- The rise and fall of the Isis 'caliphate'
- ISIS Fast Facts
- Isis: how a global terror network was born
The rise and fall of the Isis 'caliphate'
How did ISIS rise to power?and does you
M ost historians of the Islamic State agree that the group emerged out of al-Qaeda in Iraq as a response to the U. They also agree that it was shaped primarily by a Jordanian jihadist and the eventual head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Jordanian had a dark vision: He wished to fuel a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites and establish a caliphate. Although he was killed in , his vision was realized in —the year ISIS overran northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Narratives about the origins of Islamic State ideology often focus on the fact that Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden, both Sunni extremists, diverged on the idea of fighting Shiites and on questions of takfir , or excommunication. Based on this set of assumptions, many conclude that Zarqawi must have provided the intellectual framework for ISIS.
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It faded into obscurity for several years after the surge of U. But it began to reemerge in Over the next few years, it took advantage of growing instability in Iraq and Syria to carry out attacks and bolster its ranks. In , ISIS expanded into a network of affiliates in at least eight other countries. Its branches, supporters, and affiliates increasingly carried out attacks beyond the borders of its so-called caliphate.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sri Lanka that left at least people dead and more than wounded. Although the terrorist group has yet to prove its involvement in the Easter Sunday bombings , which targeted churches and high-end hotels, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that such a link had been suspected. Isis was regarded by the West as a terrorist organisation even before it began its murderous rampage across the Middle East. By , it was carrying out dozens of attacks in Iraq every month. In mid, the group overran Mosul in Iraq and, after consolidating its hold over dozens of cities and towns, declared the creation of a caliphate, changing its name to Islamic State. Isis claims to be the sole representative of true followers of Islam and has executed large numbers of Muslims whose understanding of the Koran differs from its own narrow interpretation. However, experts say Isis believes itself to be religious, whatever other Muslims feel, and that makes it harder to fight.
The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations as well as many international organizations and individual countries. ISIL is widely known for its videos of beheadings and other types of executions  of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites. ISIL also committed ethnic cleansing on an historic and unprecedented scale in northern Iraq. ISIL originated as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in , which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and participated in the Iraqi insurgency following the invasion of Iraq by Western forces at the behest of the United States. In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions and by December , it held a large area extending from western Iraq to eastern Syria, containing an estimated 8 to 12 million people,    where it enforced its interpretation of sharia law. This campaign reinvigorated the latter two forces and dealt a huge blow to the nascent Islamist proto-state, killing tens of thousands of ISIL troops  and dealing significant damage to their financial and military infrastructure. While the use of either one or the other acronym has been the subject of debate,   the distinction between the two and its relevance has been considered not so great.
ISIS Fast Facts
The history of Daesh (ISIS)
Isis: how a global terror network was born
Sun 24 Mar On a midwinter night in early January, the most wanted man in the world entered a home in a forsaken town near the Syrian border for a rare meeting with his surviving aides. The caliphate he had proclaimed four and a half years earlier had been whittled down to less than 50 square kilometres and was shrinking by the day. Gunfire crackled in the middle distance and bombs thudded nearby, just as they had for months as the last towns and villages held by Islamic State fell steadily to the advancing Kurds. Several villages away, Kurdish forces were taking positions among the fresh rubble of still raging battles, readying for a final assault on the last holdout, a place that until very recently few could find on a map.
It was inspired by al Qaida but later publicly expelled from it. RAND terrorism experts have analyzed the group's financing, management, and organization; its savvy use of social media for recruitment and fundraising; and the instability that spawned the group as a regional problem in the Middle East.