in desperate need.For as long as I live, I will not let this suffering be normal, she told her local newspaper in 2013. [I will not let this be] something we just accept It is important to stop and realize what we have, why we have it and how privileged we are. And from that place, start caring and get a lot done.

[Last updated: Feb. 23, 2015]

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ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state? – CNN

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The face of a balding, middle-aged man stares unsmilingly into the camera. He is dressed in a suit and tie and could pass for a midlevel bureaucrat.

But the photograph is that of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who has transformed a few terror cells harried to the verge of extinction into the most dangerous militant group in the world.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has thrived and mutated during the ongoing civil war in Syria and in the security vacuum that followed the departure of the last American forces from Iraq.

The aim of ISIS is to create an Islamic state across Sunni areas of Iraq and in Syria.

With the seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and advances on others, that aim appears within reach.

ISIS controls hundreds of square miles where state authority has evaporated. It ignores international borders and has a presence all the way from Syria’s Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad.

What are its origins?

In 2006, al Qaeda in Iraq — under the ruthless leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — embarked on seemingly arbitrary and brutal treatment of civilians as it tried to ignite a sectarian war against the majority Shia community.

It came close to succeeding, especially after the bombing of the Al-Askariya Mosque, an important Shia shrine in Samarra, which sparked retaliatory attacks.

But the killing of al-Zarqawi by American forces, the vicious treatment of civilians and the emergence of the Sahwa (Awakening) Fronts under moderate Sunni tribal leaders nearly destroyed the group.

Nearly, but not quite.

When U.S. forces left Iraq, they took much of their intelligence-gathering expertise with them.

Iraqi officials began to speak of a “third generation” of al Qaeda in Iraq.

The capability of those Iraqi forces was fatally compromised by a lack of professional soldiers, the division of military units along sectarian lines and a lack of the equipment needed for fighting an insurgency, such as attack helicopters and reconnaissance capabilities.

The new al Qaeda was rebranded in 2006 as the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). It would add “and Syria” to its name later.

The group exploited a growing perception among many Sunnis that they were being persecuted by the Shia-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, starved of resources and excluded from a share of power.

The arrest of senior Sunni political figures and heavy-handed suppression of Sunni dissent were the best recruiting sergeants ISI could have. And it helped the new leader re-establish the group’s influence.

Who is its master of terror?

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi graduated to the top job in 2010 — at the age of 39 — after Abu Omar al Baghdadi was killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation.

Al Baghdadi’s group was in a pitiful state. But with U.S. forces and intelligence on the way out, he launched a revival.

Very little is known about Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, but a biography posted on jihadist websites last year said he held a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from a university in the capital.

He formed his own militant group in the Samarra and Diyala areas, where his family was from, before joining al Qaeda in Iraq.

Al Baghdadi even served four years in a U.S. prison camp for insurgents, at Bucca in southern Iraq — a time in which he almost certainly developed a network of contacts and honed his ideology.

He was released in 2009 and went to work.

What is ISIS trying to accomplish?

It wants to establish an Islamic caliphate, or state, stretching across the region.

ISIS has begun imposing Sharia law in the towns it controls. Boys and girls must be separated at school; women must wear the niqab or full veil in public. Sharia courts often dispense brutal justice, music is banned and the fast is enforced during Ramadan.

Sharia law covers both religious and non-religious aspects of life.

Where does the group’s money come from?

In the beginning, al Baghdadi focused on secrecy — with loosely connected cells making it more difficult to hunt down the leadership — and on money.

Extortion, such as demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, was one revenue stream; robbing banks and gold shops was another.

It seemed the group had become little more than gangsters, but the income would help finance a growing stream of suicide attacks and assassinations that would poison the political atmosphere.

It would also aid the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters and finance spectacular prison raids that liberated hundreds of fighters, as well as attacks on police patrols and the assassination of officials.

Now, al Baghdadi has a new strategy for generating resources: large-scale attacks aimed at capturing and holding territory.

Ayham Kamel of the Eurasia Group, a U.S.-based consultancy, says that in the latest iteration of this strategy, ISIS will “use cash reserves from Mosul’s banks, military equipment from seized military and police bases and the release of 2,500 fighters from local jails to bolster its military and financial capability.”

What’s been its key to survival?

Al Baghdadi avoided al-Zarqawi’s mistakes by avoiding the alienation of powerful tribal figures.

When it captured Falluja, west of Baghdad, in January, it worked with local tribal leaders rather than raise its black flag over the city.

One of the group’s ideologues, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, even admitted: “As for our mistakes, we do not deny them. Rather, we will continue to make mistakes as long as we are humans. God forbid that we commit mistakes deliberately.”

How is it drawing support?

ISIS is, in essence, trying to capture and channel the resentment of the Sunni street. And in both Syria and Iraq, it is trying to win favor through dawa — organizing social welfare programs and even recreational activities for children, distributing food and fuel to the needy, and setting up clinics.

Again, having the money matters. The price it demands is enforcement of the strict Sharia code.

How does Syria fit into the picture?

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN this week that ISIS looks at Syria and Iraq as “one interchangeable battlefield and its ability to shift resources and personnel across the border has measurably strengthened its position in both theaters.”

The explosion of violence in Syria was a gift to al Baghdadi.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lost control over large parts of the North and the long border with Iraq.

The group, still known as ISI at the time, could build a rear base where it could recruit foreign fighters, organize and escape from any Iraqi army operations.

Al Baghdadi may have sent operatives across the border as early as the autumn of 2011, and the group later changed its name — adding “al Sham” for Syria.

It moved swiftly to take control of the Syrian province of Raqqa, aided by the al-Assad regime’s focus on Homs and Aleppo.

What is its relationship with other al Qaeda groups?

As it has grown in strength, the group’s vision of a caliphate under its control has expanded.

Its ambition extended to declaring early in 2013 that it was absorbing another militant group in Syria, the al-Nusra Front. According to some accounts, al Baghdadi had been instrumental in creating the group; now he wanted its obedience.

The declaration — and al-Nusra’s rejection of it — set off a rare public clash between two groups that both saw themselves as part of al Qaeda.

From his hideout somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at first tried to mediate between the two, and then disowned ISIS when it refused to concentrate on Iraq.

Rather than seek reconciliation, ISIS has hit back. Earlier this year, the group’s spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, told al-Zawahiri in a recording: “Sheikh Osama (bin Laden) gathered all the mujahideen with one word, but you divided them and tore them apart.”

“You make the mujahideen sad, and make the enemy of the mujahideen gloat because you support the traitor, and you make the heart bleed,” he said — referring to the leader of the al-Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al-Jolani.

It was another sign of the extraordinary confidence of the ISIS leadership.

Despite the rift, ISIS’ success against what are seen by militant Sunnis as loathsome Shia regimes in Syria and Iraq has attracted thousands of foreign fighters to its ranks, enabling it to continue battling al-Nusra in Syria while preparing for its big offensive in Iraq.

What is its strategy?

For Western counterterrorism agencies, the combination of fanaticism and disciplined organization is the nightmare scenario. ISIS has plenty of both.

While the world was shocked by its sudden capture of the city of Falluja, ISIS was still focused on a bigger prize: Mosul and the province of Nineveh. Operations in Falluja and elsewhere in the western province of Anbar were meant to (and did) draw Iraqi forces away from the north.

It has developed an ability to conduct operations — from suicide bombings and attacks on the security forces to wresting control of towns — in several regions at once, keeping the demoralized Iraqi army off balance.

And battle experience has created a resilient force capable of ever more sophisticated attacks.

In raids on Samarra, for example, its fighters used bulldozers to remove barriers that had been in place since the U.S. occupation.

Some analysts expect critical parts of the Iraqi oil infrastructure around Mosul to be among its future targets.

Where does its weakness lie?

ISIS runs the risk that its rapid expansion — and threat to the Iraqi state — will overstretch the group.

In northern Syria, it has retreated from some towns it held after clashes with al-Nusra and other groups.

Al-Nusra is making common cause with other groups in an anti-ISIS front.

And by taking Mosul, which Iraq’s Kurds see as in their sphere of interest, ISIS may invite greater cooperation between the Iraqi army and experienced Kurdish fighters.

A U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN that ISIS “still has significant weaknesses. It has shown little ability to govern effectively, is generally unpopular, and has no sway outside the Sunni community in either Iraq or Syria.”

To many analysts, that smacks of complacency.

How significant is its threat?

The weakness of the governments ISIS is confronting — and the hatred for those governments among Sunnis — means that a few dozen truckloads of fighters can seize towns and cities, overcoming forces many times larger by their sheer ferocity and battle experience.

In the words of the Soufan Group, a political risk consultancy, “ISIS has become indisputably the most effective and ruthless terrorist organization in the world.”

“It now challenges the authority of two of the largest states in the Middle East, and has attracted significant numbers of fighters, not just from Iraq and Syria, but also from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states including Jordan.”

There is no doubting the group’s confidence and ambition.

ISIS spokesman al-Adnani took to Twitter Wednesday to declare, “The battle is not yet raging it, but it will rage in Baghdad and Karbala. Put on your belts and get ready,” according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Al-Adnani openly mocked al-Maliki as an underwear salesman who had lost Iraq for the Shia.

“You lost a historic opportunity for your people to control Iraq,” he said, “and the Shi’ites will always curse you for as long as they live.”

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ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state? – CNN

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ISIS Fast Facts – CNN

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ISIS Fast Facts – CNN

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July 13, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS – HISTORY

Contents ISIS is a powerful terrorist militant group that has seized control of large areas of the Middle East. Infamous for its brutal violence and murderous assaults on civilians, this self-described caliphate has claimed responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks around the world, in addition to destroying priceless monuments, ancient temples and other buildings, and works of art from antiquity. The roots of ISIS trace back to 2004, when the organization known as al Qaeda in Iraq formed. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was originally part of Osama bin Ladens al Qaeda Network, founded this militant group. The U.S. invasion of Iraq began in 2003, and the aim of al Qaeda in Iraq was to remove Western occupation and replace it with a Sunni Islamist regime. When Zarqawi was killed during a U.S. airstrike in 2006, Egyptian Abu Ayyub al-Masri became the new leader and renamed the group ISI, which stood for Islamic State of Iraq. In 2010, Masri died in a US-Iraqi operation, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took power. When the civil war in Syria started, ISI fought against Syrian forces and gained ground throughout the region. In 2013, the group officially renamed themselves ISIS, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, because they had expanded into Syria. Thanks for watching!Visit Website ISIS rule spread quickly throughout Iraq and Syria. The group focused on creating an Islamic state and implementing sharia lawa strict religious code based on traditional Islamic rules and practices. Thanks for watching!Visit Website Thanks for watching!Visit Website In 2014, ISIS took control of Falluja, Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq, and declared itself a caliphate, which is a political and religious territory ruled by a leader known as a caliph. ISIS fighters attacked a northern town in Iraq that was home to the Yazidis, a minority religious group, in August 2014. They killed hundreds of people, sold women into slavery, forced religious conversions and caused tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee from their homes. The attack sparked international media coverage and brought attention to the brutal tactics employed by ISIS. Also in 2014, al Qaeda broke ties with ISIS, formally rejecting the group and disavowing their activities. Throughout its existence, ISIS has been called several names, including: ISIL: This acronym stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Levant is a broad geographical region that includes Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan. Some experts believe the ISIL label more accurately describes the objectives of the militant group. IS: The shortened IS simply means Islamic State. In 2014, the militant group announced they were officially calling themselves IS because their goals for an Islamic state reached beyond the areas identified in other titles. Daesh: Many Middle Eastern and European governments have used this Arabic acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, which translates to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, to address the group. However, ISIS doesnt approve of the name, and in 2014, threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone who called them Daesh in public. Although theres been debate over which name most accurately describes the militant group, these titles are typically used interchangeably, and they all refer to the same organization. ISIS became recognized around the world for carrying out heinous acts of violence, including public executions, rapes, beheadings and crucifixions. The group has earned an nefarious reputation for videotaping brutal killings and displaying them online. One of the first widely publicized acts of ISIS violence happened in August 2014, when a few of the groups militants beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley and posted a video of the bloody execution on YouTube. About a month later, ISIS released another video that showed the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff. A series of gruesome videos showing the beheadings of kidnapped journalists and international aid workers followed for the next several months. In February 2015, ISIS released footage of Jordanian military pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage. The same month, an ISIS video showed militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya. Images of a man being thrown off a building in Syria were made public in March 2015. ISIS claimed to have killed the man because he was a homosexual. Numerous other videos and images documenting brutal executions have been released and attributed to ISIS. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks in the Middle East and around the world. Some of the most well-known attacks on Western soil that were linked to ISIS include: Since about 2014, members of ISIS have destroyed numerous historical sites and artifacts throughout Iraq, Syria and Libya. The group claims cultural monuments, statues and shrines are idolatrous and shouldnt be worshipped. However, several news investigations have revealed that ISIS has sold and profited from many of these artifacts. Some of the cultural sites ISIS has attacked or destroyed include: ISIS has been called the richest terrorist organization in the world. While estimates vary, the group was said to have made $2 billion in 2014 alone. Much of ISISs money has come from seizing control of banks, oil refineries and other assets in the territories it occupies. The group has also used kidnapping ransoms, taxes, extortion, stolen artifacts, donations, looting and support from foreign fighters to fill its coffers. However, a report released in 2017 by the British International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) revealed that ISIS financial revenue has dropped dramatically in recent years. In response to ISIS violence, various countriesincluding the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, several Arab nations and other countrieshave initiated efforts to defeat the terrorist group. In 2014, a U.S.-led coalition started airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. That same year, the Pentagon announced a program to train Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS. However, this initiative was nixed a year later when only about 150 rebels were recruited. The United States has primarily used targeted airstrikes and special operations forces to fight ISIS. In 2015, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. had launched nearly 9,000 airstrikes on ISIS. The United States military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS compound in Afghanistan in April 2017. Reports have suggested ISIS has weakened both militarily and financially. The group has lost control of large amounts of territory in Iraq, and several of its leaders have been killed or captured, including the May 2018 arrest of five top ISIS officials in Syria and Turkey. While notable gains against ISIS have been made, international efforts to control this powerful terrorist organization will likely continue for many years. Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic States Financial Fortunes: International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed: National Geographic.What is Islamic State?: BBC.Islamic State group: The full story: BBC.Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq: Washington Post.Timeline: US Policy on ISIS: The Wilson Center.ISIS Fast Facts: CNN.ISIS goes global: 143 attacks in 29 countries have killed 2,043: CNN.The ISIS Chronicles: A History: The National Interest.How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isiss $2bn jihadist network: The Guardian.Five Top ISIS Officials Captured in U.S.-Iraqi Sting: The New York Times.

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October 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS Liveuamap.com – Today news from war on ISIS in English …

3 children killed by a mortar shell in the town of Al Suluk, North Raqqa SDF video from the city of Sousse 19yo arrested at airport in Columbus Ohio, charged with trying to join ISIS in Afghanistan. Per @TheJusticeDept, Naser Almadaoji, an Iraq-born naturalized US citizen, intended to fly 1st to Astana Kazakhstan; said he’d also been in Jordan Egypt possibly to join a group 4 civilians from the Kakayi minority were injured when two roadside bombs went off in Shasah and said wldi villages in Daquq south of Kirkuk on Thursday Oct. 25, acording to Omed kakayi, commander of the Kakayii battalion in the Iraqi Popular Mobilization forces. Al-Boukamal: Clashes continue between ISIS and SDF forces on the axis of Baghouz and Hjein east of Deir Al-Zour ISIS still controls Al-Aliyat and Al-Bubadran areas within Al-Susah,and also parts of Al-Marashidah Brett McGurk: Substantive meeting with new Iraq Prime Minister @AdilAbdAlMahdi on his first morning in the job in Baghdad. We look forward to working closely with Iraq’s new government under PM Mahdi’s leadership and strengthening our partnership under the Strategic Framework Agreement. SDF captured the town of Al-Sousse from the city of Deir al-Zour after heavy fighting that lasted for days with Daesh, accompanied by intensive raids by the International Aviation coalition Deir ez-Zur: Coalition targeted a mosque in Hajin city with an airstrike and killed 9 civilians New monthly casualty report from @CJTFOIR – 1 new civilian casualty incident reported in Iraq Syria assessed to be not credible. Of 310 open reports from previous months, 104 “assessed to be non-credible” 1,114 civilians have been killed since August 2014, per @CJTFOIR ISIS claims the assassination of 4 members of the Egyptian army at al-Arish the day before yesterday Malaysian police rescued a woman and her 2 children from Syria after her husband who joined the Islamic State died there 11 ISIS-linked Malaysians returned home, 37 killed, says counterterrorism official. There are at least four British children currently in SDF camps in Syria. The UK gov told us there is no desire to repatriate them in the way the French have Daesh claimed attack against SDF near Hajin with dead and POWs The main person calling for an investigation is MP Ahmad Al-Jubouri as cited by Knights of Jubour (Brigade 90). ISF arrested 3 ISIS posing as women in the countryside west of Mosul. They are connected to the Qayyarah bombing. Senior Law Enforcement Source: Explosive Device Sent to CNN Featured Parody ISIS Flag, “Get ‘Er Done” Inscription The coalition carried out several strikes against the Zawiyah mosque in Hajin city , in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside. Several SDF fighters were killed yesterday during clashers against Daesh in the Sussah town. Iraq Army 16th Division, 75th Brigade, ERD 2nd governmentnt, and Nineveh SWAT launched an operation in direction of Jazeera Desert as retaliation for yesterday’s terror attack. OIR Spokesman: ISIS continues to launch attacks from mosques. They have no regard for innocent lives and protected sites. The Coalition conducted a strike today on an ISIS fighting position in As Susa mosque. The MERV will be captured soon by SDF Egypt- ISIS claim+Amaq report on killing of soldier in sniper attack near al-Arish Airport and Amaq report on ISIS assassination by gunfire of 4 soldiers in al-Arish, North Sinai (both attacks occurred on October 22) SDF controls 90% of Al-Susah from ISIS SDF has captured vast parts of Al-Marashidah from ISIS Islamic State Khurasan (ISK): IED Destroys Hummer in Manaw village, Jarbarhar District Nangarhar Deir ez-Zur: ISIS members raided many houses in Al-Bokamal city and arrested many civilians on charges of dealing with the government forces 11 militants killed in clashes with Egyptian police in the desert region adjacent to Assiut Governorate SDF and self-government released 102 prisoners of Syrian and Iraqi nationalities convicted of working with ISIS, but claimed to not have taken part in killing. The released prisoners, who were detained between half a year and 2 years, pledged not to harm citizens. Photo report from the Islamic State-held Hajin pocket shows U.S. air presence over the pocket, including an MQ-9 Reaper UAV and an F-15E. The international coalition forces found a weapons storage belongs to ISIS in Raqqa countryside

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October 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

Isis | Define Isis at Dictionary.com

[ahy-sis] ExamplesWord Origin Show More Latin Greek sis Egyptian ‘st [ahy-sis] Show More Arabic al-Sham, an ancient territory known in English as the Levant, an area on the E shores of the Mediterranean Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2018 But sources said that the evidence so far is pointing away from an ISIS connection. We quietly did, Reed previously told The Daily Beast of removing ISIS. You are applying Western metrics to someone who is not using that metric against you, referring to ISIS, Bolger said. But there is no consensus about what the attrition of ISIS looks like. Breaking the will of ISIS, the military argues, is not a statistic. Show More Show More Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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October 26, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

US strike in Afghanistan kills senior ISIS commander Abu …

KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. strike over the weekend killed a senior Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) commander in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan and U.S. officials said Monday. The strike in Nangarhar province killed Abu Sayeed Orakzai, a senior leader in the extremist group, according to Shah Hussain Martazawi, deputy spokesman for the Afghan presidency. He said the operation showed the government’s “determination to fight terrorism.” Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said American forces launched a counterterrorism strike in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday that targeted a “senior leader of a designated terrorist organization.” He did not provide further details. “These efforts target the real enemies of Afghanistan, the same enemies who threaten America,” he said. An ISIS affiliate that emerged in Afghanistan in 2014 has carried out scores of attacks targeting security forces and the country’s Shiite minority. Even with U.S. and NATO support, Afghan security forces have struggled to combat ISIS and the more well-established Taliban. 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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August 30, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS : Summary for Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc – Yahoo Finance

U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 47 minsPrevious CloseN/AOpenN/ABidN/A x N/AAskN/A x N/ADay’s RangeN/A – N/A52 Week Rangeundefined – undefinedVolumeN/AAvg. VolumeN/AMarket CapN/ABetaN/APE Ratio (TTM)N/AEPS (TTM)N/AEarnings DateN/AForward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)Ex-Dividend DateN/A1y Target EstN/A

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August 30, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS: The State of Terror: Jessica Stern, J. M. Berger …

Jessica Stern and J.M. Bergers new book, ISIS, should be required reading for every politician and policymakerTheir smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations.Stern and Berger offer a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group. (Washington Post) By far the most important contribution yet to our understanding of an organization that remains cloaked in mystery and misunderstanding . . . A brisk, readable, and eye-opening account of ISISs past, present, and future. This is a book every American should read. (Reza Aslan, author of No God but god and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth) A timely and urgent book that is essential reading for analysts and policy makers alike. In what is already a cornerstone contribution, Stern and Berger offer the kind of cold-blood analysis so desperately needed on the poorly understood phenomenon that is the so-called Islamic state. (John Horgan, author of The Psychology of Terrorism) The first serious book to analyze the rise of ISIS . . . Stern and Berger write clearly and persuasively and marshal impressive primary research from ISISs prodigious propaganda to help explain how ISIS became the dominant jihadi group today. Its a terrific and important read. (Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad) Stern and Berger pull back the curtain to expose facts and myths about the violent Salafi apocalyptic cult calling itself the Islamic State. A must-read. (Mike Walker, former undersecretary and acting secretary of the United States Army) ISIS emerged in territory occupied by American soldiers, governed by dictatorial regimes, and fought over by sectarian extremists. Stern and Berger provide context for understanding ISISs past and considering how its media model may affect future extremist movements. (Kecia Ali, associate professor religion, Boston University) A penetrating analysis . . . The book provides important context for an evolving organization and proto-state that is attempting to rewrite the jihadi playbook. (Aaron Zelin, Washington Institute for Near East Policy) ISIS: The State of Terror is a timely and important history of a movement that now defines the 21st century. (Sam Kiley, Evening Standard (London)) This book should be required reading for every politician and policymaker. (Washington Post)

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August 15, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS trail of Terror | Is ISIS a Threat to the U.S.? – ABC …

Born from an especially brutal al Qaeda faction, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has grown from relative obscurity in recent years to overshadow its extremist patrons. It now terrorizes large swaths of Syria and Iraq, has become the target of the largest U.S. military operation in Iraq in years and, with the public, cold-blooded execution of multiple Westerners, dominates headlines the world over.Where Did ISIS Come From?While extremist groups are generally amorphous organizations, ISIS can trace its history directly back to the Sunni terrorist organization al Qaeda, specifically the Iraq faction, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was responsible for scores of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq following the U.S. invasion there. After al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006 by an American airstrike, leadership of the group eventually fell to an experienced Iraqi fighter, Abu Dua, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had once been in U.S. custody in Iraq. AQI was weakened in Iraq in 2007 as a result of what is known as the Sunni Awakening, when a large alliance of Iraqi Sunni tribes, supported by the U.S., fought against the jihadist group. AQI saw an opportunity to regain its power and expand its ranks in the Syrian conflict that started in 2011, moving into Syria from Iraq. By 2013, al-Baghdadi had spread his groups influence back into Iraq and changed the groups name to ISIS, reflecting its greater regional ambitions, according to the U.S. State Department. ISIS, as the group has been identified by ABC News and other news organizations, refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Different translations of the Arabic name al-Baghdadi gave his organization have spawned other English-language versions such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (also ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It is also known as Daesh, based on an Arabic acronym. READ: US Says ‘No Reason to Doubt’ Veracity of Video Featuring Shadowy Iraqi Terror Leader The Iraqi government and much of its military officer corps are mostly made up of Shia Muslims, whereas much of the areas ISIS has retained in Iraq are predominantly Sunni, like ISIS – meaning the Iraqi military forces are often operating in areas where the local population may be more willing to tolerate, or even support ISIS. ISIS has also built relations of convenience with disgruntled local Sunni tribes and ex-Baathists who have felt marginalized and disenfranchised by the government in Baghdad, which has been accused of favoring Shias. ISIS wasnt handed its first major defeat until mid-August 2014 when Kurdish and Iraqi forces, supported by an aggressive U.S. aerial bombing campaign, pushed the terror group off the Mosul Dam, a key piece of infrastructure. READ: Why Control of a Terrifying Dam in Iraq Is Life or Death for Half Million People The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS expanded its aggressive bombing campaign against the group into Syria in September 2014 and has bombarded the terror group virtually daily since. In February 2015, the U.S. military said that day by day, ISIS is losing ground in Iraq. Nicholas Rasmussen, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told Congress in February 2015 some 20,000 foreign fighters from 90 countries had traveled to Syria to join one group or another — 3,400 of those fighters are said to have come from Western nations, including over 150 from the U.S. who have either traveled to the conflict zone, or attempted to do so. Its very difficult to be precise with these numbers because they come from a variety of sources that vary in quality, Rasmussen said. But the trend lines are clear and concerning. One of the gunmen in a dual terror attack in Paris in January 2015 claimed that he was part of ISIS, though the other shooters in that attack were linked to an al Qaeda affiliate. Days after the Paris incident, authorities in the U.S. announced they had arrested an Ohio man and ISIS supporter who planned to bomb the U.S. Capitol. In addition to the so-called self-radicalized ISIS supporters, Western intelligence agencies are concerned about those who travel to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS before coming back home.The battlefields in Iraq and Syria provide foreign fighters with combat experience, weapons and explosives training, and access to terrorist networks that may be planning attacks which target the West, Rasmussen said in February 2015. READ: How US Military Team Slipped On and Off Mt. Sinjar In a particularly disturbing development, a pamphlet attributed to ISIS and shared online described the rules of dealing with female unbelievers as slaves. The rules allowed for forced intercourse, for instance, except in certain circumstances. After Foleys disappearance, his family, U.S. officials and other reporters kept the kidnapping a secret until January 2013 when Foleys family decided to break their silence and beg for their sons return.Foleys captors, whoever they were, hadnt made contact, the family said. The U.S. government increased its effort to find Foley, using unlikely messengers including the Turks, the Czechs and the Russians to get word to potential abductors on either side of the Syrian conflict. In November 2013 a ransom demand for an astronomical sum of money — $132 million — was received, according to GlobalPost CEO Phil Balboni, but it wasn’t taken seriously. Efforts continued to free Foley, including a secret, failed U.S. military rescue mission in the summer of 2014. But following U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in August, Foley was killed on camera by a self-professed member of the terror group. READ: Could Money Have Saved James Foley? ISIS ‘Wasn’t Serious’ About Demands, Officials Say Sotloff was a freelance reporter whose work on the Middle East appeared in TIME and Foreign Policy among others. He disappeared in Syria in August 2013. After Foleys execution video appeared online, Sotloffs mother, Shirley, made a videotaped plea to ISIS leader al-Baghdadi to have mercy on her son. At the end of the video that appeared to show Sotloffs death, the militant in black stands beside another kneeling hostage, identified as a British citizen. We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State [ISIS] to back off and leave our people alone, he says.Once again, the airstrikes continued and other Western hostages were killed on camera in similarly gruesome fashion. ISISs last known American hostage, 26-year-old Kayla Mueller, died in the hands of the terror group, the White House said in February 2015, though its unclear how she died.Mueller had traveled the world as an aid worker before her death, going wherever she thought she could help those in desperate need.For as long as I live, I will not let this suffering be normal, she told her local newspaper in 2013. [I will not let this be] something we just accept It is important to stop and realize what we have, why we have it and how privileged we are. And from that place, start caring and get a lot done. [Last updated: Feb. 23, 2015]

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July 28, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state? – CNN

ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state? – CNN’);$vidEndSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–active’);}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: ‘none’,video: ‘world/2014/06/12/ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder.cnn’,width: ‘100%’,height: ‘100%’,section: ‘domestic’,profile: ‘expansion’,network: ‘cnn’,markupId: ‘large-media_0’,adsection: ‘const-article-pagetop’,frameWidth: ‘100%’,frameHeight: ‘100%’,posterImageOverride: {“mini”:{“height”:144,”width”:256,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-hp-video.jpg”},”xsmall”:{“height”:169,”width”:300,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-story-body.jpg”},”small”:{“height”:360,”width”:640,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-story-top.jpg”},”medium”:{“height”:552,”width”:980,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg”},”large”:{“height”:552,”width”:980,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg”},”full16x9″:{“height”:552,”width”:980,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg”},”mini1x1″:{“height”:60,”width”:60,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140612203919-ac-dnt-cooper-isis-backgrounder-00000319-topics.jpg”}}},autoStartVideo = false,isVideoReplayClicked = false,callbackObj,containerEl,currentVideoCollection = [],currentVideoCollectionId = ”,isLivePlayer = false,mediaMetadataCallbacks,moveToNextTimeout,mutePlayerEnabled = false,nextVideoId = ”,nextVideoUrl = ”,turnOnFlashMessaging = false,videoPinner,videoEndSlateImpl;if (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === false) {autoStartVideo = true;if (autoStartVideo === true) {if (turnOnFlashMessaging === true) {autoStartVideo = false;containerEl = jQuery(document.getElementById(configObj.markupId));CNN.VideoPlayer.showFlashSlate(containerEl);} else {CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = true;}}}configObj.autostart = autoStartVideo;CNN.VideoPlayer.setPlayerProperties(configObj.markupId, autoStartVideo, isLivePlayer, isVideoReplayClicked, mutePlayerEnabled);CNN.VideoPlayer.setFirstVideoInCollection(currentVideoCollection, configObj.markupId);videoEndSlateImpl = new CNN.VideoEndSlate(‘large-media_0’);/*** Finds the next video ID and URL in the current collection, if available.* @param currentVideoId The video that is currently playing* @param containerId The parent container Id of the video element*/function findNextVideo(currentVideoId) {var i,vidObj;if (currentVideoId && jQuery.isArray(currentVideoCollection) && currentVideoCollection.length > 0) {for (i = 0; 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He is dressed in a suit and tie and could pass for a midlevel bureaucrat. But the photograph is that of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who has transformed a few terror cells harried to the verge of extinction into the most dangerous militant group in the world. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has thrived and mutated during the ongoing civil war in Syria and in the security vacuum that followed the departure of the last American forces from Iraq. The aim of ISIS is to create an Islamic state across Sunni areas of Iraq and in Syria. With the seizure of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and advances on others, that aim appears within reach. ISIS controls hundreds of square miles where state authority has evaporated. It ignores international borders and has a presence all the way from Syria’s Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad. What are its origins? In 2006, al Qaeda in Iraq — under the ruthless leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — embarked on seemingly arbitrary and brutal treatment of civilians as it tried to ignite a sectarian war against the majority Shia community. It came close to succeeding, especially after the bombing of the Al-Askariya Mosque, an important Shia shrine in Samarra, which sparked retaliatory attacks. But the killing of al-Zarqawi by American forces, the vicious treatment of civilians and the emergence of the Sahwa (Awakening) Fronts under moderate Sunni tribal leaders nearly destroyed the group. Nearly, but not quite. When U.S. forces left Iraq, they took much of their intelligence-gathering expertise with them. Iraqi officials began to speak of a “third generation” of al Qaeda in Iraq. The capability of those Iraqi forces was fatally compromised by a lack of professional soldiers, the division of military units along sectarian lines and a lack of the equipment needed for fighting an insurgency, such as attack helicopters and reconnaissance capabilities. The new al Qaeda was rebranded in 2006 as the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). It would add “and Syria” to its name later. The group exploited a growing perception among many Sunnis that they were being persecuted by the Shia-dominated government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, starved of resources and excluded from a share of power. The arrest of senior Sunni political figures and heavy-handed suppression of Sunni dissent were the best recruiting sergeants ISI could have. And it helped the new leader re-establish the group’s influence. Who is its master of terror? Abu Bakr al Baghdadi graduated to the top job in 2010 — at the age of 39 — after Abu Omar al Baghdadi was killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation. Al Baghdadi’s group was in a pitiful state. But with U.S. forces and intelligence on the way out, he launched a revival. Very little is known about Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, but a biography posted on jihadist websites last year said he held a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from a university in the capital. He formed his own militant group in the Samarra and Diyala areas, where his family was from, before joining al Qaeda in Iraq. Al Baghdadi even served four years in a U.S. prison camp for insurgents, at Bucca in southern Iraq — a time in which he almost certainly developed a network of contacts and honed his ideology. He was released in 2009 and went to work. What is ISIS trying to accomplish? It wants to establish an Islamic caliphate, or state, stretching across the region. ISIS has begun imposing Sharia law in the towns it controls. Boys and girls must be separated at school; women must wear the niqab or full veil in public. Sharia courts often dispense brutal justice, music is banned and the fast is enforced during Ramadan. Sharia law covers both religious and non-religious aspects of life. Where does the group’s money come from? In the beginning, al Baghdadi focused on secrecy — with loosely connected cells making it more difficult to hunt down the leadership — and on money. Extortion, such as demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, was one revenue stream; robbing banks and gold shops was another. It seemed the group had become little more than gangsters, but the income would help finance a growing stream of suicide attacks and assassinations that would poison the political atmosphere. It would also aid the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters and finance spectacular prison raids that liberated hundreds of fighters, as well as attacks on police patrols and the assassination of officials. Now, al Baghdadi has a new strategy for generating resources: large-scale attacks aimed at capturing and holding territory. Ayham Kamel of the Eurasia Group, a U.S.-based consultancy, says that in the latest iteration of this strategy, ISIS will “use cash reserves from Mosul’s banks, military equipment from seized military and police bases and the release of 2,500 fighters from local jails to bolster its military and financial capability.” What’s been its key to survival? Al Baghdadi avoided al-Zarqawi’s mistakes by avoiding the alienation of powerful tribal figures. When it captured Falluja, west of Baghdad, in January, it worked with local tribal leaders rather than raise its black flag over the city. One of the group’s ideologues, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, even admitted: “As for our mistakes, we do not deny them. Rather, we will continue to make mistakes as long as we are humans. God forbid that we commit mistakes deliberately.” How is it drawing support? ISIS is, in essence, trying to capture and channel the resentment of the Sunni street. And in both Syria and Iraq, it is trying to win favor through dawa — organizing social welfare programs and even recreational activities for children, distributing food and fuel to the needy, and setting up clinics. Again, having the money matters. The price it demands is enforcement of the strict Sharia code. How does Syria fit into the picture? A senior U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN this week that ISIS looks at Syria and Iraq as “one interchangeable battlefield and its ability to shift resources and personnel across the border has measurably strengthened its position in both theaters.” The explosion of violence in Syria was a gift to al Baghdadi. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lost control over large parts of the North and the long border with Iraq. The group, still known as ISI at the time, could build a rear base where it could recruit foreign fighters, organize and escape from any Iraqi army operations. Al Baghdadi may have sent operatives across the border as early as the autumn of 2011, and the group later changed its name — adding “al Sham” for Syria. It moved swiftly to take control of the Syrian province of Raqqa, aided by the al-Assad regime’s focus on Homs and Aleppo. What is its relationship with other al Qaeda groups? As it has grown in strength, the group’s vision of a caliphate under its control has expanded. Its ambition extended to declaring early in 2013 that it was absorbing another militant group in Syria, the al-Nusra Front. According to some accounts, al Baghdadi had been instrumental in creating the group; now he wanted its obedience. The declaration — and al-Nusra’s rejection of it — set off a rare public clash between two groups that both saw themselves as part of al Qaeda. From his hideout somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at first tried to mediate between the two, and then disowned ISIS when it refused to concentrate on Iraq. Rather than seek reconciliation, ISIS has hit back. Earlier this year, the group’s spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, told al-Zawahiri in a recording: “Sheikh Osama (bin Laden) gathered all the mujahideen with one word, but you divided them and tore them apart.” “You make the mujahideen sad, and make the enemy of the mujahideen gloat because you support the traitor, and you make the heart bleed,” he said — referring to the leader of the al-Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al-Jolani. It was another sign of the extraordinary confidence of the ISIS leadership. Despite the rift, ISIS’ success against what are seen by militant Sunnis as loathsome Shia regimes in Syria and Iraq has attracted thousands of foreign fighters to its ranks, enabling it to continue battling al-Nusra in Syria while preparing for its big offensive in Iraq. What is its strategy? For Western counterterrorism agencies, the combination of fanaticism and disciplined organization is the nightmare scenario. ISIS has plenty of both. While the world was shocked by its sudden capture of the city of Falluja, ISIS was still focused on a bigger prize: Mosul and the province of Nineveh. Operations in Falluja and elsewhere in the western province of Anbar were meant to (and did) draw Iraqi forces away from the north. It has developed an ability to conduct operations — from suicide bombings and attacks on the security forces to wresting control of towns — in several regions at once, keeping the demoralized Iraqi army off balance. And battle experience has created a resilient force capable of ever more sophisticated attacks. In raids on Samarra, for example, its fighters used bulldozers to remove barriers that had been in place since the U.S. occupation. Some analysts expect critical parts of the Iraqi oil infrastructure around Mosul to be among its future targets. Where does its weakness lie? ISIS runs the risk that its rapid expansion — and threat to the Iraqi state — will overstretch the group. In northern Syria, it has retreated from some towns it held after clashes with al-Nusra and other groups. Al-Nusra is making common cause with other groups in an anti-ISIS front. And by taking Mosul, which Iraq’s Kurds see as in their sphere of interest, ISIS may invite greater cooperation between the Iraqi army and experienced Kurdish fighters. A U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN that ISIS “still has significant weaknesses. It has shown little ability to govern effectively, is generally unpopular, and has no sway outside the Sunni community in either Iraq or Syria.” To many analysts, that smacks of complacency. How significant is its threat? The weakness of the governments ISIS is confronting — and the hatred for those governments among Sunnis — means that a few dozen truckloads of fighters can seize towns and cities, overcoming forces many times larger by their sheer ferocity and battle experience. In the words of the Soufan Group, a political risk consultancy, “ISIS has become indisputably the most effective and ruthless terrorist organization in the world.” “It now challenges the authority of two of the largest states in the Middle East, and has attracted significant numbers of fighters, not just from Iraq and Syria, but also from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states including Jordan.” There is no doubting the group’s confidence and ambition. ISIS spokesman al-Adnani took to Twitter Wednesday to declare, “The battle is not yet raging it, but it will rage in Baghdad and Karbala. Put on your belts and get ready,” according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group. Al-Adnani openly mocked al-Maliki as an underwear salesman who had lost Iraq for the Shia. “You lost a historic opportunity for your people to control Iraq,” he said, “and the Shi’ites will always curse you for as long as they live.”

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July 13, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: ISIS  Comments Closed

ISIS Fast Facts – CNN

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