The Islamic State Explained How did the Islamic State grow from regional terrorist group to a brutal multinational bureaucratic machine? What are its goals? How can it be stopped?In 2014, the Islamic State seemingly appeared out of nowhere, conquering Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and boldly announcing the establishment of a caliphate that seeks to eliminate all borders in the Middle East and to extend them as far as Central Asia and India. Today, it controls thousands of square miles, is attempting to govern millions of people and has gained notoriety for its indiscriminate and savage beheadings.Charles R. Lister, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Doha Center, traces the outfit's growth from the release of its notorious father figure, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, from a Jordanian prison in 1999, and the group's formation in Afghanistan, finally to its stunning maturation in Iraq and Syria more than a decade later. He helps us understand what to expect next and recommends a course of action to defeat the group.This is an excellent primer on an organization that threatens to unseat the al-Qaeda as the leader of transnational jihadism, not to mention the risk it poses to global security.
The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam-the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world-into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic-including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.
The rise of the Islamic State has dramatically forced a recalculation of political order and security in the Persian Gulf and broader Greater Middle East by the United States and its allies and adversaries, including, most notably, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Since the Arab Spring of 2011, the Islamic State has altered the military balance in the Syrian intra-state conflict and captured significant territory in Iraq. Its military successes has attracted foreign fighters from more than 100 countries, drawn in some cases by a sophisticated recruitment strategy that effectively combines a jihadist message with a social media outreach program targeting vulnerable Muslim populations in the region and the West. The Islamic State has prompted renewed American and allied military intervention in Iraq and Syria, and complicated the US relationship with its Iranian adversaries. The New Islamic State examines the rise of the religious extremist organization from the ashes of al-Qaeda in Iraq to its current efforts in Syria and Iraq and is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the Islamic State, its effects on the Persian Gulf and Greater Middle East, and the response of both regional and great powers. The book is suitable for academics, policymakers and the general public.
Tourists killed in Tunisia, Jihadi John targeted by drone strikes, carnage in Paris and hundreds of thousands of Syrians risking everything to reach Europe in an attempt to escape the violence. Islamic State’s reign of terror continues. Back in June 2014 Islamic State had launched an astonishing blitzkrieg which saw them seize control of an area in the Middle East the size of Britain. The news was soon filled with their relentless acts of savagery, yet nobody seemed to know who they were or where they’d come from. In this updated edition of his acclaimed book, BBC reporter Andrew Hosken delivers the inside story on Islamic State from their origins to the present day. Through extensive first-hand reporting, Hosken builds a comprehensive picture of IS, their brutal ideology and exterminationist methods. The result is equally compelling and horrifying.
Islamic State has replaced Al Qaeda as the great global threat of the twenty-first century, the bogeyman we have all come to fear. But Daesh started as a local movement, rooted in the resentment of the Sunni Arabs of Iraq and Syria. It is they who have lost most in the geo-strategic shift in the balance of power in the region over the last thirty years, as Iranian-backed Shias have mobilised politically and advanced on the social and economic fronts. How has Islamic State been able to muster support far beyond its initial constituency in the Arab world and to attract tens of thousands of foreign volunteers, including converts to Islam, and seemingly countless supporters online? In this compelling intervention into the debate about Islamic State's origins and future prospects, the renowned French sociologist of religion, Olivier Roy, argues that the group mobilised a highly sophisticated narrative, reviving the myth of the Caliphate and recasting it into a modern story of heroism, death and nihilism, using a very contemporary aesthetic of violence, well entrenched amid a youth culture that has turned global and violent.
The Islamic State has stunned the world with its savagery, destructiveness, and military and recruiting successes. What explains the rise of ISIS and what does it portend for the future of the Middle East? In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on political Islam and jihadism sheds new light on these questions as he provides a unique history of the rise and growth of ISIS. Moving beyond journalistic accounts, Fawaz Gerges provides a clear and compelling account of the deeper conditions that fuel ISIS. The book describes how ISIS emerged in the chaos of Iraq following the 2003 U.S. invasion, how the group was strengthened by the suppression of the Arab Spring and by the war in Syria, and how ISIS seized leadership of the jihadist movement from Al Qaeda. Part of a militant Sunni revival, ISIS claims its goals are to resurrect a caliphate and rid "Islamic lands" of all Shia and other minorities. In contrast to Al Qaeda, ISIS initially focused on the "near enemy"—Shia, the Iraqi and Syrian regimes, and secular, pro-Western states in the Middle East. But in a tactical shift ISIS has now taken responsibility for spectacular attacks in Europe and other places beyond the Middle East, making it clear that the group is increasingly interested in targeting the "far enemy" as well. Ultimately, the book shows how decades of dictatorship, poverty, and rising sectarianism in the Middle East, exacerbated by foreign intervention, led to the rise of ISIS—and why addressing those problems is the only way to ensure its end. An authoritative introduction to arguably the most important conflict in the world today, this is an essential book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social turmoil and political violence ravaging the Arab-Islamic world.
The summer of 2014--when the Islamic State seized Mosul, Iraq's second city; captured vast swathes of eastern Syria; and declared itself a latter-day Caliphate--marked a turning point in the history of photography, one that pushed its already contested relationship with reality to its very limits. Uniquely obsessed with narrative, image management and branding, the Islamic State used cameras as weapons in its formative years as a Caliphate. The tens of thousands of propaganda photographs captured during this time were used to denote policy, to navigate through defeat and, perhaps most importantly, to construct an impossible reality: a totalizing image-world of Salafi-Jihadist symbols and myths. Based on a deep examination of the 20,000 photographs Charlie Winter collected from the Islamic State's covert networks online in 2017, this book explores the process by which the Caliphate shook the foundations of modern war photography. Focusing on the period in which it was at its strongest, Winter identifies the implicit value systems that underpinned the Caliphate's ideological appeal, and evaluates its uniquely malign contribution to the history of the photographic image. The Terrorist Image travels to the heart of what made the Islamic State tick during its prime, providing unique insights into its global appeal and mobilization successes.
Essay from the year 2016 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: Peace and Conflict Studies, Security, grade: 7,5, Leiden University, language: English, abstract: This essay argues that based on treaties of the EU and UN it is justified for the German state to use violence against ISIS. Since the appearance of the so called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014, the world has changed. ISIS is a terrorist group which is responsible for thousands of deaths in the Middle East and Europe and has become a serious threat for non-supporters of the Muslim values that ISIS wants to impose on every country that does not represent those beliefs. To reach their target, ISIS destroys historic buildings, for example in Palmyra, uses violence, and evokes fear throughout the world, as ISIS uses media to film and show their brutal acts to make millions of people becoming their witnesses. Consequently, whole countries are horrified because of the brutality of ISIS and fear to be the next target. As time passed, increasing numbers of countries, even EU-countries, and individual groups started to fight against ISIS, trying to prevent more civilians to become victims of the terrorist group and to pursue their own security interests. As ISIS expanded their target group to European countries, killing hundreds of people in Paris in 2015 by bomb attacks, the German government decided to use violence against ISIS in Syria. However, as will be demonstrated below, that decision is a "hot-button" topic because the opinions about the use of force by a State to stop a terrorist group are diverse and not everyone agrees on that. The purpose of this essay is to show that the use of violence by the German State against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is justified, taking into consideration treaties by the UN and the EU.
Terrorism: Commentary on Security Documents is a series that provides primary source documents and expert commentary on various topics relating to the worldwide effort to combat terrorism, as well as efforts by the United States and other nations to protect their national security interests. Volume 143, The Evolution of the Islamic State, focuses on the U.S. response to the Islamic State (IS) both in Syria and Iraq from a foreign policy standpoint and a military strategy perspective, as well as considering the impact of the rise of IS on the broader global jihadist movement. Consideration is also given to the importance of information warfare in countering IS's worldwide recruiting efforts via the Internet. This volume also includes documents examining related issues of great importance, including a report considering IS's financing, a report on the legal issues arising in connection with U.S. military action against IS, the role of Shia warlords and militias in Iraq in opposing IS, and the lessons that can be learned from the support provided to IS by European fighters.
ISIS also referred to as ISIL, the Islamic State, or Daesh began to assert its power and gain recognition for its militant and terroristic activities in April 2013. After the coordinated attacks in Paris on November 13th, 2015, ISIS has captured the full attention of observers in the West. This accessible book explains what ISIS is, what the group's goals are, what their members believe, and why their ranks are growing. Readers will gain an understanding of how ISIS is a unique group one seeking to be the army of the righteous fighting to defeat the unbelievers and usher in the end of days but that the extremist views of ISIS are an expression of a growing frustration with life in the Middle East and elsewhere shared by a larger community of non-state and post-state actors. The book provides an introduction that documents the origins of ISIS within the larger Al Qaeda organization during the Iraq War. The following chapters discuss the origins, development, and territorial expansion of ISIS in Syria and Iraq and examine the ideological motivations behind the emergence of ISIS, thereby enabling a nuanced understanding of the importance of ISIS in contemporary history. Other entries discuss individuals, events, and organizations that put ISIS in historical context in terms of contemporary events since the Iraq War into the present and explain the group's position within the complex conflict currently boiling in the Middle East."
In his disturbing and timely book Jean-Pierre Filiu lays bare the strategies and tactics employed by the Middle Eastern autocracies, above all those of Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria, that set out to crush the democratic uprisings of the 'Arab Revolution.' In pursuit of these goals they turned to the intelligence agencies and internal security arms of the 'deep state, ' the armed forces, and to street gangs such as the Shabiha to enforce their will. Alongside physical intimidation, imprisonment and murder, Arab counter-revolutionaries discredited and split their opponents by boosting Salafi-Jihadi groups such as Islamic State. They also released from prison hardline Islamists and secretly armed and funded them. The full potential of the Arab counter-revolution surprised most observers, who thought they had seen it all from the Arab despots: their perversity, their brutality, their voracity. But the wider world underestimated their ferocious readiness literally to burn down their countries in order to cling to absolute power. Bashar al-Assad clambered to the top of this murderous class of tyrants, driving nearly half of the Syrian population in to exile and executing tens of thousands of his opponents. He has set a grisly precedent, one that other Arab autocrats are sure to follow in their pursuit of absolute power.