ISIS stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. Earlier it was known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant), and now officially known as the Islamic State (IS). In Arabic, it is called Daesh.
Now, the questions arise, what is an Islamic state? Where did it come from? And what are its intentions? ISIS is a terrorist organization, which follows a Salafi Jihadist Doctrine, as well as Wahhabism and Sunni Islamist Fundamentalism. They also follow the global jihadist principles and the ideology of Al-Qaeda and all other modern jihadist groups.
The difference between ISIS and other Islamic and Jihadist Movements is that Al-Qaeda and others emphasize Eschatology and Apocalypticism, a belief in a final day of judgment by God. Whereas the belief of ISIS is, it will defeat the army of “Rome” at the town of Dabiq. According to ISIS, after Al-Baghdadi (their former leader), there will be only four more legitimate Caliphates.
History of ISIS
- The founder of ISIS was Abu Musab Al Zarquwi, and now, its leader is Abu Ibrahim Alhashimi Al Qurashi.
- The Terrorist Organization was established in 1999 under the name of Jammat Al-Tawhid Waljihad.
- In October 2004, the group joined Al-Qaeda and declared itself an Islamic State in Iraq on 13 October 2006. It has claimed territory in the Levant on 8 April 2013 and separated itself from Al-Qaeda on 3 February 2014, as well as declared itself as Caliphate.
- Under the name Islamic State and ideology of Caliphate, it claimed religious, political, and military authority over all the Muslims worldwide.
- The group has claimed territory in several countries like Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, South Asia, Nigeria, North Caucasus, etc. The organization gained its global prominence in 2014, as it drove Iraqui security forces out of the main cities, followed by the recapture of Mosul by Iraqi forces and capture of Raqqa by SDF forces in 2017.
- On 23 March 2019, the organization loses all its territory in Syria, followed by killing its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi by himself, while detonating a suicide vest on 27 October 2019.
- After his death, Qurashi was announced as the new leader of the Islamic State.
The organization did all types of violence and crime, as they are intended to spread chaos and fear in order to control all over the world. They are notorious for their videos of beheadings and doing all other executions of soldiers as well as civilians like journalists and aid workers. They committed the biggest crime like genocide and also responsible for the war, battle, destruction of cultural heritage sites, and ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq.
Number of Fighters
According to the CIA, in September 2014, ISIS had 20,000 - 31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria. While the Syrian observatory for human rights estimates their forces numbers around 80,000 – 100,000 total in which 50,000 in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq. In June 2015, according to a Reuters report which cited 'Jihadist Ideologues’ as a source, 70% of ISIS fighters in Syria were Syrian and 90% of its fighter in Iraq were Iraqi.
Sources for funds
The funds for ISIS came from different sources like, the Government of Iraq indirectly finances them, as they pay the salaries of thousands of their Government employees, who work under ISIS controlled area. Their other resources include; Black Market Oil, Distribution of Narcotics, and having business like Car Dealership, Taxi Companies, etc. Overall, terrorist activities and their attacks continue, as they often do blasts at their targeted places worldwide. Since all the countries are facing this problem of terrorism, they are also taking required actions against this to abolish them.