The Islamic State

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The Islamic State
1280px-AQMI Flag asymmetric.svg.png
Full Name: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Alias: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
ISIL
ISIS
DAESH
IS
Origin: Iraq
Foundation: April 8, 2013
Headquarters: Al-Baghuz Fawqani, Syria
Commanders: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (2013 - † 2019)
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi (2019 - † 2022)
Juma Awad al-Badri (2022 - present)
Agents: Abu Omar al-Shishani
Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi
Abu Ahmad al-Alwani
Gulmurod Khalimov
Jihadi John
Haji Bakr
Abu Muslim al-Turkmani
Abu Ali al-Anbari
Abdul Rauf Aliza
Abdullah Qardash
Abu Suleiman al-Naser
Ahmad Abousamra
Abu Jandal al-Kuwaiti
Amal el-Wahabi
Anjem Choudary
Mohammed Rahman
Khalid Masood
Aine Davis
Salman Abedi
Khuram Butt
Rachid Redouane
Youssef Zaghba
Ahmed Hassan
Anouar Haddouchi
Khalid Kelly
Sudesh Amman
Goals: Conquer the Middle East (failed)
Establish a worldwide caliphate (failed)
Forced conversion of Non-Muslims to Islam (ongoing)
Exterminate the Yazidis, Shia and Christians (ongoing)
Crimes: War crimes
Human rights violations
Crimes against humanity
Genocide
Propaganda
Terrorism
Mass murder
Ethnic cleansing
Sexual Slavery
Use of chemical weapons
Human trafficking
Sectarianism
Rape
Arson
Destruction of property
Mutilation
Kidnapping
Torture
Snuff film
Misogyny
Attempted world domination
Homophobia
Persecution of Christians
Ableism
Pedophilia
Type of Villain: Religious Terrorists


This is Raqqa, the capitol of the world's newest declared state. A state that has been established by a hardline Sunni jihadist group that emerged from the mayhem of the Syrian Civil War. Until recently, they were known as ISIS. Now, they simply call themselves 'the Islamic State.'
~ VICE News, "The Islamic State"

The Islamic State, or as others call it, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or Daesh, is a Sunni jihadist/Salafist militant organization and former un-recognized proto-state. They were originally considered to be Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq until 2013, when they expanded into Syria, subsequently breaking away from Al-Qaeda and becoming an independent entity.

The group's goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate, with leader Juma Awad al-Badri as Caliph. ISIS had captured large amounts of land including more than half of Syria and about 1.83/3 of Iraq at its height, but by 2015, foreign intervention began to push them back. Following the liberation of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, ISIS has effectively collapsed and as of November of 2017, no longer posses meaningful territorial holdings, has been defeated in both Iraq and Syria, and has lost all strongholds in both nations.

Overview

History

ISIS can trace its origins to a jihadist militia known as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, which formed in 1999 and was lead by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The group pledged its allegiance to Osama bin Laden in 2004 and became part of the Mujahideen Shura Council. In 2006, the group became known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and became Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq. When al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over as the leader of ISI.

Al-Baghdadi continued directing ISI's operations in Iraq until the group expanded into Syria in 2013. Al-Baghdadi officially reorganized ISI into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS.) The newly-formed group tried to absorb the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, but their leader, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, would have none of it. Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered al-Baghdadi to withdraw from Syria and remain in Iraq, but al-Baghdadi refused and officially declared independence from Al-Qaeda. ISIS drove Al-Nusra Front out of the Syrian city of Raqqa, and the city became the official capital of ISIS.

Goals

The ultimate goal of ISIS is to form a worldwide caliphate, or a single worldwide governing authority over all Muslims. It has become the most powerful terrorist organization in the entire Middle East and is the richest in the world, dealing in oil smuggling and human trafficking.

ISIS's methods and ideologies are believed to be so extreme that even most other jihad organizations have renounced them, including Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and Hamas. One of the factions in their organization is the Sisters of ISIS, women who had been corrupted by their deception and recruit Muslim women to join their cause.

Government

ISIS is a fanatical Islamic dictatorship that is established all throughout its territories. Sunni Islam is the only religion allowed and religious minorities have been reportedly slaughtered and persecuted and any surviving Christians in ISIS Territories are forced to pay taxes in order to survive. At one point in Syria, ISIS had banned children from learning math, social studies, sports, elections and democracy, and subject them to their own teachings. They also showed themselves to be pro-Creationist and anti-Intellectualist, as evidenced when they banned teachers from referencing the Theory of Evolution and that they must say that the laws of physics and chemistry "are due to Allah's laws and rules."

International Involvements

While ISIS is mainly focused in Iraq and Syria, ISIS affiliates and other Islamic terrorist organizations that have sworn allegiance towards ISIS, have began a campaign in other nations, mainly North African States like Libya, where they have been reported to control Derna in Northern Libya, where ISIS flags are on cars, along with staged mass executions in Baseball Stadiums. ISIS is also a known supporter of Boko Haram in Nigeria, as their leader had the ISIS flag shown in one of the videos that he made. ISIS had staged a mass killing of over 21 Egyptian Copt Christians and had beheaded all of them somewhere on a coastline in Northern Libya and recently beheaded Ethiopian Christians in the same region. Many other radical Islamic terrorist organizations have sworn allegiance towards ISIS and were even given support by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQPA), which is one of the most dangerous branches of Al-Qaeda and has gotten involved in the Islamic Insurgency in Yemen where they've gained control and are a rival faction of Al-Qaeda. The Caucuses Emirate based in Chechyna has most of its commanders swear allegiance towards ISIS and there are concerns about ISIS getting involved in the Chechen Insurgency. Recently, ISIS had accepted Boko Haram's allegience and it now acts as an branch of ISIS in Africa. ISIS has also opened up their own division in Libya called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya and has been reported to be involved in Afghanistan and has launched their first attack in the country after ISIS bombers attacked an Afghan Bank and killed over 33 people.

Foreign Fighters

While no nation has supported ISIS, the organization has enticed thousands of foreign Muslims (even those living in western countries) to leave and join ISIS. According to reports, ISIS has recruited over 5,000-6,000 European muslims into the organization and are now waging jihad in Iraq and Syria. A British Prosecutor has warned that ISIS acts "like The Beatles" to young Muslims, as he fears that young people will try to be with them and like them. Up to 2,000 British Muslims are fighting for ISIS along with 700 French Muslims and 600 German Muslims. ISIS has up to 10,000 Fighters within their branch in Libya and over 10,000 fighters with Boko Haram in Nigeria. In Afghanistan, they've recently started their involvment and the Afghan President has warned that he is losing soldiers to ISIS. There's also a Khorasan Province active in Afghanistan and is now the ISIS division in Afghanistan and possibly even Pakistan.

Known Supporters

Several countries had been accused of supporting ISIS. American and Russian mass media had made several reports accusing Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding and supplying ISIS with weapons. USA had also been accused of training and equipping ISIS members by Russian mass media that support this idea with videos and satellite pictures. One of the reports, however, was confirmed to be fake (the video was taken from a game) and neither American nor Russian government had commented on any of other accuses.

Current status

Beginning primarily in 2017, as the Islamic State lost more swathes of territory and lost control over major settlements and cities, the group increasingly resorted to more terror bombings and insurgency operations, using its scattered underground networks of sleeper cells across regions in the middle east and various offshoots and adherents. The collapse of its final Middle Eastern territories in 2019 after the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani propelled the group into full insurgency phase in the regions it once controlled, while retaining influence via propaganda efforts and in remote hideouts, such as in the Syrian Desert.

In July 2019, United Nations analysts on the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee warned al-Baghdadi was plotting a comeback from Iraq. He could launch international terrorist attacks before the end of the year in European nations. By 7 October 2019, it was thought that ISIL could re-emerge with the withdrawal of American troops from the region.

On 26 October 2019, al-Baghdadi was targeted by U.S. military and died after he detonated a suicide vest in Barisha, Idlib, Northwest Syria. U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed in a televised announcement from the White House later that day that al-Baghdadi had died during a raid by US special forces in Idlib.

In September 2019, a statement attributed to ISIL's propaganda arm, the Amaq news agency, claimed that Abdullah Qardash was named as al-Baghdadi's successor. Analysts dismissed this statement as a fabrication, and relatives were reported as saying that Qardash died in 2017. Rita Katz, a terrorism analyst and the co-founder of SITE Intelligence, noted that the alleged statement used a different font when compared to other statements and it was never distributed on Amaq or ISIL channels.

On 29 October 2019, Trump stated on social media that al-Baghdadi's "number one replacement" had been killed by American forces, adding: "Most likely would have taken the top spot - Now he is also Dead!" While Trump did not specify a name, a U.S. official later confirmed that Trump was referring ISIL spokesman and senior leader Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria two days earlier. Less than a week after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on 31 October, ISIL named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as Baghdadi's successor, indicating that the group still considers itself a caliphate despite having lost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria. Two other individuals close to Baghdadi and believed to have been present in his last video appearance, the Saudi Abu Saleh al-Juzrawi and the Tunisian Abu Othman al-Tunsi, were also named as possible candidates to succeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

Two suicide bombers linked to ISIS attacked an open-air market in central Baghdad on January 21, 2021, killing 32 people. In April 2021 Russian forces killed dozens of Islamic State militants in a series of air strikes following the Islamic State's killing of two Russian pilots.

ISIS' Central Africa branch captured the port town of Mocímboa da Praia in Northern Mozambique in August 2020. It has been theorized that Mocímboa da Praia could possibly be functioning as ISIS' current central headquarters. About a year later, Rwandan and Mozambican forces retook the city. On August 26, 2021, a suicide bomber working for the Islamic State killed 182 people, including 13 US military personnel and 2 British civilians, at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

On January 20, 2022, Islamic State militants in Syria bombed the gates at a prison in al-Hasakah in Syria, starting a riot in which hundreds of Islamic State detainees escaped. Following the breakout, they attacked and occupied buildings in the surrounding neighborhoods and took 23 hostages. By January 23 the Coalition-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had regained most of the lost areas, including part of the prison.

On 3 February 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that U.S. military forces successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation in Atme, resulting in the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. A senior White House official told Reuters that al-Qurashi then detonated a bomb which killed himself and 12 more people, including members of his family. Following the explosion, U.S. special operations commandos entered the building and had a shootout with survivors, including a lieutenant of al-Qurashi, who was also killed.

According to initial reports from the Syria Civil Defense (White Helmets), four women and six children were among the dead. Later reports from the Syria Civil Defense claimed 13 people were killed. A fighter of Tahrir al-Sham was also killed in a brief shootout with U.S. forces after he noticed the raid taking place. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's brother Juma Awad al-Badri was subsequently proclaimed Caliph on 11 February.

In March 2022, ISIS reached Israel carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians

Leadership

Leader: Abu Omar al-Baghdadi (dead), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (dead), Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi (dead), Juma Awad al-Badri

Deputy Leader: Abu Ala al-Afri (dead), Abu Mutaz al-Qurashis (dead)

Deputy Leader in Syria: Abu Ali al-Anbari (dead)

Deputy Leader in Iraq: Abu Muslim al-Turkmani (dead)

Military Chief: Abu Suleiman al-Naser (dead)

Chief of Syrian Military Operations: Abu Omar al-Shishani (dead), Gulmurod Khalimov

Governor of South and Central Euphrates region: Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi

Chief Spokesperson: Abu Mohammad al-Adnani (dead),

Territories

  • Syria - De Facto Headquarters
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Yemen
  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan(also known as Khorasan)
  • Algeria - Local Militants swear allegiance
  • North Caucasus 
  • Sinai/Egypt - Local Militants swear allegiance 
  • Mozambique (Mocímboa da Praia)

Allied groups

Noted members