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. They had a relationship with Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that caused the September 11th terrorist attacks until in 2014 when they broke up.
The group's goal is to establish a worldwide caliphate, with leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi 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.
ISIS plans to build an Islamic caliphate nation (However all of the nations recognize ISIS/IL as a terrorist faction) made of both countries and other neighboring nations. 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. In 2014 the current leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri dissolved all connections with ISIS. It is said to be so extreme that even Al-Qaeda has reported to be afraid of them. 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.
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."
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 allegience 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.
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.
ISIS takes credit for any incident of domestic terrorism committed by someone with a Muslim upbringing, regardless of the individual's exact motives.
Leader: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
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)
Governor of South and Central Euphrates region: Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi
Chief Spokesperson: Abu Mohammad al-Adnani (dead)
- Syria - De Facto Headquarters
- Algeria - Local Militants swear allegiance
- North Caucasus
- Sinai/Egypt - Local Militants swear allegiance
- "Jihadi George"
- "Jihadi John" aka Mohammed Emwazi (dead)
- "Jihadi Paul"
- "Jihadi Ringo"
- Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (self-declared caliph; leader) (dead)