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Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
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{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Salafi jihadist terrorist and militant group}}{{redirect-multi|5|ISIL|ISIS|Daesh|Daish|Islamic State group||ISIL (disambiguation)|and|Isis (disambiguation)|and|Daish (surname)|and|Islamic state (disambiguation)}}{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2019}}{{Use British English|date=August 2016}}







factoids
{{transl>ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām}}Iraq War (2003–2011), Iraqi insurgency (2011–13)>Iraqi insurgency, Syrian Civil War, Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017), Libyan Civil War (2014–present)>Second Libyan Civil War, Boko Haram insurgency, War in North-West Pakistan, War in Afghanistan (2015–present), Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)>Yemeni Civil War, and other conflicts
Primary target of Operation Inherent Resolve and of the military intervention against ISIL: in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria.|image = AQMI Flag asymmetric.svg{{!}}borderBlack Standard used by ISILHTTPS://WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/NEWS/WORLD/MIDDLE-EAST/ISIS-FLAG-WHAT-DO-THE-WORDS-MEAN-AND-WHAT-ARE-ITS-ORIGINS-10369601.HTML DATE=7 JULY 2015, The Independent, |active ={{Collapsible list | title = 1999–present | bullets=on | 1 = Established under the name of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad: 1999 | 2 = Joined al-Qaeda: October 2004 | 3 = Declaration of an Islamic state in Iraq: 13 October 2006 | 4 = Claim of territory in the Levant: 8 April 2013 | 5 = Separated from al-Qaeda:{{r|JamestownFoundation20041018}}NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda disavows ISIS militants in Syria, BBC News, 3 February 2014, 3 February 2014NEWS, Holmes, Oliver,weblink Reuters, Al Qaeda breaks link with Syrian militant group ISIL, 3 February 2014, | 6 = Declaration of caliphate: 29 June 2014|7=Claim of territory in Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen: 13 November 2014|8=Claim of territory in South Asia: 29 January 2015{{r|Khorasan}}|9=Claim of territory in Nigeria: 12 March 2015{{r|BokoHaramIS_AFP|BokoHaramIS_CNN}}|10=Claim of territory in North Caucasus: 23 June 2015{{r|caucasus_ISW}}|11 = Recapture of Mosul by Iraqi forces: 20 July 2017|12= Capture of Raqqa by SDF forces: 17 October 2017|13=Loses all of its territory in Syria: 23 March 2019}}
  • SalafismWEB, Islamic State,weblink 22 July 2014, Australian National Security, Australian Government, WEB, The Islamic State,weblink Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford University, 23 January 2015, REPORT, Erin Marie, Saltman, Charlie, Winter, Islamic State: The Changing Face of Modern Jihadism,weblink Quilliam Foundation, November 2014, 978-1-906603-98-4,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150226115714weblink">weblink 26 February 2015,
  • Salafi jihadism{{r|Quilliam2014}}NEWS,weblink Crooke, Alastair, You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, 5 September 2014, HuffPost,
}}|clans=
  • Libyan Province
  • Sinai Province
  • Yemen Province
  • Algerian Province
  • Khorasan Province
  • West Africa Province
  • Caucasus Province
  • Somalia Province|leaders =
  • Leader: Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiNEWS, Rubin, Alissa J., Militant Leader in Rare Appearance in Iraq,weblink The New York Times, 5 July 2014,
  • Deputy leader in Iraq: Abu Fatima al-JaheishiWEB,weblink An Account of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi & Islamic State Succession Lines, Aymenn Jawad, Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog, 24 January 2016,
  • Deputy leader in Syria: Abu Ali al-Anbari{{KIA}}WEB, Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli,weblinkweblink yes, 18 May 2015, Rewards for Justice, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, 5 May 2015, NEWS, Schmidt, Michael, A Top ISIS Leader Is Killed in an Airstrike, the Pentagon Says, The New York Times, 25 March 2016,weblink
  • Deputy leader in Libya: Abdel Baqer Al-NajdiWEB, 16 March 2016, Laghmari, Jihen, Alexander, Caroline, Follain, John, Islamic State Spreads in North Africa in Attacks Ignored by West, Bloomberg,weblink limited,
  • Military chief: Abu Saleh al-ObaidiWEB, January 2016, An Account of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi & Islamic State Succession Lines, Aymenn, Jawad Al-Tamimi,weblink Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog,
  • Head of the Shura Council: Abu Arkan al-AmeriNEWS, ISIS Leadership,weblink 14 August 2015, Frontline (U.S. TV series), Frontline, PBS, 2015,
  • Chief spokesperson: Abu Mohammad al-Adnani{{KIA}}{{r|Chulov310816}}WEB, 2014, Charles, Lister, Islamic State Senior Leadership: Who's Who, Brookings Institution,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160328114112weblink">weblink 28 March 2016, NEWS, 29 June 2014, Here's What We Know About the 'Caliph' of the New Islamic State,weblink Agence France-Presse, Business Insider, NEWS, 29 June 2014, ISIS Spokesman Declares Caliphate, Rebrands Group as Islamic State, Jihadist News, SITE Intelligence Group,weblink NEWS, 12 September 2016, Pentagon Confirms U.S. Strike in Syria Killed ISIL Leader, DoD News,weblink
  • Chief of Syrian military operations: Abu Omar al-Shishani{{KIA}}{{r|brookings2014}}NEWS, Chad, Garland, 14 July 2016, Islamic State says top commander is dead; Pentagon unsure, Stars and Stripes,weblink NEWS, Will, Worley, 13 July 2016, Isis confirms death of hugely popular 'minister of war' Omar al-Shishani, The Independent,weblink NEWS, Starr, Barbara, 15 March 2016, U.S. assesses ISIS operative Omar al-Shishani is dead, CNN,weblink WEB, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili,weblink Rewards for Justice, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, 5 May 2015,weblink 18 May 2015,
  • Minister of War: Gulmurod Khalimov{{r|IBT_060916}}
  • Minister of Information: Wa'il Adil Hasan Salman al-Fayad{{KIA}}NEWS, 16 September 2016, Isis's propaganda chief, Dr. Wa'il, killed in airstrike, Pentagon confirms, The Guardian,weblink
  • Spokesman: Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir (foreign fighter)
  • Baqubah, Iraq (2006–2007)
  • No central headquarters (2007–2013)
  • Raqqa, Syria (2013–2017)
  • Mayadin, Syria (June–October 2017)NEWS, 23 April 2017, ISIS 'essentially moved' its Syria HQ from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor province, RT (TV network), RT,weblink WEB,weblink Syrian army captures Mayadin from ISIS near Deir ez-Zor, Rudaw, 14 October 2017,
  • Al-Qa'im, Iraq (October–November 2017)WEB, Sarah Benhaida, Ahmad al-Rubaye, 26 October 2017, Iraq forces launch 'last big fight' against IS, Rudaw, y,weblink
  • Abu Kamal, Syria (November 2017)NEWS, 4 November 2017, Anti-IS forces converge on Syria border town, Agence France-Presse, Yahoo News,weblink NEWS, 4 November 2017, Syrian army & allies capture last major ISIS held town in Syria,weblink RT, Russia, TV-Novosti,
  • Hajin, Syria (November 2017 – December 2018)WEB,weblink Syria, the Isis pockets of resistance at Deir Ezzor are reduced to two, Francesco Bussoletti, Difesa & Sicurezza, 29 June 2018, 6 July 2018,
  • Al-Susah, Syria (December 2018 – January 2019)WEB,weblink Breaking: SDF captures Daesh's de facto capital in Syria, Leith, Aboufadel, 13 December 2018, WEB,weblink US-backed fighters seize east Syria village from ISIS, The National,
  • Al-Marashidah, Syria (January–February 2019)WEB,weblink ISIL's reign over eastern Euphrates nearing its end – map, Leith Aboufadel, Al-Masdar News, 24 January 2019, 25 January 2019, WEB,weblink Down to Its Last 2 Villages in Syria, ISIS Still Fights Back, Rukmini Callimachi, The New York Times, 24 January 2019, 25 January 2019, WEB,weblink ISIS squeezed into last areas as SDF troops capture 2 villages east of the Euphrates (MAP), Leith Aboufadel, Al-Masdar News, 7 February 2019, 15 February 2019,
  • Al-Baghuz Fawqani, Syria (February–March 2019)WEB,weblink US-backed Fighters Launch Final Push to Defeat IS in Syria, Rikar Hussein, VOA News, 9 February 2019, 15 February 2019, NEWS, The Washington Post, 23 March 2019,weblink US-allied Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State,
  • Unknown headquarters from March 2019}}
230px)ISIL's territory, in grey, at the time of its greatest territorial extent (May 2015).{hide}Collapsible list| title = Map legend
| 1 = {{legend|#b4b2ae|Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant{edih}
| 2 = {{legend|#db8ca6|Iraqi government}}
| 3 = {{legend|#ebc0b3|Syrian government}}
| 4 = {{legend|#ffa067|Lebanese government}}
| 5 = {{legend|#D2CD7E|Iraqi Kurdistan forces}}
| 6 = {{legend|#e2d974|Syrian Kurdistan forces}}
| 7 = {{legend|#caffc4|Syrian opposition forces}}
| 8 = {{legend|#80c490|Turkish Armed Forces}}
| 9 = {{legend|#ffffff|Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)}}
| 10 = {{legend|#3e79ff|w:Hezbollah|Hezbollah]]}}
| 11 = Note: Iraq and Syria contain large desert areas with sparse populations. These areas are mapped as under the control of forces holding roads and towns within them.
}}{hide}Collapsible list| title = Detailed current maps
| 1 = | 2 = | 3 = | 4 = | 5 = | 6 = {edih}|strength =
{{Collapsible list| title = List of combatant numbers
  • 200,000NEWS, Cockburn, Patrick, 16 November 2014, War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims senior Kurdish leader, The Independent,weblink WEB, How many Fighters Does the Islamic State Really Have?, Daveed, Gartenstein-Ross-ROSS, 9 February 2015, War on the Rocks,weblink (2015 claim by Iraqi Kurdistan Chief of Staff)
  • 100,000 (2015 Jihadist claim)
  • 28,600–31,600WEB, Operation Inherent Resolve and other overseas contigency operations,weblink media.defense.gov, 11 May 2019, (2016 Defense Department estimate)
  • 35,000–100,000WEB, Briefing With Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey,weblinkweblink 7 May 2019, yes, state.gov, 11 May 2019, (State Department estimate)}}|Outside Syria and Iraq: 32,600–57,900 (See Military of ISIL for more detailed estimates.)
title = Civilian population AUTHOR=PAUL D. SHINKMANDATE=27 DECEMBER 2017AUTHOR1=SETH G. JONESAUTHOR3=DANIEL BYMANAUTHOR5=BEN CONNABLEAUTHOR7=ERIC ROBINSONPUBLISHER=RAND CORPORATIONACCESSDATE=1 APRIL 2019, }}Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (1999)AARON Y. DATE=JUNE 2014 URL=HTTP://WWW.WASHINGTONINSTITUTE.ORG/UPLOADS/DOCUMENTS/PUBS/RESEARCHNOTE_20_ZELIN.PDF VOLUME=20, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, #Supporters>See section| opponents = State opponents
  • {{flagcountry|Afghanistan}}NEWS,weblink ISIS targets Taliban in fight for Afghanistan, Ben, Farmer, Saleem, Mehsud, 15 July 2018, 3 July 2019, Thenational.ae,
  • {{flag|Abkhazia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Albania}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flag|Algeria}}NEWS,weblink Algeria a 'symbolic target' for ISIL, Djamila Ould, Khettab, 30 December 2015, 3 July 2019, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera Media Network,
  • {{flag|Armenia}}
  • {{flag|Artsakh}}
  • {{flag|Azerbaijan}}
  • {{flagcountry|Australia}}WEB, OKRA Home,weblink Global Operations, Department of Defense – Government of Australia, 25 October 2017,
  • {{flagcountry|Austria}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Bahrain}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flag|Bangladesh}}
  • {{flag|Belgium}}
  • {{flag|Benin}}
  • {{flagcountry|Bosnia and Herzegovina}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Brazil}}NEWS, Simon, Romero, Michael, Schmidt, As ISIS Posts in Portuguese, U.S. and Brazil Bolster Olympics Security, The New York Times, 1 August 2016,weblink
  • {{flag|Cameroon}}
  • {{flag|Canada}}WEB, Operation IMPACT,weblink National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, 6 March 2018,
  • {{flag|Chad}}
  • {{flag|China}}NEWS, Samuel, Osbourne, Isis threatens China and vows to 'shed blood like rivers', The Independent, 1 March 2017,weblink
  • {{flagcountry|Croatia}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Czech Republic}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flag|Denmark}}
  • {{flagcountry|Egypt}}
  • {{flagcountry|Estonia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Fiji}}NEWS,weblink Fiji Joins US-Led Coalition Against Daesh – Spokesperson, sputniknews.com, 12 September 2018,
  • {{flagcountry|Finland}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|France}}
  • {{flag|Georgia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Germany}weblink
  • {{flagcountry|Greece}}WEB,weblink Greece Brings War Against the Islamic State, Nikoleta Kalmouki, 17 March 2018,
  • {{flagcountry|Hungary}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|India}}
  • {{flagcountry|Indonesia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Iran}}
  • {{flagcountry|Iraq}}
  • {{flagcountry|Ireland}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Israel}}
  • {{flagcountry|Italy}}WEB,weblink L'Italia pronta a bombardare Isis in Iraq. La Difesa: ipotesi da valutare, 6 October 2015, Corriere della Sera,
  • {{flagcountry|Japan}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Jordan}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|South Korea}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Kosovo}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Latvia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Lebanon}}
  • {{flagcountry|Libya}}
  • {{flagcountry|Lithuania}}
  • {{flagcountry|Luxembourg}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Malaysia}}WEB,weblink Malaysia launches crackdown on Isis after threats to kill the king and prime minister, Hannah Ellis-Petersen south-east Asia, correspondent, 20 July 2018, www.theguardian.com,
  • {{flagcountry|Maldives}}
  • {{flagcountry|Malta}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Mauritius}weblink
  • {{flagcountry|Mexico}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Moldova}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Morocco}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Mozambique}}
  • {{flagcountry|Netherlands}}
  • {{flagcountry|New Zealand}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Nicaragua}weblink
  • {{flag|Niger}}
  • {{flag|Nigeria}}
  • {{flagcountry|North Macedonia}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Norway}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Oman}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Palestine}}
  • {{flagcountry|Pakistan}}NEWS, Lizzie, Dearden, Pakistan 'kills 100 terrorists' in crackdown after Isis shrine bombing, The Independent, 17 February 2017,weblink
  • {{flagcountry|Philippines}}
  • {{flagcountry|Poland}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Portugal}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Qatar}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Romania}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Russia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Saudi Arabia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Serbia}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Slovakia}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Slovenia}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Somalia}}
  • {{flagcountry|South Ossetia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Spain}}NEWS, Barcelona Terror Alert Coincides with New Spanish-Language ISIS Threats, Bridget, Johnson, 30 December 2018, Homeland Security Today,weblink
  • {{flagcountry|Sri Lanka}}NEWS, Sri Lanka bombings: Isis claims responsibility for deadly church and hotel attacks on Easter Sunday,weblink The Independent, 23 April 2019,
  • {{flagcountry|Sweden}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Switzerland}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Syria}}
  • {{flagcountry|Taiwan}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|Tajikistan}}NEWS, Video Purports to Show Tajikistan Attackers Pledging Allegiance to ISIS, Rukmini, Callimachi, Andrew E., Kramer, 31 July 2018, The New York Times,weblink
  • {{flag|Tunisia}}
  • {{flagcountry|Turkey}}
  • {{flagcountry|Ukraine}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|United Arab Emirates}}NEWS,weblink México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS, 25 November 2015, Madrid, 12 April 2019, El País, Prisa, es,
  • {{flagcountry|United Kingdom}}
  • {{flagcountry|United States}}
  • {{flagcountry|Western Sahara}}
  • {{flagcountry|Yemen}}
Non-state opponents Full list...|image_size = 200px|active2=}}The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL {{IPAc-en|ˈ|aɪ|s|@l|,_|ˈ|aɪ|s|ɪ|l}}), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS {{IPAc-en|ˈ|aɪ|s|ɪ|s}}), officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and also known by its Arabic language acronym Daesh (, {{IPA-ar|ˈdaːʕɪʃ|IPA}}),NEWS, Schwartz, Felica, One More Name for Islamic State: Daesh,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 23 December 2014, WEB,weblink Decoding Daesh: Why is the new name for ISIS so hard to understand?, Alice, Guthrie, 19 February 2015, Free Word Centre, is a Salafi jihadist militant group and former unrecognised proto-stateNEWS,weblink ISIL defeated in final Syria victory: SDF, Al Jazeera, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, NEWS,weblink ISIS has lost its final stronghold in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces says, Ben, Wedeman, Lauren, Said-Moorhouse, CNN, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, NEWS,weblink After ISIS 'defeat,' what comes next? – Analysis, The Jerusalem Post, Seth J., Frantzman, 24 March 2019, NEWS,weblink Isis defeated, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announce, Bethan, McKernan, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, The Guardian, NEWS,weblink ISIS Caliphate Crumbles as Last Village in Syria Falls, Rukmini, Callimachi, 23 March 2019, 24 March 2019, The New York Times, that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi doctrine of Sunni Islam.NEWS, Fouad al-Ibrahim, Why ISIS is a threat to Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism's deferred promise, Al Akhbar English,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140824121659weblink">weblink 22 August 2014, 24 August 2014, WEB,weblink Islamic State and the policy of the West, Dolgov, Boris, Oriental Review, 23 September 2014, BOOK, Wilson, Rodney, Islam and Economic Policy, {{Google books, ejgkDQAAQBAJ, PA178, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Edinburgh University Press|isbn=978-0-7486-8389-5|page=178}}MAGAZINE,weblink End Times for the Caliphate?, Patrick, Cockburn, 3 March 2016, London Review of Books, 38, 5, 29–30, WEB, Does Islamic State have the economic and political institutions for future development?, Dmitry, Pastukhov, Nathaniel, Greenwold,weblink 6 April 2019,weblink 9 October 2017, yes, BOOK, Pedler, John, A Word Before Leaving: A Former Diplomat's Weltanschauung, {{Google books, A8nuBQAAQBAJ, PA99, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Troubador |isbn=978-1-78462-223-7|page=99}}BOOK, Kerr, Michael, Larkin, Craig, The Alawis of Syria: War, Faith and Politics in the Levant, {{Google books, koeMCwAAQBAJ, PA21, yes, |year=2015|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=978-0-19-045811-9|page=21}} ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive,NEWS, John Kerry holds talks in Iraq as more cities fall to ISIS militants,weblink CNN, 23 June 2014, followed by its capture of MosulNEWS, Suadad, Al-Salhy, Tim, Arango, Sunni Militants Drive Iraqi Army Out of Mosul, The New York Times,weblink 10 June 2014, and the Sinjar massacre.NEWS,weblink Sunni Extremists in Iraq Seize 3 Towns From Kurds and Threaten Major Dam, The New York Times, Arango, Tim, 3 August 2014, The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and many individual countries. ISIL is widely known for its videos of beheadings and other types of executionsNEWS,weblink A Short History Of ISIS Propaganda Videos, The World Post, 11 March 2015, of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites.WEB,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150219092526weblink">weblinkweblink Iraq churches, mosques under ISIL attack, Khalid, al-Taie, Al-Shorfa, 13 February 2015, 19 February 2015, The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes. ISIL also committed ethnic cleansing on an historic and unprecedented scale in northern Iraq.WEB, Ethnic cleansing on a historic scale: The Islamic State's systematic targeting of minorities in northern Iraq,weblink Amnesty International, 2 September 2014,weblink 12 March 2015, ISIL originated as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and participated in the Iraqi insurgency following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces at the behest of the United States. In June 2014 the group proclaimed itself a worldwide caliphateNEWS, Bill, Roggio, Bill Roggio,weblink ISIS announces formation of Caliphate, rebrands as 'Islamic State', Long War Journal, 29 June 2014, NEWS,weblink Withnall, Adam, Iraq crisis: Isis changes name and declares its territories a new Islamic state with 'restoration of caliphate' in Middle East, 29 June 2014, The Independent, London, and began referring to itself as the Islamic State ( {{transl|ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah}}; IS).NEWS, What is Islamic State?,weblink BBC News, 26 September 2014, As a caliphate, it claimed religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.WEB, What does ISIS' declaration of a caliphate mean?, Al Akhbar English,weblink 30 June 2014, 22 November 2014,weblink 19 January 2019, yes, . See also: {{harvc |contribution=Caliph, caliphate |first1=Wadad |last=Kadi |first2=Aram A. |last2=Shahin |url={{Google books|q1I0pcrFFSUC|page=81|plainurl=y}} |in=Bowering |year=2013}} Its adoption of the name Islamic State and its idea of a caliphate have been widely criticised, with the United Nations, various governments and mainstream Muslim groups vehemently rejecting its statehood.NEWS,weblink A Medieval Antidote to ISIS, Akyol, Mustafa, 21 December 2015, The New York Times, In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions and by December 2015, it held a large area extending from western Iraq to eastern Syria, containing an estimated 8 to 12 million people,WEB,weblink How ISIS Rules, Birke, Sarah, The New York Review of Books, 5 February 2017, where it enforced its interpretation of sharia law. ISIL is believed to be operational in 18 countries across the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, with "aspiring branches" in Mali, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.NEWS, Islamic State and the crisis in Iraq and Syria in maps,weblink BBC News, 18 October 2016, NEWS, Exclusive: In turf war with Afghan Taliban, Islamic State loyalists gain ground,weblink Reuters, 29 June 2015, NEWS, Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State,weblink Reuters, 18 November 2014, In 2015, ISIL was estimated to have an annual budget of more than US$1 billion and a force of more than 30,000 fighters.BOOK, A History of ISIS, Gerges, Fawaz A., Princeton University Press, 2016, 9780691170008, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 21–22, In July 2017, the group lost control of its largest city, Mosul, to the Iraqi army.NEWS,weblink PressTV-'US created, allowed regional funding of Daesh', 11 July 2017, no,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170711234141weblink">weblink 11 July 2017, Following this major defeat, ISIL continued to lose territory to the various states and other military forces allied against it, until it controlled no meaningful territory by November 2017.Russia's Syria Mirage Institute for Study of War website. By Matti Suomenaro, et al. 13 August 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2018. U.S. military officials and simultaneous military analyses reported in December 2017 that the group retained a mere 2 percent of the territory they had previously held.WEB,weblink ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territory, officials say, FOX, On 10 December 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory.WEB,weblink Islamic State completely 'evicted' from Iraq, Iraqi PM says, 9 December 2017, The Age, By 23 March 2019, ISIL lost one of their last significant territories in the Middle East, surrendering their "tent city" and pockets in Al-Baghuz Fawqani near the end of the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani.{{TOC limit|3}}

Name{{anchor|Nomenclature|Name}}

{{See also|Name changes due to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}{{anchor|ISIS}}In April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name {{transl|ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām}} ({{rtl-lang|ar|الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام}}). As (wikt:الشام|al-Shām) is a region often compared with the Levant or Greater Syria, the group's name has been variously translated as "Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham",WEB, Irshaid, Faisal, Isis, Isil, IS or Daesh? One group, many names,weblink BBC, 2 December 2015, 2 December 2015, "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria"NEWS,weblink AlQaeda in Iraq confirms Syria's Nusra Front is part of its network, Al Arabiya English, 9 April 2013, 15 June 2014, (both abbreviated as ISIS), or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (abbreviated as ISIL).NEWS, Tharoor, Ishaan, ISIS or ISIL? The debate over what to call Iraq's terror group,weblink 21 June 2014, The Washington Post, 18 June 2014, While the use of either one or the other acronym has been the subject of debate,NEWS, Saxena, Vivek, ISIS vs ISIL – Which One Is It?,weblink 20 June 2014, The Inquisitr, 18 June 2014, the distinction between the two and its relevance has been considered not so great. Of greater relevance is the name Daesh, which is an acronym of ISIL's Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām. Dāʿish ({{rtl-lang|ar|داعش}}), or Daesh. This name has been widely used by ISIL's Arabic-speaking detractors,{{clarify|date=December 2015}}WEB,weblink Terrorist Designations of Groups Operating in Syria, United States Department of State, 14 May 2014, 18 June 2014, NEWS,weblink Isis, Isil or Da'ish? What to call militants in Iraq, 24 June 2014, BBC News, 16 August 2014, although – and to a certain extent because – it is considered derogatory, as it resembles the Arabic words Daes ("one who crushes, or tramples down, something underfoot") and Dāhis (loosely translated: "one who sows discord").NEWS, Randal, Collin, Why Does a Simple Word like Daesh Disturb Extremists so Much,weblink The National, Abu Dhabi, 22 November 2014, Within areas under its control, ISIL considers use of the name Daesh punishable by floggingWEB, Abouzeid, Rania, Syria's uprising within an uprising, European Council on Foreign Relations, 16 January 2014,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140125092845weblink">weblink 25 January 2014, 15 August 2014, or cutting out the tongue.NEWS, Maria, Vultaggio, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State, Daesh: What's The Difference?, 16 November 2015, International Business Times,weblink In late June 2014, the group renamed itself {{transl|ar|ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah}} ({{literal translation|Islamic State}} or IS), declaring itself a worldwide caliphate. The name "Islamic State" and the group's claim to be a caliphate have been widely rejected, with the UN, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups refusing to use the new name.NEWS, Moore, Jack, 2 July 2014, Iraq Crisis: Senior Jordan Jihadist Slams Isis Caliphate,weblink International Business Times UK, 2 July 2014, NEWS, Mandhai, Shafik, Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi's caliphate,weblink 12 July 2014, Al Jazeera, 7 July 2014, The group's declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and its adoption of the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists both inside and outside the territory it controls.NEWS, Iraq's Baghdadi calls for 'holy war',weblink Al Jazeera, 2 July 2014, 2 July 2014, In a speech in September 2014, United States President Barack Obama said that ISIL was neither "Islamic" (on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents) nor was it a "state" (in that no government recognises the group as a state), while many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council,WEB,weblink United Nations Official Document, United Nations, 13 October 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141028111035weblink">weblink 28 October 2014, the United States,WEB,weblink Statement by the President on ISIL, White House, 13 October 2014, Canada,NEWS, David, Pugliese,weblink Details about the Canadian government's motion about going to war against ISIL, Ottawa Citizen, 13 October 2014, Turkey,WEB,weblink Turkish government files motion to Parliament to fight ISIL, Andalou Agency, 14 October 2014, Australia,NEWS,weblink Australia says ready to strike ISIL in Iraq, Al Jazeera, 3 October 2014, 13 October 2014, Russia,NEWS, Russia urges Iran's participation in anti-ISIL battle,weblink Press TV, 21 November 2014, 28 September 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141012093942weblink">weblink 12 October 2014, the United KingdomWEB,weblink ISIL: UK government response, Government of the United Kingdom, 13 October 2014, and other countries generally call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish" (or "Daesh"). France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.'"NEWS,weblink France is ditching the 'Islamic State' name—and replacing it with a label the group hates, 17 September 2014, 6 October 2014, The Washington Post, Adam, Taylor, Retired general John Allen, the U.S. envoy appointed to co-ordinate the coalition; U.S. Army Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group; and Secretary of State John Kerry had all shifted towards use of the term Daesh by December 2014.NEWS, Alan, Yuhasin, US general rebrands Isis 'Daesh' after requests from regional partners Leader of operations against group uses alternative name – a pejorative in Arabic that rejects fighters' claims on Islam, The Guardian,weblink 22 December 2014, 19 December 2014,

Purpose and strategy

Ideology

ISIL is a theocracy, proto-stateBOOK, Tobey, Mark, The ISIS Crisis: What You Really Need to Know, 2015, chapter 6 reference 13, The final expression of Islamic government found in the Middle East would seem to be the purest, yet actually represents the most dangerous form: theocratic Islam., WEB, Belanger-McMurdo, Adele, A Fight for Statehood? ISIS and Its Quest for Political Domination,weblink Nevertheless, ISIS is neither a terrorist organization nor a political party; instead, it is a theocratic proto-state., BOOK, Caldwell, Dan, Seeking Security in an Insecure World, 2016, Rowman & Littlefield, 195, {{Google books, DqNaCwAAQBAJ, PA195, yes, |quote=It is a theocratic state that considers itself unbound by the Westphalian principle of sovereignty with its corollaries of nonaggression and nonintervention}} and a Salafi or Wahhabi group.{{r|HuffPost_Wahhabi}}NEWS,weblink The secret world of Isis training camps – ruled by sacred texts and the sword, Hassan, Hassan, The Guardian, 24 January 2015, 2 February 2015, NEWS,weblink Islamic State Affiliate Takes Root Amid Libya's Chaos, Bradley, Matt, 1 February 2015, 2 February 2015, The Wall Street Journal, ISIL's ideology represents radical Salafi Islam, a strict, puritanical form of Sunni Islam.WEB, The 'ISIS Phenomenon',weblink PennState Presidential Leadership Academy, Teti, Isabella Frances, Pennsylvania State University, 6 November 2016, Muslim organisations like Islamic Networks Group (ING) in America have argued against this interpretation of Islam.WEB, INGYouth: Frequently Asked Questions,weblink ING, 30 November 2017, ISIL promotes religious violence, and regards Muslims who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates.{{r|ANS}} According to Hayder al Khoei, ISIL's philosophy is represented by the symbolism in the Black Standard variant of the legendary battle flag of Muhammad that it has adopted: the flag shows the Seal of Muhammad within a white circle, with the phrase above it, "There is no god but Allah".NEWS, Prusher, Ilene, Ilene Prusher, 9 September 2014, What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group,weblink Time,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140909202210weblink">weblink 9 September 2014, 29 September 2014, Such symbolism has been said to point to ISIL's belief that it represents the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam, with all the political, religious and eschatological ramifications that this would imply.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140917040453weblink">weblink 17 September 2014, Endtimes Brewing, Huffington Post (UK), Anne, Speckhard, 29 August 2014, ISIS adheres to global jihadist principles and follows the hard-line ideology of al-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups,{{r|ReutersHolmes_030214|ANS}} which is closely related to Wahhabism.}}According to The Economist, dissidents in the former ISIL capital of Raqqa report that "all 12 of the judges who now run its court system ... are Saudis". Saudi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out "vice" and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction or re-purposing of any non-Sunni religious buildings.MAGAZINE, Crime and punishment in Saudi Arabia: The other beheaders, The Economist, 20 September 2014,weblink 7 November 2014, Bernard Haykel has described ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism".{{r|ISIS_NYT}} Senior Saudi religious leaders have issued statements condemning ISILNEWS, Staff writer, 'ISIS is enemy No. 1 of Islam,' says Saudi grand mufti,weblink 5 October 2017, Al Arabiyah News English, 19 August 2014, and attempting to distance the group from official Saudi religious beliefs.NEWS, Staff writer, Some Saudi clerics condemn Isil but preach intolerance,weblink 5 October 2017, Gulf News, Reuters, 10 September 2014, ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupts its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam, and seeks to revive the original Wahhabi project of the restoration of the caliphate governed by strict Salafist doctrine. Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi Arabian government in that category.Salafists such as ISIL believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad, and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society. For example, ISIL regards the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad and see fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation by ISIL with Israel.{{r|ISIS_NYT}}NEWS, Mamouri, Ali, Why Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas,weblink 29 July 2014, Al-Monitor, 1 August 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140801134410weblink">weblink 1 August 2014,

Islamic eschatology

{{see also|Islamic eschatology}}One difference between ISIL and other Islamist and jihadist movements, including al-Qaeda, is the group's emphasis on eschatology and apocalypticism – that is, a belief in a final Day of Judgment by God, and specifically, a belief that the arrival of one known as Imam Mahdi is near. ISIL believes that it will defeat the army of "Rome" at the town of Dabiq, in fulfilment of prophecy.NEWS,weblink What ISIS Really Wants, Wood, Graeme, 15 February 2015, The Atlantic, 19 February 2015, Following its interpretation of the Hadith of the Twelve Successors, ISIL also believes that after al-Baghdadi there will be only four more legitimate caliphs.The noted scholar of militant Islamism Will McCants writes:}}

Goals

Since at latest 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state.WEB,weblink 17 things about ISIS and Iraq you need to know, Zack, Beauchamp, 2 September 2014, Vox, 5 September 2014, NEWS, Abu Mohammad, Letter dated 9 July 2005,weblink 22 July 2014, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, See page 2 onwards, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110522153638weblink">weblink 22 May 2011, Specifically, ISIL has sought to establish itself as a caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader – the caliph – who is believed to be the successor to Prophet Muhammad. In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad, and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. As caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide, according to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).NEWS,weblink Who is the U.S. targeting in Iraq air strikes?, 7 July 2014, Laith, Kubba, Al Jazeera, ISIL has detailed its goals in its Dabiq magazine, saying it will continue to seize land and take over the entire Earth until its:}}According to German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer, who spent ten days embedded with ISIL in Mosul, the view he kept hearing was that ISIL wants to "conquer the world", and that all who do not believe in the group's interpretation of the Quran will be killed. Todenhöfer was struck by the ISIL fighters' belief that "all religions who agree with democracy have to die",NEWS, Withnall, Adam, Middle East. Inside Isis: The first Western journalist ever to be given access to the 'Islamic State' has just returned – and this is what he discovered,weblink 3 October 2015, Independent, 21 December 2014, and by their "incredible enthusiasm" – including enthusiasm for killing "hundreds of millions" of people.NEWS, Greyvenstein, Hester Maria, Q&A: German journalist on surviving ISIL,weblink 4 October 2015, Al Jazeera, 15 January 2015, Something that I don't understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers... They also will kill Muslim democrats because they believe that non-ISIL-Muslims put the laws of human beings above the commandments of God. These were very difficult discussions, especially when they were talking about the number of people who they are willing to kill. They were talking about hundreds of millions. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that., When the caliphate was proclaimed, ISIL stated: "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas." This was a rejection of the political divisions in Southwestern Asia that were established by the UK and France during World War I in the Sykes–Picot Agreement.NEWS, Tran, Mark, Weaver, Matthew, 30 June 2014, Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria,weblink The Guardian, 6 July 2014, NEWS, McGrath, Timothy, Watch this English-speaking ISIS fighter explain how a 98-year-old colonial map created today's conflict,weblink 22 July 2014, Los Angeles Times, GlobalPost, 2 July 2014, WEB,weblink The Islamic State: Leaving al-Qaeda Behind, Romain, Caillet, 27 December 2013, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, All non-Muslim areas would be targeted for conquest after the Muslim lands were dealt with, according to the Islamist manual Management of Savagery.MAGAZINE,weblink The mind of the Islamic State: An ideology of savagery, The Monthly, June 2016, Robert, Manne, BOOK, Assaf, Moghadam, Brian, Fishman, Fault Lines in Global Jihad: Organizational, Strategic, and Ideological Fissures, {{Google books, MLE68zW_7LUC, PA55, yes, |date=10 May 2011 |publisher=Taylor & Francis |isbn=978-1-136-71058-2 |page=55}}REPORT, Assaf, Moghadam, Brian, Fishman, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Debates and Divisions within al-Qa'ida and its Periphery, Harmony Project, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 16 December 2010,weblink yes,weblink 22 October 2016,

Strategy

Documents found after the death of Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, a former colonel in the intelligence service of the Iraqi Air Force before the US invasion who had been described as "the strategic head" of ISIL, detailed planning for the ISIL takeover of northern Syria which made possible "the group's later advances into Iraq". Al-Khlifawi called for the infiltration of areas to be conquered with spies who would find out "as much as possible about the target towns: Who lived there, who was in charge, which families were religious, which Islamic school of religious jurisprudence they belonged to, how many mosques there were, who the imam was, how many wives and children he had and how old they were". Following this surveillance and espionage would come murder and kidnapping – "the elimination of every person who might have been a potential leader or opponent". In Raqqa, after rebel forces drove out the Assad regime and ISIL infiltrated the town, "first dozens and then hundreds of people disappeared".NEWS, Reuter, Christoph, 18 April 2015, The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State,weblink Der Spiegel, Security and intelligence expert Martin Reardon has described ISIL's purpose as being to psychologically "break" those under its control, "[...] so as to ensure their absolute allegiance through fear and intimidation," while generating, "[...]outright hate and vengeance" among its enemies.NEWS, Reardon, Martin, ISIL and the management of savagery,weblink Al Jazeera, 6 July 2015, Jason Burke, a journalist writing on Salafi jihadism, has written that ISIL's goal is to "terrorize, mobilize [and] polarize".NEWS, Jason, Burke,weblink Islamic State 'Goes Global' with Paris Attacks, The Observer, 14 November 2015, Its efforts to terrorise are intended to intimidate civilian populations and force governments of the target enemy "to make rash decisions that they otherwise would not choose". It aims to mobilise its supporters by motivating them with, for example, spectacular deadly attacks deep in Western territory (such as the November 2015 Paris attacks), to polarise by driving Muslim populations – particularly in the West – away from their governments, thus increasing the appeal of ISIL's self-proclaimed caliphate among them, and to: "Eliminate neutral parties through either absorption or elimination".BOOK, Gude, Ken, Anti-Muslim Sentiment Is a Serious Threat to American Security, November 2015, Center for American Progress, 3,weblink REPORT, Harleen, Gambhir,weblink ISIS Global Intelligence Summary: January 7 – February 18, Washington, DC, Institute for the Study of War, February 2015, Journalist Rukmini Maria Callimachi also emphasises ISIL's interest in polarization or in eliminating what it calls the "grey zone" between the black (non-Muslims) and white (ISIL). "The gray is moderate Muslims who are living in the West and are happy and feel engaged in the society here."NEWS, Chotiner, Isaac, The ISIS Correspondent [interview with Rukmini Callimachi],weblink 12 July 2016, Slate, A work published online in 2004 entitled Management of SavageryBOOK, Abu Bakr, Naji, The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass, 23 May 2006, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University,weblink (Idarat at Tawahoush), described by several media outlets as influential on ISILNEWS, McCoy, Terrence,weblink The calculated madness of the Islamic State's horrifying brutality, The Washington Post, 12 August 2014, 1 September 2014, NEWS, Alastair, Crooke,weblink The ISIS' 'Management of Savagery' in Iraq, HuffPost, 30 June 2014, NEWS, Hassan, Hassan,weblink Isis has reached new depths of depravity. But there is a brutal logic behind it, The Guardian, 8 February 2015, and intended to provide a strategy to create a new Islamic caliphate,NEWS, Wright, Lawrence, ISIS's Savage Strategy in Iraq,weblink The New Yorker, 16 June 2014, 1 September 2014, recommended a strategy of attack outside its territory in which fighters would, "Diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside of it if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy and thus drain it to the greatest extent possible."NEWS, Atran, Scott, Hamid, Nafees, Paris: The War ISIS Wants,weblink The New York Review of Books, 20 November 2015, 16 November 2015, The group has been accused of attempting to "bolster morale" and distract attention from its loss of territory to enemies by staging terror attacks abroad (such as the 6 June 2017 attacks on Tehran, the 22 May 2017 bombing in Manchester, UK, and the 3 June 2017 attacks in London that ISIL claimed credit for).NEWS,weblink Iran Assails Saudi Arabia After Pair of Deadly Terrorist Attacks, Erdbrink, Thomas, 7 June 2017, The New York Times,

Organisation

{{Ba'athism sidebar}}Raqqa in Syria was under ISIL control since 2013 and in 2014 it became the group's de facto capital city.NEWS,weblink 24 July 2014, Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side, 5 September 2014, Ben, Hubbard, The New York Times, On 17 October 2017, following a lengthy battle that saw massive destruction to the city, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the full capture of Raqqa from ISIL.

Leadership and governance

{{Further|List of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant members}}File:Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 2004.jpg|thumb|upright|Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US armed forces while in detention at Camp BuccaCamp BuccaISIL is headed and run by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's self-styled Caliph. Before their deaths, he had two deputy leaders, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani for Iraq and Abu Ali al-Anbari (also known as Abu Ala al-Afri)NEWS, Michael, Weiss, Hassan, Hassan, Everything We Knew About This ISIS Mastermind Was Wrong,weblink The Daily Beast, 15 April 2016, 1 May 2016,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160502191618weblink">weblink 2 May 2016, yes, for Syria, both ethnic Turkmen. Advising al-Baghdadi is a cabinet of senior leaders, while its operations in Iraq and Syria are controlled by local 'emirs,' who head semi-autonomous groups which the Islamic State refers to as its provinces.WEB, Richard, Barrett, The Islamic State,weblink Soufan Group, November 2014, 23 April 2015, NEWS, Jack, Moore, ISIS Replace Injured Leader Baghdadi With Former Physics Teacher,weblink Newsweek, 22 April 2015, 7 May 2015, Beneath the leaders are councils on finance, leadership, military matters, legal matters (including decisions on executions) foreign fighters' assistance, security, intelligence and media. In addition, a shura council has the task of ensuring that all decisions made by the governors and councils comply with the group's interpretation of sharia.NEWS, Thompson, Nick, Shubert, Attika, The anatomy of ISIS: How the 'Islamic State' is run, from oil to beheadings,weblink 21 September 2014, CNN, 18 September 2014, While al-Baghdadi has told followers to "advise me when I err" in sermons, according to observers "any threat, opposition, or even contradiction is instantly eradicated".MAGAZINE, Ruthven, Malise, Inside the Islamic State. Review of Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate by Abdel Bari Atwan, The New York Review of Books, 9 July 2015,weblink (File:ISIL_Caliphate_Seal.svg|thumb|left|The seal of ISILWEB,weblink New video message from The Islamic State: "Fulfilling the Promise – Wilāyat al-'Irāq, Kirkūk", Aaron Y., Zelin, 29 January 2019, WEB, Statement of ISIS – The Battle of Brussels,weblink Investigativeproject.org, ar, WEB, ISIS ID CARD,weblink gdb.rferl.org, )According to Iraqis, Syrians and analysts who study the group, almost all of ISIL's leaders—including the members of its military and security committees and the majority of its emirs and princes—are former Iraqi military and intelligence officers, specifically former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath government who lost their jobs and pensions in the de-Ba'athification process after that regime was overthrown.NEWS, Sly, Liz, How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis, Independent, 5 April 2015,weblink NEWS, Liz, Sly, 4 April 2015, The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein's, The Washington Post,weblink NEWS, Sly, Liz, 5 April 2015, How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis,weblink Independent, London, 21 April 2015, But American officials didn't anticipate that they would become not only adjuncts to al-Qaeda, but core members of the jihadist group. They were instrumental in the group's rebirth from the defeats inflicted on insurgents by the US military, which is now back in Iraq bombing many of the same men it had already fought twice before., The former Chief Strategist in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the US State Department, David Kilcullen, has said that "There undeniably would be no Isis if we had not invaded Iraq."NEWS, Lizzie, Dearden,weblink Former US military adviser David Kilcullen says there would be no Isis without Iraq invasion, Independent, 4 March 2016, 8 March 2016, It has been reported that Iraqis and Syrians have been given greater precedence over other nationalities within ISIL because the group needs the loyalties of the local Sunni populations in both Syria and Iraq in order to be sustainable.NEWS, Eli, Lake, Foreign Recruits Are Islamic State's Cannon Fodder, Bloomberg News, 11 February 2015,weblink WEB, Iraqis, Saudis call shots in Raqa, ISIL's Syrian 'capital', Channel NewsAsia, 19 June 2014,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150212174907weblink">weblink 12 February 2015, Other reports, however, have indicated that Syrians are at a disadvantage to foreign members, with some native Syrian fighters resenting "favouritism" allegedly shown towards foreigners over pay and accommodation.NEWS, Splits in Islamic State Emerge as Its Ranks Expand,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 9 March 2015, 11 April 2015, Maria, Abi-Habib, NEWS, In Islamic State Stronghold of Raqqa, Foreign Fighters Dominate,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 4 February 2015, 11 April 2015, Yaroslav, Trofimov, In August 2016, media reports based on briefings by Western intelligence agencies suggested that ISIL had a multilevel secret service known in Arabic as Emni, established in 2014, that has become a combination of an internal police force and an external operations directorate complete with regional branches. The unit was believed to be under the overall command of ISIL's most senior Syrian operative, spokesman and propaganda chief Abu Mohammad al-AdnaniWEB,weblink IS group unit known as 'Emni' aims to export terror around the world – France 24, 4 August 2016, NEWS, Rukmini, Callimachi, How a Secretive Branch of ISIS Built a Global Network of Killers, 3 August 2016, 7 August 2016,weblink The New York Times, until his death by airstrike in late August 2016.WEB, Martin, Chulov, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's death does not signal the demise of Isis, 31 August 2016, The Guardian, 31 August 2016,weblink

Civilians in ISIL-controlled areas

{{further|Collaboration with ISIL}}{{anchor|war crimes}}In 2014 The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million people lived in the Islamic State.{{YouTube | id=1HzMucorCwo | title=The Islamic State: How Its Leadership Is Organized}} The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated that ISIL "seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey".WEB, Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria,weblink United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 29 November 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150204115327weblink">weblink 4 February 2015, Civilians, as well as the Islamic State itself, have released footage of some of the human rights abuses.AV MEDIA,weblink Two women release extraordinary footage of what life is really like living under Isis, Independent, 13 March 2016, NEWS,weblink 13 October 2016, Deserters describe life under ISIL rule, 21 October 2016, Al Jazeera, Social control of civilians was by imposition of ISIL's reading of sharia law, enforced by morality police forces known as Al-Hisbah and the all-women Al-Khanssaa Brigade, a general police force, courts, and other entities managing recruitment, tribal relations, and education. Al-Hisbah was led by Abu Muhammad al-Jazrawi.WEB,weblink Islamic State replaces Syrian officials by foreign jihadists in Raqqa, ARA News, Haytham Mustafa, 31 December 2016, 31 December 2016, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170101091249weblink">weblink 1 January 2017,

Military

Number of combatants

{{Bar chart| float=rightThe International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence>ICSR high-end estimates"Global Terrorism Index 2015". Institute For Economics and Peace. October 2015. Pages 46–47.| label_type = Country| data_type = Fighters data1 = 3,000 data2 = 2,500 data3 = 1,500 data4 = 1,500 data5 = 1,500 data6 = 1,200 data7 = 900 data8 = 600 data10 = 600 data9 = 500 data11 = 500 data12 = 500 data13 = 500}}Estimates of the size of ISIL's military have varied widely, from tens of thousandsWEB,weblink Sa është numri i xhihadistëve të ISIS-it?, How Many Jihadists ISIS?, Albanian, Top Channel, Tirana, Albania, 22 February 2015, up to 200,000.{{r|Indep161114}}In early 2015, journalist Mary Anne Weaver estimated that half of ISIL fighters were foreigners.NEWS, Weaver, Mary Anne, Her Majesty's Jihadists,weblink 14 April 2015, The New York Times, 19 April 2015, A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries were in ISIL's ranks in November 2014.NEWS,weblink UN Report on 15,000 Foreigners Joining ISIS Fighters in Syria And Iraq Will Shock You, International Business Times,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141110162633weblink">weblink 10 November 2014, US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015, including 3,400 from the Western world.NEWS, Robert, Windrem, ISIS By the Numbers: Foreign Fighter Total Keeps Growing,weblink NBC News, 28 February 2015, 10 December 2015, In September 2015, the CIA estimated that 30,000 foreign fighters had joined ISIL.Sarhan, Arme. "CIA: 30,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS". Iraq News. 29 September 2015.According to Abu Hajjar, a former senior leader of ISIL, foreign fighters receive food, petrol and housing, but unlike native Iraqi or Syrian fighters, they do not receive payment in wages.NEWS, World's Richest Terror Army,weblink BBC, 24 April 2015, 25:06 – within a 59 minute programme, excerpt from, interview with Abu Hajjar, a former "senior leader of IS": "How much money would a foreign fighter receive as a wage?" "A foreigner? They aren't given a salary. They are given food and housing, not money.", Since 2012, more than 3000 people from the central Asian countries have gone to Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan to join the Islamic State or Jabhat al Nusra.WEB,weblink Kyrgyzstan: Abusive Crackdowns on 'Extremist' Material, 17 September 2018, Human Rights Watch, {{anchor|Equipment}}

Conventional weapons

ISIL relies mostly on captured weapons with major sources including Saddam Hussein's Iraqi stockpiles from the 2003–11 Iraq insurgencyNEWS, Insight into How Insurgents Fought in Iraq,weblink 17 October 2013, The New York Times, 22 August 2014, John, Ismay, and weapons from government and opposition forces fighting in the Syrian Civil War and during the post-US withdrawal Iraqi insurgency. The captured weapons, including armour, guns, surface-to-air missiles, and even some aircraft, enabled rapid territorial growth and facilitated the capture of additional equipment.NEWS, Charles, Lister, Not Just Iraq: The Islamic State Is Also on the March in Syria,weblink HuffPost, 7 August 2014, 11 August 2014, For example, ISIL captured US-made TOW anti-tank missiles supplied by the United States and Saudi Arabia to the Free Syrian Army in Syria."ISIS used US-made anti-tank missiles near Palmyra". Business Insider. 9 June 2015."U.S. missile brought down Russian helicopter in Syria: report". Japan Times. 10 July 2016. Ninety percent of the group's weapons ultimately originated in China, Russia or Eastern Europe according to Conflict Armament Research.NEWS, Crawford, Jamie, Report details where ISIS gets its weapons,weblink 27 December 2017, CNN, 14 December 2017,

Non-conventional weapons

The group uses truck and car bombs, suicide bombers and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria.NEWS,weblink United States Department of the Treasury, Treasury Targets ISIS Leader Involved in Chemical Weapons Development, 12 June 2017, Al-Jaburi is an Iraq-based, ISIS senior leader in charge of factories producing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), and explosives, and he is involved in the development of chemical weapons, ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to convert them into weapons.NEWS, Cowell, Alan, Low-Grade Nuclear Material Is Seized by Rebels in Iraq, U.N. Says,weblink 15 July 2014, The New York Times, 10 July 2014, NEWS, Sherlock, Ruth, Iraq jihadists seize 'nuclear material', says ambassador to UN,weblink 15 July 2014, The Telegraph, 10 July 2014, London, In September 2015 a US official stated that ISIL was manufacturing and using mustard agent in Syria and Iraq, and had an active chemical weapons research team.NEWS,weblink US official: 'IS making and using chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria', Paul, Blake, BBC, 11 September 2015, 16 September 2015, NEWS,weblink Isis 'manufacturing and using chemical weapons' in Iraq and Syria, US official claims, Lizzie, Dearden, Independent, London, 11 September 2015, 16 September 2015, ISIL has also used water as a weapon of war. The group closed the gates of the smaller Nuaimiyah dam in Fallujah in April 2014, flooding the surrounding regions, while cutting the water supply to the Shia-dominated south. Around 12,000 families lost their homes and 200 km² of villages and fields were either flooded or dried up. The economy of the region also suffered with destruction of cropland and electricity shortages.REPORT, Water and Violence Link: Crisis of Survival in the Middle East,weblink Strategic Foresight, Mumbai, India, December 2014, 978-81-88262-24-3, File:Captured ISIL fighter in Saladin Governorate (4).jpg|thumb|right|An ISIL fighter captured by Iraqi Security Forces near TikritTikritDuring the Battle of Mosul it was reported that commercially available quadcopters and drones were being used by ISIL as surveillance and weapons delivery platforms using extemporised cradles to drop grenades and other explosives.WEB,weblink Weaponized Mini-Drones Entering the Fight, Eshel, Tamir, 12 October 2016, Defense Update, 25 February 2017, The ISIL drone facility became a target of Royal Air Force strike aircraft.WEB,weblink RAF Strikes Daesh Drone Facility in Mosul, Eshel, Tamir, 17 January 2017, Defense Update, 25 February 2017,

Non-combatant recruits

Although ISIL attracts followers from different parts of the world by promoting the image of holy war, not all of its recruits end up in combatant roles. There have been several cases of new recruits expecting to be mujahideen who have returned from Syria disappointed by the everyday jobs that were assigned to them, such as drawing water or cleaning toilets, or by the ban imposed on use of mobile phones during military training sessions.NEWS, Simon, Tomlinson,weblink 'ISIS made me clean the toilets... and my iPod didn't work': How disenchanted Islamic fanatics are returning home because jihad isn't as glamorous as they hoped, 1 December 2014, 22 January 2015, London, Daily Mail,

Women

ISIL publishes material directed at women, with media groups encouraging them to play supportive roles within ISIL, such as providing first aid, cooking, nursing and sewing skills, in order to become "good wives of jihad".NEWS,weblink Isis now targeting women with guides on how to be the 'ultimate wives of jihad', 31 October 2014, 22 January 2015, London, Independent, Heather, Saul, In 2015, it was estimated that western women made up over 550, or 10%, of ISIL's western foreign fighters.JOURNAL, Perešin, Anita, Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS, Perspectives on Terrorism, 2015, 9, 3, 22, 2334-3745, The exact number of Muslim women from the West who joined ISIS is still not officially confirmed. It is estimated that their number exceeds 550, or that they represent 10 percent of the number of all ISIS' Western foreign fighters., 26297379, Until 2016, women were generally confined to a "women's house" upon arrival which they were unallowed to leave. These houses were often small, dirty and infested with vermin and food supply was scarce. There they remained until they either had found a husband, or the husband they had arrived with had completed his training. After being allowed to leave the confinement, women still generally spent most of their days indoors where their lives are devoted to caring for their husbands and the vast majority of women in the conflict area have children. Mothers play an important role passing on ISIL ideology to their children. Widows are encouraged to remarry.WEB,weblink Jihadist women, a threat not to be underestimated – Publication – pdf, Koninkrijksrelaties, Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en, 14 December 2017, AIVD, 6, en-GB, 1 December 2018, In a document entitled Women in the Islamic State: Manifesto and Case Study released by the media wing of ISIL's all-female Al-Khanssaa Brigade, emphasis is given to the paramount importance of marriage and motherhood (as early as nine years old). Women should live a life of "sedentariness", fulfilling her "divine duty of motherhood" at home, with a few exceptions like teachers and doctors.MAGAZINE, Abdul-Alim, Jamaal, ISIS 'Manifesto' Spells Out Role for Women, The Atlantic, 8 March 2015,weblink 23 November 2015, WEB, Winter, Charlie, QUILLIAM Translation and Analysis of Islamic State Manifesto on Jihadist Brides,weblink Quilliam Foundation, 23 November 2015, 5 February 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160119055307weblink">weblink 19 January 2016, Equality for women is opposed, as is education on non-religious subjects, the "worthless worldly sciences".

Communications

{{visible anchor|Propaganda|Propaganda and social media}}

ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda.NEWS,weblink Selling terror: how Isis details its brutality, 17 June 2014, Jones, Sam, Roula, Khalaf, Financial Times, 18 June 2014, NEWS, Stone, Jeff, 17 June 2014, ISIS Attacks Twitter Streams, Hacks Accounts To Make Jihadi Message Go Viral,weblink International Business Times, 19 June 2014, It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world.

Traditional media

In November 2006, shortly after the group's rebranding as the "Islamic State of Iraq", it established the Al-Furqan Foundation for Media Production, which produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products and official statements.NEWS, Bill, Roggio, US targets al Qaeda's al Furqan media wing in Iraq, Long War Journal, 28 October 2007,weblink It began to expand its media presence in 2013, with the formation of a second media wing, Al-I'tisam Media Foundation, in March{{Harvnb|Bilger|2014|p=1}}.{{full citation needed|date=September 2016}}WEB, Zelin, Aaron Y., New statement from the Global Islamic Media Front: Announcement on the Publishing of al-I'tiṣām Media Foundation – A Subsidiary of the Islamic State of Iraq – It Will Be Released Via GIMF,weblink Jihadology, 8 March 2013, 24 June 2014, and the Ajnad Foundation for Media Production, specialising in nasheeds and audio content, in August.WEB, Zelin, Aaron Y.,weblink New statement from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shām: "Announcing Ajnād Foundation For Media Production", Jihadology, 20 August 2013, 8 June 2015, In mid-2014, ISIL established the Al Hayat Media Center, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French.WEB, Gertz, Bill, New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment Material for Americans, Westerners,weblink The Washington Free Beacon, 13 June 2014, 24 June 2014, WEB, ISIS Declares Islamic Caliphate, Appoints Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi As 'Caliph', Declares All Muslims Must Pledge Allegiance To Him,weblink MEMRI, 30 June 2014, 7 July 2014, When ISIL announced its expansion to other countries in November 2014 it established media departments for the new branches, and its media apparatus ensured that the new branches follow the same models it uses in Iraq and Syria.NEWS, The Islamic State's model,weblink 30 March 2015, The Washington Post, 28 January 2015, Aaron Y., Zelin, Then FBI Director James Comey said that ISIL's "propaganda is unusually slick," noting that, "They are broadcasting... in something like 23 languages".NEWS, Sullivan, Kevin, 8 December 2014, Three American teens, recruited online, are caught trying to join the Islamic State,weblink The Washington Post, 9 December 2014, In July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English. According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in a hadith about Armageddon.WEB, Dabiq: What Islamic State's New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction, Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine,weblink The Jamestown Foundation, 1 August 2014, 18 August 2014, Al-Hayat also began publishing other digital magazines, including the Turkish language Konstantiniyye, the Ottoman word for Istanbul,WEB, Akkoc, Raziye,weblink Ankara bombings: Islamic State is main suspect, says Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu, The Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2015, 2 December 2015, NEWS, Isabel, Hunter,weblink Suruc bombings: Turkish President accused of not doing enough to help Kurds fight Isis threat across its border in Syria, Independent, 22 July 2015, 2 December 2015, and the French language Dar al-Islam.WEB, Jihadists Release First Issue of Pro-IS French Magazine "Dar al-Islam", SITE Intelligence Group, 22 December 2014, 31 March 2016,weblink By late 2016, these magazines had apparently all been discontinued, with Al-Hayat's material being consolidated into a new magazine called Rumiyah (Arabic for Rome).WEB,weblink The Virtual Caliphate: ISIS'S Information Warfare, Institute for the Study of War, 7 February 2017, As of late 2016, Rumiyah has apparently supplanted other internationally oriented publications, as al-Hayat has ceased publishing them, The group also runs a radio network called Al-Bayan, which airs bulletins in Arabic, Russian and English and provides coverage of its activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya.NEWS, Islamic State launches English-language radio bulletins,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2015, London, 7 April 2015,

Social media

ISIL's use of social media has been described by one expert as "probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies".WEB, Berger, J. M., 16 June 2014, How ISIS Games Twitter,weblink The Atlantic, 19 June 2014, It regularly uses social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its messages.WEB, ISIS Propaganda Campaign Threatens U.S.,weblink 27 June 2014, Anti-Defamation League, 27 June 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140629081405weblink">weblink 29 June 2014, yes, The group uses the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram to disseminate images, videos and updates.WEB,weblink Isis Telegram channel doubles followers to 9,000 in less than 1 week, 12 October 2015, Yahoo News, The group is known for releasing videos and photographs of executions of prisoners, whether beheadings, shootings, caged prisoners being burnt alive or submerged gradually until drowned.NEWS, Lee, Ian, Hanna, Jason, Croatian ISIS captive reportedly beheaded,weblink 12 August 2015, CNN, 12 August 2015, Journalist Abdel Bari Atwan described ISIL's media content as part of a "systematically applied policy". The escalating violence of its killings "guarantees" the attention of the media and public.Along with images of brutality, ISIL presents itself as "an emotionally attractive place where people 'belong', where everyone is a 'brother' or 'sister'". The "most potent psychological pitch" of ISIL media is the promise of heavenly reward to dead jihadist fighters. Frequently posted in their media are dead jihadists' smiling faces, the ISIL 'salute' of a 'right-hand index finger pointing heavenward', and testimonies of happy widows. ISIL has also attempted to present a more "rational argument" in a series of videos hosted by the kidnapped journalist John Cantlie. In one video, various current and former US officials were quoted, such as the then US President Barack Obama and former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer.NEWS, Walsh, Michael, ISIS releases second 'lecture video' of British hostage John Cantlie,weblink 6 October 2014, Daily News, New York, 23 September 2014, It has encouraged sympathisers to initiate vehicle-ramming and attacks worldwide.JOURNAL, Thomas, Hegghammer, Petter, Nesser, Assessing the Islamic State's Commitment to Attacking the West, Perspectives on Terrorism, Terrorism Research Initiative, 9, 4, 9 July 2015, 2334-3745,weblink File:ISIS enters Rakka.jpg|thumb|ISIL fighters parade through RaqqaRaqqa

Finances

{{See also|Oil production and smuggling in ISIL}}According to a 2015 study by the Financial Action Task Force, ISIL's five primary sources of revenue are as follows (listed in order of significance):
  • proceeds from the occupation of territory (including control of banks, petroleum reservoirs, taxation, extortion, and robbery of economic assets)
  • kidnapping for ransomNEWS,weblink Inside the Islamic State kidnap machine, 22 September 2015, BBC News, 9 October 2016,
  • donations from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, often disguised as meant for "humanitarian charity"
  • material support provided by foreign fighters
  • fundraising through modern communication networksNEWS, Financing of the Terrorist Organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,weblink 19 April 2015, Financial Action Task Force, February 2015,
Since 2012, ISIL has produced annual reports giving numerical information on its operations, somewhat in the style of corporate reports, seemingly in a bid to encourage potential donors.NEWS,weblink The surreal infographics ISIS is producing, translated, 24 July 2014, Vox, Matthews, Dylan, 25 July 2014, In 2014, the RAND Corporation analysed ISIL's funding sources from documents captured between 2005 and 2010. It found that outside donations amounted to only 5% of the group's operating budgets, and that cells inside Iraq were required to send up to 20% of the income generated from kidnapping, extortion rackets and other activities to the next level of the group's leadership, which would then redistribute the funds to provincial or local cells that were in difficulties or needed money to conduct attacks.NEWS, Allam, Hannah,weblink Records show how Iraqi extremists withstood U.S. anti-terror efforts, McClatchy News, 23 June 2014, 25 June 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140625142039weblink">weblink 25 June 2014, yes, In 2016, RAND estimated that ISIL finances from its largest source of income — oil revenues and the taxes it extracts from people under its control — had fallen from about $1.9 billion in 2014 to $870 million.NEWS,weblink Man Without an ISIS Plan, The Editorial Board, 12 March 2017, The New York Times, 13 March 2017, 0362-4331, In mid-2014, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service obtained information that ISIL had assets worth US$2 billion,NEWS, Chulov, Martin,weblink How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isis's $2bn jihadist network, 15 June 2014, The Guardian, 17 June 2014, making it the richest jihadist group in the world.NEWS, Moore, Jack, 11 June 2014, Mosul Seized: Jihadis Loot $429m from City's Central Bank to Make Isis World's Richest Terror Force,weblink International Business Times, 19 June 2014, About three-quarters of this sum was said to looted from Mosul's central bank and commercial banks in the city.NEWS, McCoy, Terrence, 12 June 2014, ISIS just stole $425 million, Iraqi governor says, and became the 'world's richest terrorist group',weblink The Washington Post, 18 June 2014, NEWS, Carey, Glen, Haboush, Mahmoud, Viscusi, Gregory, Financing Jihad: Why ISIS Is a Lot Richer Than Al-Qaeda,weblink 19 July 2014, Bloomberg News, 26 June 2014, However, doubt was later cast on whether ISIL was able to retrieve anywhere near that sum from the central bank,NEWS, Robert, Windrem, U.S. Official Doubts ISIS Mosul Bank Heist Windfall,weblink 22 July 2014, NBC News, 24 June 2014, and even on whether the looting had actually occurred.NEWS, Daragahi, Borzou, Biggest bank robbery that 'never happened' – $400m Isis heist,weblink 21 July 2014, Financial Times, 17 July 2014, subscription,

Monetary system

ISIL attempted to create a modern gold dinar by minting gold, silver, and copper coins, based on the coinage used by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century.NEWS,weblink Isis to mint own Islamic dinar coins in gold, silver and copper, The Guardian, 21 November 2014, WEB, Islamic State reportedly buying silver, gold as it prepares to issue currency,weblink McClatchy, 21 November 2014, 20 November 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150716031031weblink">weblink 16 July 2015, NEWS, Islamic State announces its own currency,weblink The Telegraph, 21 November 2014, 14 November 2014, London, Josie, Ensor, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141117074745weblink">weblink 17 November 2014, NEWS, Marwan, Jabbar, Niqash,weblink'Fake'-Currency.htm, Gold at End of Extremist Rainbow: Islamic State Release Their Own 'Fake' Currency, Baghdad, 3 September 2015, Despite a propaganda push for the currency, adoption appeared to have been minimal and its internal economy is effectively dollarized, even with regards to its own fines.NEWS, Dearden, Lizzie, Isis fails to bring in own currency, relies on 'satanic' US dollars instead,weblink 6 March 2018, The Independent, 25 March 2016,

History

{{History of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}{{anchor|JTJ}}

Foundation (1999–2006)

File:UNOfficeofHumanitarianCoordinator-Baghdad (UN DF-SD-04-02188).jpg|thumb|The UN headquarters building in Baghdad after the Canal Hotel bombingCanal Hotel bombingThe group was founded in 1999 by Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād ({{Literal translation|"The Organisation of Monotheism and Jihad"}}). In a letter published by the Coalition in February 2004, Zarqawi wrote that jihadis should use bombings to start an open sectarian war so that Sunnis from the Islamic world would mobilize against assassinations carried out by Shia, specifically the Badr Brigade, against Ba'athists and Sunnis."Zarqawi Letter" State Dept. archives Colonel Derek Harvey told Reuters that "the U.S. military detained Badr assassination teams possessing target lists of Sunni officers and pilots in 2003 and 2004 but did not hold them. Harvey said his superiors told him that 'this stuff had to play itself out' – implying that revenge attacks by returning Shi'ite groups were to be expected."Ned Parker, "Torture by Iraqi militias: The report Washington did not want you to see" Reuters, 14 December 2015 Jerry Burke, an adviser to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, said that in 2005 a plan from him and several colleagues to surveil and stop suspected Badr Brigade death squads in the special police forces was rejected when it got to an American Flag (General) Officer.Joel Wing, "Part two of an interview with Jerry Burke Musings on Iraq, 13 February 2012Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Western forces, al-Zarqawi and Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad achieved notoriety in the early stages of the Iraqi insurgency for their suicide attacks on Shia mosques, civilians, Iraqi government institutions and Italian soldiers of the US-led 'Multi-National Force'.{{anchor|Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn}}In October 2004, when al-Zarqawi swore loyalty to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he renamed the group Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn ({{Literal translation|"The Organisation of Jihad's Base in Mesopotamia"}}), commonly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).MAGAZINE, Pool, Jeffrey, Zarqawi's Pledge of Allegiance to Al-Qaeda: From Mu'Asker Al-Battar, Issue 21, Terrorism Monitor, 16 December 2004, 2, 24, The Jamestown Foundation,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070930180847weblink">weblink 30 September 2007, 30 July 2014, NEWS, Zarqawi pledges allegiance to Osama,weblink 18 October 2004,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071229020549weblink">weblink 29 December 2007, Agence France-Presse, Dawn, 13 July 2007, NEWS,weblink Associated Press, NBC News, Al-Zarqawi group vows allegiance to bin Laden, 18 October 2004, 13 July 2007, BOOK, Uppsala Data Conflict Programme: Conflict Encyclopaedia (Iraq),weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130927151947weblink">weblink yes, 27 September 2013, (See One-sided violence – ISIS-civilians – Actor information-ISIS.) Retrieved 23 September 2016.NEWS,weblink Death Could Shake Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Around the World, The Washington Post, Whitlock, Craig, 10 June 2006, 22 July 2014, Although the group never called itself al-Qaeda in Iraq, this remained its informal name for many years.WEB,weblink The ISIL's Stand in the Ramadi-Falluja Corridor, Knights, Michael, Combating Terrorism Center, 29 May 2014, 12 July 2014, Attacks by the group on civilians, Iraqi government forces, foreign diplomats and soldiers, and American convoys continued with roughly the same intensity. In a letter to al-Zarqawi in July 2005, al-Qaeda's then deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined a four-stage plan to expand the Iraq War. The plan included expelling US forces from Iraq, establishing an Islamic authority as a caliphate, spreading the conflict to Iraq's secular neighbours, and clashing with Israel, which the letter said, "[...] was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity".NEWS, Whitaker, Brian, Revealed: Al-Qaida plan to seize control of Iraq,weblink The Guardian, 13 October 2005, 19 September 2014, {{anchor|Mujahideen Shura Council}}In January 2006, AQI joined with several smaller Iraqi Sunni insurgent groups under an umbrella organisation called the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC). According to counterterrorism researcher Brian Fishman, the merger was an attempt to give the group a more Iraqi flavour, and perhaps to distance al-Qaeda from some of al-Zarqawi's tactical errors, such as the 2005 bombings by AQI of three hotels in Amman.{{Harvnb|Fishman|2008|pp=48–9}}. On 7 June 2006, a US airstrike killed al-Zarqawi, who was succeeded as leader of the group by the Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri.NEWS, Al-Qaeda in Iraq names new head,weblink BBC News, 12 June 2006, NEWS, Tran, Mark, Al-Qaida in Iraq leader believed dead,weblink The Guardian, 1 May 2007, {{Harvnb|Fishman|2008|pp=49–50}}

Islamic State of Iraq (2006–2013)

{{See also|Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013)}}File:USMC-060523-M-0008D-004.jpg|thumb|U.S. Marines in Ramadi, May 2006. The Islamic State of Iraq had declared the city to be its capital.]]On 12 October 2006, MSC united with three smaller groups and six Sunni tribes to form the Mutayibeen Coalition, pledging "To rid Sunnis from the oppression of the rejectionists (Shi'ite Muslims) and the crusader occupiers ... to restore rights even at the price of our own lives ... to make Allah's word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Islam".NEWS, Bill, Roggio,weblink al Qaeda's Grand Coalition in Anbar, Long War Journal, 12 October 2006, 11 February 2015, WEB,weblink Jihad Groups in Iraq Take an Oath of Allegiance, MEMRI, Middle East Media Research Institute, 17 October 2006, 10 February 2015, A day later, MSC declared the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), comprising Iraq's six mostly Sunni Arab governorates,NEWS,weblink Stephen, Negus, Call for Sunni state in Iraq, Financial Times, 15 October 2006, 23 September 2016, subscription, with Abu Omar al-Baghdadi its emirNEWS, Bill, Roggio,weblink The Rump Islamic Emirate of Iraq, Long War Journal, 16 October 2006, 2 June 2014, WEB, Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI),weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070401114027weblink">weblink 1 April 2007, Dudley Wright Knox, Dudley Knox Library, Naval Postgraduate School, 14 July 2014, and al-Masri Minister of War within ISI's ten-member cabinet.NEWS, Islamic State of Iraq Announces Establishment of the Cabinet of its First Islamic Administration in Video Issued Through al-Furqan Foundation,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070928061225weblink">weblink 28 September 2007, 20 July 2014, SITE Institute, 19 April 2007, {{anchor|Islamic State of Iraq (2006–2013)}}According to a study compiled by United States intelligence agencies in early 2007, ISI planned to seize power in the central and western areas of Iraq and turn it into a Sunni caliphate.NEWS, Mahnaimi, Uzi, Al-Qaeda planning militant Islamic state within Iraq,weblink The Sunday Times, 13 May 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110524071632weblink">weblink 24 May 2011, London, The group built in strength and at its height enjoyed a significant presence in the Iraqi governorates of Al Anbar, Diyala and Baghdad, claiming Baqubah as a capital city.NEWS, Ricks, Thomas E., Situation Called Dire in West Iraq,weblink 13 July 2014, The Washington Post, 11 September 2006, NEWS, Linzer, Dafna, Ricks, Thomas E., Anbar Picture Grows Clearer, and Bleaker,weblink 18 July 2014, The Washington Post, 28 November 2006, NEWS, Engel, Richard,weblink Reporting under al-Qaida control, MSNBC, 27 December 2006, 28 October 2009, NEWS, Engel, Richard,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071102170117weblink">weblink 2 November 2007, Dangers of the Baghdad plan, MSNBC, 17 January 2007, 28 October 2009, The Iraq War troop surge of 2007 supplied the US military with more manpower for operations, and dozens of high-level AQI members being captured or killed.NEWS, Bill, Roggio,weblink Targeting al Qaeda in Iraq's Network, The Weekly Standard, 13 November 2007, Between July and October 2007, al-Qaeda in Iraq was reported to have lost its secure military bases in Al Anbar province and the Baghdad area.NEWS, Ricks, Thomas, DeYoung, Karen, Al-Qaeda in Iraq Reported Crippled,weblink The Washington Post, 15 October 2007, 13 February 2015, During 2008, a series of US and Iraqi offensives managed to drive out AQI-aligned insurgents from their former safe havens, such as the Diyala and Al Anbar governorates, to the area of the northern city of Mosul.NEWS, Samuels, Lennox, Al Qaeda in Iraq Ramps Up Its Racketeering,weblink Newsweek, 20 May 2008, 13 February 2015, {{subscription required}} Accessible via Google.(File:U.S. Army soldier with captured ISIS flag in Iraq, December 2010.jpg|thumb|left|upright=0.95|U.S. Army soldier with captured ISIS flag in Iraq, December 2010)By 2008, the ISI was describing itself as being in a state of "extraordinary crisis".JOURNAL, Phillips, Andrew, 2009, How al Qaeda lost Iraq, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 63, 1, 64–84, 10.1080/10357710802649840, Its violent attempts to govern territory led to a backlash from Sunni Arab Iraqis and other insurgent groups and a temporary decline in the group, which was attributable to a number of factors,MAGAZINE, Kahl, Colin H ., 2008, When to Leave Iraq: Walk Before Running,weblink Foreign Affairs, 87, 4, 151–54, 20032727, notably the Anbar Awakening.In late 2009, the commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, stated that ISI "has transformed significantly in the last two years. What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens".NEWS, Al Qaeda in Iraq becoming less foreign-US general,weblink 18 November 2009, Reuters, Michael, Christie, On 18 April 2010, ISI's two top leaders, al-Masri and Omar al-Baghdadi, were killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid near Tikrit.NEWS, Arango, Tim, Top Qaeda Leaders in Iraq Reported Killed in Raid,weblink The New York Times, 22 August 2014, In a press conference in June 2010, General Odierno reported that 80% of ISI's top 42 leaders, including recruiters and financiers, had been killed or captured, with only eight remaining at large. He said that they had been cut off from al-Qaeda's leadership in Pakistan.NEWS, Shanker, Thom, Qaeda Leaders in Iraq Neutralized, US Says,weblink The New York Times, 4 June 2010, NEWS, US says 80% of al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq removed,weblink BBC News, 4 June 2010, NEWS, Attacks in Iraq down, Al-Qaeda arrests up: US general,weblink Google News, 4 June 2010, Agence France-Presse,weblink 25 February 2014, File:Al-Askari Mosque 2006.jpg|thumb|The Al-Askari Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, after the first attack by Islamic State of Iraq in 2006]]On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed the new leader of ISI.NEWS, Shadid, Anthony,weblink Iraqi Insurgent Group Names New Leaders, The New York Times, 16 May 2010, 22 August 2014, WEB, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Islamic State's driving force,weblink BBC World News, 31 July 2014, 19 August 2014, Al-Baghdadi replenished the group's leadership by appointing former Iraqi military and Intelligence Service officers who had served during Saddam Hussein's rule.NEWS, Sly, Liz, The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein's., 4 April 2015,weblink The Washington Post, 21 April 2015, These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military at Camp Bucca, came to make up about one third of Baghdadi's top 25 commanders, including Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi, Abu Ayman al-Iraqi, and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani. One of them, a former colonel called Samir al-Khlifawi, also known as Haji Bakr, became the overall military commander in charge of overseeing the group's operations.NEWS, Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS,weblink The New York Times, 27 August 2014, 28 August 2014, Ben, Hubbard, Eric, Schmitt, NEWS, Tim, Arango, Eric, Schmidtt, U.S. Actions in Iraq Fueled Rise of a Rebel,weblink The New York Times, 10 August 2014, 28 August 2014, Al-Khlifawi was instrumental in doing the ground work that led to the growth of ISIL.NEWS, Reuters, 20 April 2015, Former Saddam Hussein spy masterminded the rise of Isis, says report,weblink The Guardian, United Kingdom, 21 April 2015, In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to former strongholds from which US troops and the Sons of Iraq had driven them in 2007 and 2008.NEWS, Maamoun, Youssef, Al-Qaida: We're returning to old Iraq strongholds,weblink Yahoo! News, Associated Press, 22 July 2012, 22 August 2014, He declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons.Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, primarily with AQI's car bomb attacks, and by July 2013, monthly fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008.REPORT, Jessica D., Lewis, Al Qaeda in Iraq Resurgent,weblink Institute for the Study of War, September 2013, 13 February 2015,

Syrian Civil War

In March 2011, protests began in Syria against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. In the following months, violence between demonstrators and security forces led to a gradual militarisation of the conflict.WEB, Syria: The story of the conflict,weblink 14 March 2014, 22 August 2014, BBC News, Rania, Abouzeid, In August 2011, following the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, al-Baghdadi began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI members experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria to establish an organisation there. Under the name {{transl|ar|Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahli ash-Shām}} (or al-Nusra Front), it established a large presence in Sunni-majority Raqqa, Idlib, Deir ez-Zor, and Aleppo provinces. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad al-Julani, this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country.WEB, The Jihad Next Door,weblink 23 June 2014, 22 August 2014, Politico, Rania, Abouzeid, REPORT, Noman, Benotman, Roisin, Blake, Jabhat al-Nusra: A Strategic Briefing,weblink Quilliam Foundation, 8 January 2013, 22 August 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140722191931weblink">weblink 22 July 2014, On 23 January 2012, the Syrian group called itself Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl as-Sham,NEWS,weblink Islamist group claims Syria bombs 'to avenge Sunnis', 21 March 2012, Al Arabiya, 23 March 2012,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120323034700weblink">weblink 23 March 2012, yes, more commonly known as the al-Nusra Front. Al-Nusra grew rapidly into a capable fighting force, with popular support among Syrians opposed to the Assad government.{{anchor|Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2013–2014)|as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2013–2014)

File:Iraq Sunni Protests 2013 7.png|thumb|2012–13 Iraqi protests: Iraqi Sunni demonstrators protesting against the Shia-led government. Some Sunnis took up arms and joined forces with ISIL to conduct a military campaign against the Maliki government]]On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that the al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by ISI,NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130513193707weblink">weblink yes, 13 May 2013, Qaeda in Iraq confirms Syria's Nusra is part of network, 9 April 2013, 9 April 2013, Agence France-Presse, GlobalPost, and that the two groups were merging under the name Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIL, Al-Sham also translates as the Levant).WEB,weblink ISI Confirms That Jabhat Al-Nusra Is Its Extension in Syria, Declares 'Islamic State of Iraq And Al-Sham' As New Name of Merged Group, MEMRI, Middle East Media Research Institute, 8 April 2013, 10 April 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141006085808weblink">weblink 6 October 2014, However, Abu Mohammad al-Julani and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leaders of al-Nusra and al-Qaeda respectively, rejected the merger. Al-Julani issued a statement denying the merger, and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra's leadership had been consulted about it.NEWS,weblink Al-Nusra Commits to al-Qaida, Deny Iraq Branch 'Merger', 10 April 2013, 18 May 2013, Naharnet, Agence France-Presse, In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, addressed to both leaders, in which he ruled against the merger, and appointed an emissary to oversee relations between them to put an end to tensions.NEWS, Atassi, Basma,weblink Qaeda chief annuls Syrian-Iraqi jihad merger, Al Jazeera, 9 June 2013, 10 June 2013, That same month, al-Baghdadi released an audio message rejecting al-Zawahiri's ruling and declaring that the merger was going ahead.NEWS, Basma, Atassi,weblink Iraqi al-Qaeda chief rejects Zawahiri orders, Al Jazeera, 15 June 2013, 15 June 2013, Meanwhile, the ISIL campaign to free its imprisoned members culminated in simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons in July 2013, freeing more than 500 prisoners, many of them veterans of the Iraqi insurgency.NEWS, Al Qaeda says it freed 500 inmates in Iraq jail-break,weblink Reuters, 23 July 2013, 22 August 2014, In October 2013, al-Zawahiri ordered the disbanding of ISIL, putting al-Nusra Front in charge of jihadist efforts in Syria,NEWS, Zawahiri disbands main Qaeda faction in Syria,weblink 8 November 2013, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, 8 November 2013, but al-Baghdadi rejected al-Zawahiri's order, and his group continued to operate in Syria. In February 2014, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda publicly disavowed any relations with ISIL.According to journalist Sarah Birke, there are "significant differences" between al-Nusra Front and ISIL. While al-Nusra actively calls for the overthrow of the Assad government, ISIL "tends to be more focused on establishing its own rule on conquered territory". ISIL is "far more ruthless" in building an Islamic state, "carrying out sectarian attacks and imposing sharia law immediately". While al-Nusra has a "large contingent of foreign fighters", it is seen as a home-grown group by many Syrians; by contrast, ISIL fighters have been described as "foreign 'occupiers'" by many Syrian refugees.MAGAZINE, Birke, Sarah, How al-Qaeda Changed the Syrian War, New York Review of Books, 27 December 2013,weblink Foreign fighters in Syria include Russian-speaking jihadists who were part of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA).JOURNAL,weblink Growth of International Terrorist Threat from Syria, Vladimir, Platov, New Eastern Outlook, 18 January 2014, 11 June 2014, In November 2013, Abu Omar al-Shishani, leader of the Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA), swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi;NEWS, Thomas, Joscelyn, Chechen-led group swears allegiance to head of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham,weblink 27 November 2013, 13 July 2014, Long War Journal, the group then split between those who followed al-Shishani in joining ISIL and those who continued to operate independently in the JMA under new leadership.NEWS,weblink Syria crisis: Omar Shishani, Chechen jihadist leader, BBC News, 3 December 2013, 8 December 2013, In January 2014, rebels affiliated with the Islamic Front and the US-trained Free Syrian ArmyNEWS,weblink U.S. training Syrian rebels; White House 'stepped up assistance', Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2013, David S., Cloud, Raja, Abdulrahim, launched an offensive against ISIL militants in and around the city of Aleppo, following months of tensions over ISIL's behavior, which included the seizure of property and weapons from rebel groups, and the arrests and killings of activists.NEWS,weblink Qaeda-Linked Insurgents Clash With Other Rebels in Syria, as Schism Grows, The New York Times, 4 January 2014, 16 January 2014, Hwaida, Saad, Rick, Gladstone, NEWS, Casey-Baker, Mary, Joshua, Haber, Rebel factions continue fight against ISIL in Northern Syria,weblink 7 January 2014, Foreign Policy, 7 January 2014, Months of clashes ensued, causing thousands of casualties, with ISIL withdrawing its forces from Idlib and Latakia provinces and redeploying them to reinforce its strongholds in Raqqa and Aleppo.WEB,weblink ISIL fighters pull out of key Syrian Turkmen town, World Bulletin, 22 October 2014, It also launched an offensive against all other opposition forces active in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, on the border with Iraq.WEB,weblink Syria Qaeda loses ground to jihadist rivals on Iraq border, The Daily Star Newspaper – Lebanon, 25 October 2014, WEB,weblink ISIS reportedly kills Al Nusrah Front's commander for Idlib province, The Long War Journal, By June 2014, ISIL had largely defeated its rivals in the province, with many who had not been killed or driven away pledging allegiance to it.NEWS,weblink Al-Qaida offshoot in fierce offensive, carves out territory across Syria and Iraq, Reuters, 10 June 2014, 10 June 2014, NEWS, Al Nusra pledges allegiance to Isil,weblink 25 June 2014, Gulf News, Agence France-Presse, 29 June 2014, In Iraq, ISIL was able to capture most of Fallujah in January 2014,NEWS,weblink Iraq government loses control of Fallujah, 4 January 2014, Al Jazeera, 11 December 2014, and in June 2014 was able to seize control of Mosul.After an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with ISIL by February 2014, citing its failure to consult and "notorious intransigence".{{r|ReutersHolmes_030214}}NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq, The Washington Post, Liz, Sly, 3 February 2014, 7 February 2014, In early 2014, ISIL drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Anbar campaign, which was followed by the capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre. The loss of control almost caused a collapse of the Iraqi government and prompted a renewal of US military action in Iraq. In Syria, ISIL has conducted ground attacks on both the Syrian Arab Army and rebel factions.{{anchor|As Islamic State (June 2014–2019)}}

Islamic State (2014–2019)

(2015)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2016){{!}}(2016)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2017){{!}}(2017)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2018){{!}}(2018)}}{{See|Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)|Military intervention against ISIL|American-led intervention in Syria|American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)|Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War|Iranian intervention in Iraq (2014–present)}}{{See also|ISIL beheading incidents|Northern Iraq offensive (June 2014)|Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War}}On 29 June 2014, ISIL proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate.NEWS, Lawrence, Jessica, Iraq crisis: Could an ISIS caliphate ever govern the entire Muslim world?,weblink ABC News (Australia), 22 November 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – known by his supporters as Amir al-Mu'minin, Caliph Ibrahim – was named its caliph, and the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah ({{transl|en|"Islamic State" (IS)}}). As a "Caliphate", it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide. The concept of it being a caliphate and the name "Islamic State" have been rejected by governments and Muslim leaders worldwide.NEWS, Goodenough, Patrick,weblink Self-Appointed 'Caliph' Makes First Public Appearance, CNS News, 6 July 2014, 26 July 2014, In June and July 2014, Jordan and Saudi Arabia moved at least 30,000 troops to their borders with Iraq, after the Iraqi government lost control of (or withdrew from) strategic crossing points that were captured by either ISIL or tribes that supported it.NEWS, Arango, Tim, Gordon, Michael R., 23 June 2014, Iraqi Insurgents Secure Control of Border Posts,weblink The New York Times, 6 July 2014, NEWS, Spencer, Richard, 3 July 2014, Saudi Arabia sends 30,000 troops to Iraq border,weblink The Telegraph, 6 July 2014, London, There was speculation that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had ordered a withdrawal of troops from the Iraq–Saudi crossings in order "to increase pressure on Saudi Arabia and bring the threat of ISIS over-running its borders as well".NEWS, Solomon, Erika, Kerr, Simeon, 3 July 2014, Saudi Arabia sends 30,000 troops to Iraq border,weblink Financial Times, 6 July 2014, subscription, In July 2014, ISIL recruited more than 6,300 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, some of whom were thought to have previously fought for the Free Syrian Army.NEWS,weblink Syrians adjust to life under ISIS rule, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, 29 August 2014, 29 August 2014, On 23 July 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Totoni Hapilon and some masked men swore loyalty to al-Baghdadi in a video, giving ISIL a presence in the Philippines.NEWS, Zavadski, Katie, ISIS Now Has a Network of Military Affiliates in 11 Countries Around the World,weblink 25 November 2014, New York, 23 November 2014, NEWS, Maria A., Ressa, Senior Abu Sayyaf leader swears oath to ISIS, Rappler, Pasig City, Philippines, 4 August 2014,weblink In September 2014, the group began kidnapping people for ransom.NEWS,weblink Islamists in Philippines threaten to kill German hostages, Philip, Oltermann, The Guardian, 24 September 2014, In 2016, according to the daily, La Stampa, officials from Europol conducted an investigation into the trafficking of fake documents for ISIL. They have identified fake Syrian passports in the refugee camps in Greece that were destined to supposed members of ISIL, in order to avoid Greek government controls and make their way to other parts of Europe.WEB,weblink Fake passports for Isil terrorists 'found in Greek refugee camps', Josephine, McKenna, 21 August 2016, The Daily Telegraph, Also, the chief of Europol said that a new task force of 200 counter terrorism officers will be deployed to the Greek islands alongside Greek border guards in order to help Greece thwart a "strategic" level campaign by Islamic State to infiltrate terrorists into Europe.WEB,weblink 200 counter terrorism officers to hunt Isil in Greek islands, Our Foreign, Staff, 26 August 2016, The Daily Telegraph, In early May 2019, after almost 5 years since his last public appearance in the summer of 2014, al-Baghdadi appeared in a video declaring his organisation's new geographical ambitions. After the loss of the territories it once occupied in the Levant and the crumbling of the 'Caliphate' project, the leader of the group boasted in his speech of "new oaths of allegiance extended to him from jihadis in Mali, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka" as well as in Turkey. According to Syrian-American journalist Hassan Hassan, in a comment in Foreign Policy magazine, "Baghdadi’s video marks the failure of the U.S.-led coalition to capture Baghdadi and dismantle his organization. It demonstrates the health of both Baghdadi and his organization—refuting recent rumors that he was ailing—and allows them to boast about a major terrorist attack, their expansion to new places, and the recruitment of new members."WEB,weblink Hassan, Hassan, Welcome to the Post-Middle East ISIS, 3 May 2019, Foreign Policy, 4 May 2019,

Capture of territory

File:USAID Mt Sinjar.jpg|thumb|Yazidi refugees and American aid workers on Mount SinjarMount SinjarOn 3 August 2014, ISIL captured the cities of Zumar, Sinjar and Wana in northern Iraq. Thousands of Yazidis fled up Mount Sinjar, fearful of the approaching hostile ISIL militants. The stranded Yazidis' need for food and water, the threat of genocide to them and to others announced by ISIL, along with the desire to protect US citizens in Iraq and support the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL, were all reasons given for the 2014 American intervention in Iraq, which began on 7 August.WEB,weblink Statement by the President, The White House, 7 August 2014, 18 August 2014, A US aerial bombing campaign began the following day.At the end of October 2014, 800 militants gained partial control of the Libyan city of Derna and pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thus making Derna the first city outside Syria and Iraq to be a part of the "Islamic State Caliphate".NEWS, Maggie, Michael, 9 November 2014, Libyan city declares itself part of Islamic State caliphate, CP24, Associated Press,weblink On 10 November 2014, a major faction of the Egyptian militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis also pledged its allegiance to ISIL.NEWS, Ammar, Karim, Samer, al-Atrush, Egypt jihadists vow loyalty to IS as Iraq probes leader's fate, 10 November 2014, Yahoo! News, Agence France-Presse,weblink In mid-January 2015, a Yemeni official said that ISIL had "dozens" of members in Yemen, and that they were coming into direct competition with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula because of their recruitment drive.NEWS, Brian, Todd, ISIS gaining ground in Yemen, competing with al Qaeda,weblink CNN, 22 January 2015, The same month, Afghan officials confirmed that ISIL had a military presence in Afghanistan.NEWS,weblink Officials confirm ISIL present in Afghanistan, Al Jazeera, 18 January 2015, However, by February 2015, 65 of the militants were either captured or killed by the Taliban, and ISIL's top Afghan recruiter, Mullah Abdul Rauf, was killed in a US drone strike.NEWS, David, Sterman, Neeli, Shah, ISIS Reportedly Kills Afghan Taliban Commander; Modi to Visit China; Pakistan Tests Cruise Missile, Foreign Policy, 6 February 2015,weblink NEWS,weblink ISIS active in south Afghanistan, officials confirm for first time, 12 January 2015, 6 February 2015, CBS News, NEWS, Afghanistan drone strike 'kills IS commander Abdul Rauf',weblink BBC News, 9 February 2015, 24 February 2015, File:Coalition Airstrike on ISIL position in Kobane.jpg|thumb|right|Coalition airstrike on ISIL position in KobaniKobaniIn early February 2015, ISIL militants in Libya managed to capture part of the countryside to the west of Sabha, and later, an area encompassing the cities of Sirte, Nofolia, and a military base to the south of both cities. By March, ISIL had captured additional territory, including a city to the west of Derna, additional areas near Sirte, a stretch of land in southern Libya, some areas around Benghazi, and an area to the east of Tripoli.On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram swore formal allegiance to ISIL, giving ISIL an official presence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.NEWS,weblink Boko Haram purportedly pledges allegiance to ISIS, Nima, Elbagir, Paul, Cruickshank, Mohammed, Tawfeeq, 7 March 2015, CNN, NEWS,weblink Boko Haram swears formal allegiance to ISIS, Associated Press, Fox News Channel, 8 March 2015, 10 March 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151120113635weblink">weblink 20 November 2015, yes, NEWS,weblink Jonathan tasks Defence, Foreign Ministers of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Benin on Boko Haram's defeat, sunnewsonline.com, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150119024527weblink">weblink 19 January 2015, On 13 March 2015, a group of militants from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan swore allegiance to ISIL;NEWS, Mirwais, Adeel,weblink Uzbek militants in Afghanistan pledge allegiance to ISIS in beheading video, Khaama Press, Kabul, Afghanistan, the group released another video on show of 31 July 2015ing its spiritual leader also pledging allegiance.WEB, Edward, Lemon,weblink IMU Pledges Allegiance to Islamic State, EurasiaNet, The Open Society Institute, 1 August 2015, In June 2015, the US Deputy Secretary of State announced that ISIL had lost more than 10,000 members in airstrikes over the preceding nine months.WEB,weblink More than 10,000 jihadists killed since coalition raids: US, 3 June 2015, Yahoo News Singapore, 8 June 2015, yes,weblink 24 June 2015, NEWS, Laura, Smith-Spark, Noisette, Martel, U.S. official: 10,000 ISIS fighters killed in 9 months, CNN, 3 June 2015,weblink

Loss of territory and declarations of victory by opponents

Since 2015, ISIL lost territory in Iraq and Syria, including Tikrit in March and April 2015,WEB,weblink Iraq: Parts of Tikrit taken back from ISIS, Alkhshali, Hamdi, Karadsheh, Jomana, 31 March 2015, CNN, 31 March 2015, Baiji in October,WEB,weblink US praises role of Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Baiji operation, The Long War Journal, 27 May 2016, Sinjar in November 2015,NEWS, Arango, Tim,weblink Sinjar Victory Bolsters Kurds, but Could Further Alienate U.S. From Iraq, The New York Times, 13 November 2015, 19 October 2016, NEWS, Gordon, Michael, Callimachi, Rukmini,weblink Kurds Retake Strategic Highway in Iraq's North From ISIS, The New York Times, 12 November 2015, 19 October 2016, Ramadi in December 2015,WEB,weblink Iraq Claims a Key Victory Over ISIS in Ramadi, Seizes Government Complex, NBC News, Fallujah in June 2016WEB, Iraqi commander: Fallujah 'fully liberated' from ISIS,weblink Fox News Channel, 30 June 2016, and Palmyra in March 2017.WEB,weblink Syrian regime recaptures Palmyra from Islamic State, Martin, Chulov, 2 March 2017, The Guardian, File:Liberation of Palmyra by RSII coalition (1).jpg|thumb|Liberation of Palmyra by the Russia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalitionRussia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalitionOn 10 July 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi formally declared a local Iraqi victory over ISIL in the recent Iraqi army expulsion of ISIL from the city of Mosul. Since the fall of ISIL in Mosul, the overall extent of ISIL held territory in both Syria and Iraq has significantly diminished. On 17 October 2017, ISIL lost control of Raqqa in the second battle of Raqqa.WEB,weblink Raqqa: IS 'capital' falls to US-backed Syrian forces, BBC News, 17 October 2017, 17 October 2017, On 3 November, Deir ez-Zor, ISIL's last major city in Syria, was recaptured,WEB,weblink ISIS ousted from last major city in Syria, state media reports, CNN, 4 November 2017, 4 November 2017, as well as Rawa, the last town held by ISIL in Iraq.WEB,weblink IRAQI FORCES RETAKE THE COUNTRY'S LAST IS-HELD TOWN, AP News, 17 November 2017, 17 November 2017, On 21 November 2017, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani declared victory over ISIL.Iran's president declares end of Islamic State, Reuters, Babak Dehghanpisheh, 21 November 2017 Qasem Soleimani, senior military officer of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, wrote to Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei that ISIL had been defeated. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, declared victory over ISIL in Syria as well.WEB,weblink IPutin claims victory over Isis in Syria during surprise visit from Assad, the Times, 21 November 2017, 21 November 2017, Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, also announced the military defeat of ISIL in Iraq.WEB,weblink You are being redirected..., nrttv.com, On 23 November 2018, Britain's Chief of the General Staff General Mark Carleton-Smith said that the "physical manifestation of the Islamist threat has diminished with the complete destruction of the geography of the so-called Caliphate."NEWS,weblink Russia poses bigger threat to UK than terror groups: Army chief, ChannelNewsAsia, 24 November 2018, On 19 December 2018, US president Donald Trump declared ISIL to have been defeated.WEB,weblink Allies React With Alarm to Trump Pull-out Tweet, Kurds Fear Turkish Attack, VOA, The UK's junior Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said he “strongly” disagreed with Trump that ISIL had been defeated.NEWS, US allies in Syria say IS group not yet defeated,weblink France 24, 20 December 2018, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that "IS has been pushed back but the threat is not yet over. There is a danger that the consequences of Trump's Syria withdrawal will damage the fight against IS and jeopardise the successes already achieved." The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces declared military victory over ISIL on 23 March 2019 following the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani, although the group maintains a scattered presence and sleeper cells across Syria and Iraq.WEB,weblink ISIL defeated in final Syria victory: SDF, 23 March 2019, 23 March 2019, Al Jazeera,

Shift to insurgency

{{See also|Syrian Desert campaign (December 2017–present)}}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 adherants. The collapse of its final middle eastern territories in 2019 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.NEWS,weblink ISIS far from defeated in Syria: 2019 outlook (maps), Al-Masdar News, 1 January 2019, 7 April 2019, NEWS,weblink US-Led Allies Finishing Off 'Caliphate', 7 April 2019, 1 March 2019, VOA News,

Terrorist attacks outside Iraq and Syria

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, ISIL claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile terrorist attacks outside Iraq and Syria, including a mass shooting at a Tunisian tourist resort (38 European tourists killed),NEWS, Tarek, Amara, Gunman kills 39 at Tunisian beachside hotel, Islamic State claims attack, Reuters, 26 June 2015,weblink the Suruç bombing in Turkey (33 leftist and pro-Kurdish activists killed), the Tunisian National Museum attack (24 foreign tourists and Tunisians killed), the Sana'a mosque bombings (142 Shia civilians killed), the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 (224 killed, mostly Russian tourists), the bombings in Ankara (102 pro-Kurdish and leftist activists killed), the bombings in Beirut (43 Shia civilians killed), the November 2015 Paris attacks (130 civilians killed), the killing of Jaafar Mohammed Saad, the governor of Aden, the January 2016 Istanbul bombing (11 foreign tourists killed), the 2016 Brussels bombings (32 civilians killed), the 2016 Atatürk Airport attack (48 foreign and Turkish civilians killed), the 2016 Nice attack (86 civilians killed), the July 2016 Kabul bombing (at least 80 civilians killed, mostly Shia Hazaras), the 2016 Berlin attack (12 civilians killed), the 2017 Istanbul nightclub shooting (39 foreigners and Turks killed), the 2017 Saint Petersburg Metro bombing (15 civilians killed), the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing (22 civilians killed), the 2017 Catalonia attacks (16 civilians killed), 2017 Tehran attacks (18 civilians killed),NEWS, Hannah, Al-Othman,weblink Paris attacks: Islamic State claims responsibility as French President Francois Hollande promises "merciless" revenge, London Evening Standard, 14 November 2015, 14 November 2015, NEWS, Yemen conflict: Governor of Aden killed in Islamic State attack, BBC News,weblink 6 December 2015, NEWS, Islamic State claims attacks at Brussels airport and metro station, The Guardian,weblink 22 March 2016, NEWS,weblink Spanish attacks death toll rises to 16 after woman dies in hospital, Burgen, Stephen, 27 August 2017, The Guardian, 6 January 2019, en-GB, 0261-3077, 13 July 2018 Pakistan bombings (at least 131 killed).NEWS,weblink Over 128 slain, more than 200 maimed: Massacre in Mastung, blast in Bannu, The News, 13 July 2018, 14 July 2018, The Saudi Arabian government reports that in one relatively short period—the first eight months of 2016—there were 25 attacks in the kingdom by ISIL.NEWS,weblink Saudis and Extremism: 'Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters', Shane, Scott, 25 August 2016, The New York Times, 22 June 2017, 0362-4331,

Mass killings

On 30 August 2016, a survey conducted by the Associated Press found that around 72 mass graves have been discovered in areas that have been liberated from ISIL control. In total, these mass graves contain the bodies of approximately 15,000 people killed by ISIL. The report stated that the mass graves were evidence of genocides conducted by ISIL in the region, including the genocide of Yazidis. Seventeen graves were discovered in Syria, with the rest being found in Iraq. At least 16 of the graves in Iraq contained remains that were not counted, as they are located in dangerous conflict zones. Instead, the number of dead in these graves has been estimated.NEWS, Forces in Iraq and Syria discovers 72 mass graves in areas freed from ISIS, Iraqi News, 30 August 2016,weblink On 6 November 2018, a United Nations report revealed over 200 mass graves of thousands of ISIL's victims were discovered. The grave sites, which may contain up to 12,000 bodies, were found in the northern and western Iraqi provinces of Nineveh, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Anbar.NEWS,weblink 200 mass graves of thousands of ISIS victims found, 6 November 2018, CNN, {{anchor|Timeline}}

Timelines of events

{{See also|List of bombings during the Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013)|Timeline of the Iraqi insurgency (2013)|Timeline of the Syrian Civil War|Terrorist incidents in Iraq in 2013|Terrorist incidents in Iraq in 2014|Terrorist incidents in Iraq in 2015|Terrorist incidents in Iraq in 2016|Terrorist incidents in Iraq in 2017|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2013)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2014)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2015)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2016)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2017)|Timeline of ISIL-related events (2018)}}

Territorial control and claims

{{anchor|territorialclaim}}As a self-proclaimed worldwide caliphate, ISIL claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, and that "the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organisations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas".NEWS, Johnson, M. Alex,weblink 'Deviant and Pathological': What Do ISIS Extremists Really Want?, 3 September 2014, NBC News, 5 September 2014, In Iraq and Syria, ISIL used many of those countries' existing governorate boundaries to subdivide territory it conquered and claimed; it called these divisions wilayah or provinces.WEB,weblink ISIS Governance in Syria, July 2014, Charles C., Caris, Samuel, Reynolds, Institute for the Study of War, By June 2015, ISIL had also established official "provinces" in Libya, Egypt (Sinai Peninsula), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and the North Caucasus. ISIL received pledges of allegiance and publish media releases from groups in countries like Somalia,NEWS, Islamic State in Somalia claims capture of port town,weblink 10 February 2016, The Long War Journal, 26 October 2016, BangladeshNEWS, How Bangladesh Became Fertile Ground for al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State,weblink 10 February 2016, CTC Sentinel, 25 May 2016, and the Philippines,NEWS, The Islamic State grows in the Philippines,weblink 10 February 2016, The Long War Journal, 24 June 2016, but it has not announced any further official branches, instead identifying new affiliates as simply "soldiers of the caliphate".WEB,weblink Has the Islamic State Abandoned Its Provincial Model in the Philippines?, 22 July 2016, 10 February 2017, By March 2019, ISIL had lost most of its territory in its former core areas in Syria and Iraq, and was reduced to a desert pocket as well as insurgent cells.Although they have been besieged by Russia, Iran, and the regime for two years, thousands of ISIS members are still within an area of 4000 km² without any intention to launch a military operation against them

Iraq and Syria

File:Destroyed neighborhood in Raqqa.png|thumb|upright=1.15|Much of Raqqa suffered extensive damage during the Battle of Raqqa in June–October 2017.]]Starting in December 2013, military clashes occurred throughout western Iraq between tribal militias, Iraqi security forces, and ISIL. In early January 2014, ISIL militants successfully captured the cities of Fallujah and Hīt,NEWS, Iraq's Fallujah falls to 'Qaeda-linked' militants,weblink 10 June 2014, Daily Star, 4 January 2014, bringing much of Al Anbar Governorate under their control. In June 2014 ISIL took over the Iraqi city of Mosul. By December 2015, the Islamic State covered a vast landlocked territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria, with a population estimate of 2.8 to 8 million people.WEB, Why ISIL Will Fail on Its Own,weblink Politico, 29 November 2015, 29 November 2015, WEB, How ISIS Rules,weblink The New York Review of Books, 9 December 2015, The Iraqi Security Forces, Peshmerga, and local militias, with military support from the United States and its allies, retook the territory ISIL had captured. The Battle of Fallujah liberated that city in June 2016.WEB,weblink Iraq claims complete control over Fallujah, Islamic State resistance collapse, News.com.au, 26 June 2016, 27 June 2016, no,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160627140717weblink">weblink 27 June 2016, Mosul was liberated in July 2017.Mosul Has Been Liberated From ISIS Control, Iraq's Prime Minister Says All of ISIL's territory in Iraq had been retaken by December 2017. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which also receive support from Western countries, liberated one of the last ISIL territories in Syria (in Baghouz) in March 2019.Analysis: The End Of The 'Caliphate' Doesn't Mean The End Of ISIS As result, just one ISIL-held {{convert|1550|mi2|km2}} pocket was left in the central Syrian Desert.

Libyan Provinces

ISIL organises its Libyan branch using the country's three historical regions, Cyrenaica in the east, Fezzan in the desert south, and Tripolitania in the west.NEWS, Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base,weblink The New York Times, 14 February 2015, 23 February 2015, Eric, Schmitt, David D., Kirkpatrick, They have been the most active and successful of all ISIL branches outside Iraq and Syria. It has been active particularly around Derna, and Gaddafi's hometown Sirte.NEWS,weblink Gaddafi's home town falls to Islamic State in anarchic Libya, Ulf, Laessing, 21 May 2015, Reuters, 17 August 2015, NEWS,weblink Libyan gains may offer ISIS a base for new attacks, Hassan, Morajea, 6 June 2015, The Washington Post, 10 June 2015, The group grew quickly following the allegiance of militant groups like the Shura Council of Islamic Youth.NEWS,weblink Islamic State Expanding into North Africa, Hamburg, Germany, 18 November 2014, Der Spiegel, 25 November 2014, NEWS, ISIS comes to Libya,weblink 20 November 2014, CNN, 18 November 2014, ISIL temporarily controlled part of Derna before being driven out in mid-2015 by a rival militant Islamist group, with support from the Libyan Air Force.NEWS,weblink Islamic State 'forced out' of key Libyan city of Derna, BBC, 21 April 2016, NEWS, Mohamed, Eljarh,weblink A Victory Over the Islamic State in Libya, Foreign Policy, 24 June 2015, 4 July 2015, Libya's Interim Government launched a major offensive against ISIL territory around Sirte in May 2016,WEB,weblink Libyan security forces pushing Islamic State back from vicinity of oil terminals, Reuters, 31 May 2016, 31 May 2016, WEB,weblink Libyan brigades capture air base from Islamic State south of Sirte: spokesman, 4 June 2016, 24 June 2016, Reuters, capturing the city by December 2016.WEB,weblink Libyan forces clear last Islamic State hold-out in Sirte, Reuters, 6 December 2016, The Libyan National Army, led by Commander General Khalifa Haftar, has also clashed with ISIL, making advances against the group in Benghazi and Ajdabiya.NEWS,weblink Ayman, al-Warfalli, Army claims advances in Libyan cities of Benghazi and Ajdabiya, 21 February 2016, Reuters, Benghazi, Libya, NEWS,weblink Libyan National Army claims ISIS pushed out of Ajdabiya, parts of Benghazi, 21 February 2016, CBC News, Thomson Reuters, NEWS, Ayman, al-Warfalli, Libya army claims advances in Benghazi, Al Arabiya English, 21 February 2016,weblink File:Map of the Islamic State's territory in Libya.svg|thumb|Maximum extent of ISIL control in LibyaLibyaSince the Battle of Sirte (12 May – 6 December 2016) ISIL lost most of its territories in Libya to the forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA), backed by the United States.WEB,weblink"liberation'-sirte-daesh-916192, Libyan forces announce "liberation' of Sirte from Daesh, Al Bawaba, 18 December 2016, And {{as of|2017|November|11|lc=y}} the last pockets of the ISIL-affiliated Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries were captured by the LNA after three years of fighting.NEWS,weblink LNA finally takes Benghazi's Sidi Akribesh after 4-month siege: report, Libyan herald,

Sinai Province

On 10 November 2014, many members of the group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis took an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi. Following this, the group assumed the designation Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai).NEWS,weblink Egyptian militant group pledges loyalty to Islamic State in audio clip, Reuters, 10 November 2014, 11 November 2014, NEWS, Thomas, Joscelyn,weblink Sinai-based jihadist group rebranded as Islamic State's official arm, Long War Journal, 14 November 2014, 15 November 2014, NEWS, Aaron Y., Zelin,weblink The Islamic State's Archipelago of Provinces, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 14 November 2014, 15 November 2014, They are estimated to have 1,000–2,000 fighters.NEWS,weblink Interior Ministry analyzes Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis statement over assassination attempt, State Information Services, Cairo, Egypt, 10 September 2013, 26 December 2013, A faction of the Sinai group also operates in the Gaza Strip, calling itself the Islamic State in Gaza.NEWS, IS claims responsibility for Gaza's French Cultural Centre blast, reports,weblink 9 October 2014, Middle East Eye, 8 October 2014, It claimed responsibility for the downing of Russian Metrojet Flight 9268, which killed all 224 people on board, although Egyptian officials disputed the claim.WEB,weblink Egypt Sinai crash probe finds 'no evidence of terrorism', BBC News, 17 December 2015,

Algerian Province

Members of Jund al-Khilafah swore allegiance to ISIL in September 2014.WEB, Fadel, Leila,weblink With Cash And Cachet, The Islamic State Expands Its Empire, 18 November 2014, NPR, ISIL in Algeria gained notoriety when it beheaded French tourist Hervé Gourdel in September 2014. Since then, the group has largely been silent, with reports that its leader Khalid Abu-Sulayman was killed by Algerian forces in December 2014.NEWS, Islamic State moves in on al-Qaeda turf, BBC News,weblink 25 June 2015, 7 July 2015,

Khorasan Province

File:Surrendered Islamic State fighters in Darzab 2.png|thumb|ISIL fighters who have surrendered to Afghan government forces, after having been defeated by the Taliban at the Battle of Darzab in July 2018.]]On 26 January 2015, Khorasan Province (Wilayat Khorasan) was established, with Hafiz Saeed Khan named as Wāli (Governor) and Abdul Rauf as his deputy after both swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi. The name Khorasan refers to a historical region that includes parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and "other nearby lands".NEWS, Rezaul H., Laskar,weblink IS announces expansion into AfPak, parts of India, Hindustan Times, 29 January 2015, MAGAZINE, Animesh, Roul,weblink 'Wilayat Khurasan': Islamic State Consolidates Position in AfPak Region, Terrorism Monitor, 13, 7, Jamestown Foundation, 3 April 2015, NEWS, Bill, Roggio,weblink Pakistani Taliban emir for Bajaur joins Islamic State, Long War Journal, 2 February 2015, On 9 February 2015, Mullah Abdul Rauf was killed by a NATO airstrike, and his replacement, Hafiz Wahidi, was killed by the Afghan Armed Forces on 18 March 2015.NEWS,weblink Afghan Army Kills Commander of ISIL Affiliate, Al-Masdar News, 18 March 2015, Hafiz Saeed Khan, the Emir of ISIL's Khorasan Province, was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan on 25 July 2016.NEWS, IS leader in Afghanistan killed, US believes,weblink BBC News, 12 August 2016, On 1 August 2018, between 200 to 250 ISIL members surrendered to the Afghan government after a battle with Taliban. Another 128 surrendered to the Taliban. Eight Taliban and six ISIL fighters were reportedly killed in the battle.NEWS, The Taliban reportedly just beat ISIS so badly that more than 200 fighters surrendered to the Afghan government, Daniel, Brown, Reuters, Business Insider, 1 August 2018,weblink

Yemen Provinces

On 13 November 2014, unidentified militants in Yemen pledged allegiance to ISIL. By December of that year, ISIL had built an active presence inside Yemen, with its recruitment drive bringing it into direct competition with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).NEWS,weblink Yemeni Al-Qaeda leader hails ISIS gains in Iraq, Al Arabiya English, 13 August 2014, Sana'a, Yemen, Reuters, In February 2015, it was reported that some members of Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen had split from AQAP and pledged allegiance to ISIL.NEWS,weblink Al-Qaeda Supporters in Yemen 'Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State', Newsweek, Reuters, 11 February 2015, subscription, As the Yemeni Civil War escalated in March 2015, at least seven ISIL Wilayat, named after existing provincial boundaries in Yemen, claimed responsibility for attacks against the Houthis, including the Hadhramaut Province, the Shabwah Province, and the Sana'a Province.NEWS, ISIL affiliate claims deadly Eid blasts at Yemen mosque,weblink Al Jazeera, 24 September 2015, REPORT, Harleen, Gambhir, ISIS Global Intelligence Summary, March 1 – May 7, 2015,weblink Institute for the Study of War, 10 May 2015, 12 May 2015, Zaidiyyah Houthis (organised in the Supreme Revolutionary Committee) are the principal enemies of Yemen's ISIL branch.NEWS,weblink Islamic State bomb attack on Houthi rebel leaders in Yemen leaves 28 dead, 30 June 2015, The Guardian, NEWS,weblink Islamic State targets Houthi mourners in Yemen with car bomb, Louisa, Loveluck, 30 June 2015, The Telegraph, London, While the US government supports the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen against the Houthis,NEWS,weblink US steps up arms for Saudi campaign in Yemen, Al Jazeera, 8 April 2015, many in United States Special Operations Command favour the Houthis, as they have been an effective force in rolling back al-Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen, "something that hundreds of U.S. drone strikes and large numbers of advisers to Yemen's military had failed to accomplish".NEWS, Mark, Perry,weblink US generals: Saudi intervention in Yemen 'a bad idea', Al Jazeera, 17 April 2015, The Guardian reported: "As another 50 civilians die in the forgotten war, only Isis and al-Qaida are gaining from a conflict tearing Yemen apart and leaving 20 million people in need of aid."NEWS, Kareem, Shaheen,weblink Jihadis likely winners of Saudi Arabia's futile war on Yemen's Houthi rebels, 7 July 2015, The Guardian, On 25 June 2019, the Arab Coalition has revealed that Saudi and Yemeni special forces had captured Abu Osama al-Muhajir, the leader (emir) of ISIS's network in Yemen. The ISIS's leader, as well as other members of ISIS, were arrested on 3 June 2019 in a house was under surveillance.WEB,weblink Arab Coalition: Saudi Special Forces capture emir of ISIS in Yemen, english.alarabiya.net, en, 2019-06-25, WEB,weblink ISIS leader in Yemen captured in special forces raid, The National, en, 2019-06-25,

West African Province

On 7 March 2015, Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant via an audio message posted on the organisation's Twitter account.NEWS,weblink Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State, 7 March 2015, BBC News, NEWS,weblink The Islamic State of Boko Haram? :The terrorist group has pledged its allegiance to ISIS. But what does that really mean?, Adam, Chandler, 9 March 2015, The Atlantic, On 12 March 2015, ISIL's spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani released an audio tape in which he welcomed the pledge of allegiance, and described it as an expansion of the group's caliphate into West Africa.NEWS,weblink IS welcomes Boko Haram allegiance: tape, Yahoo! News, Agence France-Presse, 12 March 2015, ISIL publications from late March 2015 began referring to members of Boko Haram as part of Wilayat Gharb Afriqiya (West Africa Province). The group suffered a split in 2016, with ISIL appointing 'Abu Musab al-Barnawi' as the group's new leader, due to disagreements with Abubakar Shekau's leadership.WEB,weblink Boko Haram in Nigeria: Abu Musab al-Barnawi named as new leader, 3 August 2016, BBC News, This was rejected by Shekau and his supporters, who continued to operate independently.NEWS, Yaroslav, Trofimov, Behind Boko Haram's Split: A Leader Too Radical for Islamic State,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 15 September 2016, subscription,

North Caucasus Province

Some commanders of the Caucasus Emirate in Chechnya and Dagestan switched their allegiance to ISIL in late 2014 and early 2015.MAGAZINE, Vatchagaev, Mairbek, 13 February 2015, Caucasus Emirate and Islamic State Split Slows Militant Activities in North Caucasus, Eurasia Daily Monitor, The Jamestown Foundation, 12, 29,weblink On 23 June 2015, ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani accepted the pledges of allegiance and announced a new Caucasus Province (Wilayat al-Qawqaz) under the leadership of Rustam Asildarov.WEB, Harleen, Gambhir,weblink ISIS Declares Governorate in Russia's North Caucasus Region, 23 June 2015, Institute for the Study of War,

Southeast Asia

On 23 July 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Totoni Hapilon in the Philippines swore an oath of loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL. In September 2014, the group began kidnapping people so they could be held for ransom, in the name of ISIL. In early 2015, members of Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao pledged allegiance to ISIL. At the same time, Ansar Khalifa Philippines was born from a merger of Ansar Khalifah Sarangani with other umbrella groups that are pro-ISIL in nature.{{citation needed|date=April 2016}} In May 2017, a pro-ISIL group called the Maute group attacked and seized parts of the southern Philippine city of Marawi on Mindanao island.WEB,weblink US Special Forces Helping Philippines Fight Militants in Marawi, Reuters, Voice of America, 10 June 2017, On 17 October 2017, Philippine President Duterte declared Marawi was "liberated from terrorist influence".WEB,weblink Duterte: Marawi 'liberated' from ISIL-linked fighters, Al Jazeera, 25 October 2017, Then on 23 October 2017, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced that the five-month battle against the terrorists in Marawi had finally ended.WEB,weblink Marawi: Philippines declares end of siege as troops find 40 suspected gunmen dead, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 28 October 2017, The recapture of Marawi by the government led to the failure of militants to establish a provincial ISIL territory (wilayat) in the Philippines. Hapilon was one of some 1,200 killed in the siege of Marawi. A bombing of a Catholic cathedral in Jolo by cell phone-detonated devices killed 20 worshipers on 27 January 2019.ISIS Bombing of Cathedral in Philippines Shows Group’s Reach Into Asia, ''New York Times, Hannah Beech and Jason Gutierrez, 28 January 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.

Islamic State in Gaza

In February 2014, the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem declared its support for ISIL.NEWS, Asmaa, al-Ghoul,weblink Gaza Salafists pledge allegiance to ISIS, Al-Monitor, Gaza City, Gaza Strip, 27 February 2014, 25 September 2014, On 2 April 2015, elements of this group, along with members of the Army of Islam and the Gaza faction of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis,NEWS,weblink Egyptian group claims it killed the Three Israeli Teens, Levy, Rachael, 1 July 2014, Vocative, 2 June 2015, NEWS, BBC News Monitoring,weblink Egypt attack: Profile of Sinai Province militant group, 30 January 2015, 2 June 2015, formed the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, also known as Islamic State in Gaza,NEWS,weblink ISIS: We Are Operating in Gaza, Levy, Rachael, 9 June 2014, Vocative, 2 June 2015, as it predominantly operates in the Gaza Strip.

Other areas of operation

  • Unidentified militants in Saudi Arabia pledged allegiance to ISIL – designated as a province of ISIL.
  • The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade (Lebanon) pledged allegiance to ISIL.
  • Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad (Jordan) pledged allegiance to ISIL.NEWS,weblink Local jihadist group pledges allegiance to Islamic State, The Jordan Times, 23 July 2014, Jordan Press Foundation, 6 June 2015, Taylor, Luck, Amman, Jordan,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140724154338weblink">weblink 24 July 2014, yes,
  • Janood-ul-Khalifa-e-Hind (India) pledged allegiance to ISIL.NEWS, Two more of IS-linked group detained, to be handed over to NIA, Hindustan Times, 27 January 2016, New Delhi, Press Trust of India,weblink
  • Ansar al-Khilafah (Brazil) pledged allegiance to ISIL.NEWS,weblink Brazilian extremist group uses Telegram to pledge allegiance to ISIS ahead of Olympics, The Washington Post, 19 July 2016, Bearak, Max, Washington, DC,
  • Profetens Ummah (Norway) pledged allegiance to ISIL.NEWS, Dette er Profetens Ummah i Norge,weblink Aftenposten, 13 July 2014, Norwegian, NEWS, Skjærli, Brynjar, Støtter IS' halshugging,weblink 16 August 2014, 31 August 2014, Norwegian,
  • Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (Indonesia) pledged allegiance to ISIL.NEWS, Kwok, Yenni, 28 December 2015, Is There a Uighur Terrorist Buildup Taking Place in Southeast Asia?,weblink Time, 10 September 2017,

International reaction

Classification as a terrorist organisation

Many countries and international bodies have officially designated ISIL as a terrorist organisation.{{anchor|Criticism}}{{anchor|IslamicCriticism}}

International criticism

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. On 24 September 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: "As Muslim leaders around the world have said, groups like ISIL – or Da'ish – have nothing to do with Islam, and they certainly do not represent a state. They should more fittingly be called the 'Un-Islamic Non-State'."WEB, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General's remarks to Security Council High-Level Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters,weblink United Nations, 18 November 2014, 24 September 2014, ISIL has been classified a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, the European Union and its member states, the United States, Russia, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other countries (see {{see section||Classification}}). Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL (see {{see section||Countries and groups at war with ISIL}}). The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan.NEWS, Hassan, Steven, ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy,weblink The World Post, 10 November 2014, 21 October 2014,

Islamic criticism

{{See also|Khawarij}}Around the world, Islamic religious leaders have overwhelmingly condemned ISIL's ideology and actions, arguing that the group has strayed from the path of true Islam and that its actions do not reflect the religion's real teachings or virtues.MAGAZINE, Hasan, Mehdi, Medhi Hasan, 10 March 2015, Mehdi Hasan: How Islamic is Islamic State?,weblink New Statesman, 7 July 2015, Consider the various statements of Muslim groups such as the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, representing 57 countries (Isis has "nothing to do with Islam"); the Islamic Society of North America (Isis's actions are "in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches"); al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most prestigious seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world (Isis is acting "under the guise of this holy religion ... in an attempt to export their false Islam"); and even Saudi Arabia's Salafist Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al ash-Sheikh (Isis is "the number-one enemy of Islam")., Extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century, to the Khawarijes. From their essentially political position, the Kharijites developed extreme doctrines which set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims. They were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed worthy of death.BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, xvii–xviii, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, NEWS, Sheema, Khan, 29 September 2014,weblink Another battle with Islam's 'true believers', The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Canada, REPORT, Usama, Hasan, The Balance of Islam in Challenging Extremism,weblink Quilliam Foundation, July 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140802045255weblink">weblink 2 August 2014, NEWS,weblink Imam Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism, Mohamad, Jebara, Ottawa Citizen, 6 February 2015, Other scholars have also described the group not as Sunnis, but as Khawarij.BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, xvii–xviii, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, See also p.8. Sunni critics, including Salafi and jihadist muftis such as Adnan al-Aroor and Abu Basir al-Tartusi, say that ISIL and related terrorist groups are not Sunnis, but are instead modern-day Kharijites (Muslims who have stepped outside the mainstream of Islam) serving an imperial anti-Islamic agenda.NEWS,weblink The slow backlash – Sunni religious authorities turn against Islamic State, 6 September 2014, The Economist, ISIL has received severe criticism from Muslim religious scholars and theologians. In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned ISIL and al-Qaeda saying, "Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilization, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims".NEWS, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti denounces Islamic State group as un-Islamic,weblink Reuters, 18 November 2014, 25 August 2014, In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily SufiWEB,weblink Muslim Scholars Letter to al-Baghdadi of ISIS or ISIL – A Missed Opportunity, 1 October 2014, Amad, Shaikh, Muslim Matters, 8 November 2014, —from around the Muslim world signed an open letter to the Islamic State's leader al-Baghdadi, explicitly rejecting and refuting his group's interpretations of Islamic scriptures, the Quran and hadith, which it used in order to justify its actions.NEWS, Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter to Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology,weblink HuffPost, 24 September 2013, Lauren, Markoe, Religious News Service, 25 September 2014, NEWS, Smith, Samuel, International Coalition of Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS' Religious Arguments in Open Letter to al-Baghdadi,weblink 18 October 2014, The Christian Post, 25 September 2014, "[You] have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder ... this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world", the letter states. It rebukes the Islamic State for its killing of prisoners, describing the killings as "heinous war crimes" and its persecution of the Yazidis of Iraq as "abominable". Referring to the "self-described 'Islamic State'", the letter censures the group for carrying out killings and acts of brutality under the guise of jihad—holy struggle—saying that its "sacrifice" without legitimate cause, goals and intention "is not jihad at all, but rather, warmongering and criminality".NEWS, Isis is 'an offence to Islam', says international coalition of major Islamic scholars,weblink 8 October 2014, Independent, More than 120 Sunni imams and academics, including some of the Muslim world's most respected scholars, signed the 18-page document which outlines 24 separate grounds on which the terror group violates the tenets of Islam., London, Cahal, Milmo, 25 September 2014, It also accuses the group of instigating fitna—sedition—by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of the anti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.WEB, Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi,weblink September 2014, 25 September 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140925193528weblink">weblink 25 September 2014, File:Wien - Kobane-Demo 2014-10-10 - V.jpg|thumb|Kurdish demonstration against ISIL in ViennaVienna{{anchor|NYTquotestheorists}}According to The New York Times, "All of the most influential jihadist theorists are criticising the Islamic State as deviant, calling its self-proclaimed caliphate null and void" and they have denounced it for its beheadings of journalists and aid workers.{{r|ISIS_NYT}} ISIL is widely denounced by a broad range of Islamic clerics, including al-Qaeda-oriented clerics and Saudi clerics.{{r|HuffPost_Wahhabi|ISIS_NYT}} Muhammad al-Yaqoubi states, "It is enough of a proof of the extreme ideology of ISIS that the top leaders of Salafi-Jihadism have disclaimed it."BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, 19, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, {{anchor|Khawarij}} Other critics of ISIL's brand of Sunni Islam include Salafists who previously publicly supported jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda: for example, the Saudi government official Saleh Al-Fawzan, known for his extremist views, who claims that ISIL is a creation of "Zionists, Crusaders and Safavids", and the Jordanian-Palestinian writer Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the former spiritual mentor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was released from prison in Jordan in June 2014 and accused ISIL of driving a wedge between Muslims.The group's declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy has been disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,NEWS,weblink "They're delusional": Rivals ridicule ISIS declaration of Islamic state, CBS News, 30 June 2014, 4 July 2014, and by Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: "[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria", adding that the title of caliph can "only be given by the entire Muslim nation", not by a single group.NEWS, Strange, Hannah, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul,weblink 6 July 2014, The Telegraph, 5 July 2014, London, The group's execution of Muslims for breach of traditional sharia law while violating it itself (encouraging women to emigrate to its territory, travelling without a Wali—male guardian—and in violation of his wishes) has been criticised;MAGAZINE, Creswell, Robyn, Haykel, Bernard, Battle Lines, The New Yorker, 8 June 2015,weblink 6 June 2015, In the most recent issue of Dabiq, ISIS's English-language magazine, a female writer encourages women to emigrate to "the lands of the Islamic State" even if it means travelling without a male companion, a shocking breach of traditional Islamic law. This may be a cynical ploy—a lure for runaways. But it is in keeping with the jihadists' attack on parental authority and its emphasis on individual empowerment, including the power of female believers to renounce families they do not view as authentically Muslim., as has its love of archaic imagery (horsemen and swords) while engaging in bid'ah (religious innovation) in establishing female religious police (known as Al-Khansaa Brigade).MAGAZINE, Creswell, Robyn, Haykel, Bernard, Battle Lines, The New Yorker, 8 June 2015,weblink 6 June 2015, It has also created a female morality police, a shadowy group called the al-Khansa' Brigades, who insure proper deportment in ISIS-held towns. ... Al-Khansa' was a female poet of the pre-Islamic era who converted to Islam and became a companion of the Prophet, and her elegies for her male relations are keystones of the genre [of Islamic poetry]. The name therefore suggests an institution with deep roots in the past, and yet there has never been anything like the Brigades in Islamic history, nor do they have an equivalent anywhere else in the Arab world., In a similar vein, the Syrian Islamic scholar Muhammad al-Yaqoubi says, "[t]he followers of ISIS do not want to adhere to Islamic law but rather they want to twist Islamic law to conform to their fantasies. To this end, they pick and choose the evidences that corroborate their misguidance, despite being weak or abrogated."BOOK, Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, 2015, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, 37, Sacred Knowledge, 978-1-908224-12-5, Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations, Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. The protest was led by the leader of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Dalil Boubakeur, and was joined by thousands of other Muslims around the country under the slogan "Not in my name".NEWS, Halleck, Thomas, Thousands of French Muslims Protest Herve Gourdel Beheading,weblink 28 September 2014, International Business Times, 26 September 2014, NEWS,weblink 'Not in my name': French Muslims rally to denounce ISIS beheadings, RT, 26 September 2014, 13 October 2014, French president François Hollande said Gourdel's beheading was "cowardly" and "cruel", and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. Hollande also called for three days of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast throughout the country and said that security would be increased throughout Paris.An Islamic Front sharia court judge in Aleppo, Mohamed Najeeb Bannan, stated: "The legal reference is the Islamic Sharia. The cases are different, from robberies to drug use, to moral crimes. It's our duty to look at any crime that comes to us... After the regime has fallen, we believe that the Muslim majority in Syria will ask for an Islamic state. Of course, it's very important to point out that some say the Islamic Sharia will cut off people's hands and heads, but it only applies to criminals. And to start off by killing, crucifying etc. That is not correct at all." In response to being asked what the difference between the Islamic Front's and ISIL's version of sharia would be, he said, "One of their mistakes is before the regime has fallen, and before they've established what in Sharia is called Tamkeen [having a stable state], they started applying Sharia, thinking God gave them permission to control the land and establish a Caliphate. This goes against the beliefs of religious scholars around the world. This is what [IS] did wrong. This is going to cause a lot of trouble. Anyone who opposes [IS] will be considered against Sharia and will be severely punished."AV MEDIA,weblink Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length), 30 September 2014, VICE News, YouTube, WEB,weblink Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length), VICE News, Al-Qaeda and al-Nusra have been trying to take advantage of ISIL's rise, by attempting to present themselves as "moderate" compared to "extremist" ISIL, although it has the same aim of establishing sharia and a caliphate but doing so in a more gradual manner.NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, Al Qaeda appears 'moderate' compared to Islamic State, veteran jihadist says,weblink Long War Journal, 25 October 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, 26 October 2015, A rare interview with an experienced Al Qaeda commander shows how the group is using ISIS to make itself look 'moderate',weblink Business Insider, 20 November 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, The Al Nusrah Front's 'inherited jihad',weblink Long War Journal, 5 June 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, Officials from Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham vow to continue fight against Islamic State,weblink Long War Journal, 20 July 2015, NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, 9 February 2015, Al Qaeda Uses ISIS to Try to Present Itself as Respectable, Even Moderate,weblink The Weekly Standard, Al-Nusra has criticised the way in which ISIL fully and immediately institutes sharia in the areas that fall under its control, since it alienates people too much. It supports the gradual, slower approach favoured by al-Qaeda, preparing society to accept sharia and indoctrinating people through education before implementing the hudud aspects in sharia, which they believe supports punishments such as throwing homosexuals from the top of buildings, chopping limbs off, and public stoning. Al-Nusra and ISIL are both hostile towards the Druze. However, while al-Nusra has typically destroyed Druze shrines and pressured them to convert to Sunni Islam, ISIL regards the entire Druze community as a valid target for violence, as it does the Yazidis.WEB, Waleed, Rikab,weblink The Plight of Syria's Druze Minority and U.S. Options, Syria Comment, 9 September 2015, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, has called for consultation (shura) within the "prophetic method" to be used when establishing the caliphate, criticising al-Baghdadi for not following the required steps. Al-Zawahiri has called upon ISIL members to close ranks and join al-Qaeda in fighting against Assad, the Shia, Russia, Europe, and America and to stop the infighting between jihadist groups. He called upon jihadists to establish Islamic entities in Egypt and the Levant, slowly implementing sharia before establishing a caliphate, and has called for violent assaults against America and the West.NEWS, Joscelyn, Thomas, Al Qaeda chief calls for jihadist unity to 'liberate Jerusalem',weblink Long War Journal, 2 November 2015, The Jaysh al-Islam group within the Islamic Front criticised ISIL, saying: "They killed the people of Islam and leave the idol worshippers ... They use the verses talking about the disbelievers and implement it on the Muslims".{{YouTube | id=6akQmuYyAT0 |title=Uncover the Mask with Evidence and Confidence كشف القناع بالحجة ولإقناع داعش}} The main criticism of defectors from ISIL has been that the group is fighting and killing other Sunni Muslims,NEWS, Number of ISIS defectors growing, disillusioned with killing fellow Muslims: Study,weblink The Straits Times, Agence France-Presse, 21 September 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150925084826weblink">weblink 25 September 2015, London, as opposed to just non-Sunnis being brutalised.NEWS, Neumann, Peter R.,weblink Defectors: ISIS is killing Muslims, not protecting them, CNN, 22 September 2015, 13 October 2015, WEB, Robins-Early, Nick,weblink New Report Reveals Why Fighters Are Quitting ISIS, HuffPost, 21 September 2015, 13 October 2015, In one case, a supposed defector from ISIL executed two activists of a Syrian opposition group in Turkey who had sheltered them.WEB, A 'disgraceful reality': Islamic State spies posing as defectors, 5 November 2015, Syria Direct,weblink The current Grand Imam of al-Azhar and former president of al-Azhar University, Ahmed el-Tayeb, has strongly condemned the Islamic State, stating that it is acting "under the guise of this holy religion and have given themselves the name 'Islamic State' in an attempt to export their false Islam".NEWS, Head of Egypt's al-Azhar condemns ISIS 'barbarity', Al Arabiya English, Agence France-Presse, 3 December 2014,weblink NEWS,weblink Asharq, Al-Awsat, Egypt's Al-Azhar stops short of declaring ISIS apostates – Azhar statement rejects practice of takfirism, Asharq Al Awsat, 13 December 2014, Citing the Quran, he stated: "The punishment for those who wage war against God and his Prophet and who strive to sow corruption on earth is death, crucifixion, the severing of hands and feet on opposite sides or banishment from the land. This is the disgrace for them in this world and in the hereafter they will receive grievous torment." Although el-Tayeb has been criticised for not expressly stating that the Islamic State is heretical,NEWS,weblink Al Ahram Weekly, In search of 'renewal' – Al-Azhar is at the centre of an escalating controversy, Amany, Maged, 15 January 2015, NEWS,weblink Al-Monitor, Al-Azhar refuses to consider the Islamic State an apostate, Ahmed, Fouad, The sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, repeated his rejection of declaring IS apostates on 1 Jan, during a meeting with editors-in-chief of Egyptian newspapers. This sparked criticism from a number of religious, political and media parties, especially since Al-Azhar could have renounced the Nigerian mufti's statement on IS without addressing the issue of whether or not Al-Azhar considers the group apostates, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151006165630weblink">weblink 6 October 2015, the Ash'ari school of Islamic theology, to which el-Tayeb belongs, does not allow calling a person who follows the shahada an apostate. El-Tayeb has strongly come out against the practice of takfirism (declaring a Muslim an apostate) which is used by the Islamic State to "judge and accuse anyone who doesn't tow their line with apostasy and outside the realm of the faith" declaring "Jihad on peaceful Muslims" using "flawed interpretations of some Qur'anic texts, the prophet's Sunna, and the Imams' views believing incorrectly, that they are leaders of Muslim armies fighting infidel peoples, in unbelieving lands".WEB,weblink Muslim World League, Sheikh Al-Azhar Speech in opening of conference, 22 February 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151015183905weblink">weblink 15 October 2015, In late December 2015, nearly 70,000 Indian Muslim clerics associated with the Indian Barelvi movement issued a fatwa condemning ISIL and similar organisations, saying they are "not Islamic organisations". Approximately 1.5 million Sunni Muslim followers of this movement have formally decried violent extremists.NEWS, 70,000 clerics issue fatwa against terrorism, 15 lakh Muslims support it, Priyangi, Agarwall, The Times of India, TNN,weblink 9 December 2015, NEWS, 70,000 Indian clerics issue fatwa against terrorists, Molly, Jckson, The Christian Science Monitor,weblink 10 December 2015, NEWS, 70,000 Muslim clerics just issued a fatwa against terrorism,weblink 10 December 2015, Independent, Caroline, Mortimer, Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist in the UK, said in the New Statesman,Hassan Hassan, an analyst at the Delma Institute, wrote in The Guardian that because the Islamic State "bases its teachings on religious texts that mainstream Muslim clerics do not want to deal with head on, new recruits leave the camp feeling that they have stumbled on the true message of Islam". Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic theologian based in Qatar, said in his official website that the "United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the leaders of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group are from one species and they are two sides of the same coin".NEWS, Staff writers, Al-Qaradawi: Rulers Of UAE And Daesh Leaders Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin {{!, English – Middle East Press News Agency|url=http://middleeastpress.com/english/al-qaradawi-rulers-of-uae-and-daesh-leaders-are-two-sides-of-the-same-coin/|access-date=4 August 2016|publisher=Middle East News Agency|date=2 August 2016}}

Other commentaries

Scholar Ian Almond criticised the media commentators, the lack of balance in reporting, and the "way we are learning to talk about ISIS." While there was talk about 'radical evil' and 'radical Islam', Almond found it striking because "some of the most revered and oft-quoted figures in our Western political tradition have been capable of the most vicious acts of savagery – and yet all we ever hear about is how much the Middle East has to learn from us." Almond goes on to cite how Winston Churchill "wanted to gas women and children", how Ronald Reagan's Central American policies "disembowlled more children than ISIS," how President Barack Obama's "planes and drones have dropped bombs on as many schoolchildren as ISIS," how former secretary of state Madeleine Albright commented on the deaths of Iraqi children killed by sanctions, how Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher "assisted in the torture and disappearance of thousands of Chilean students and labour activitists... For anyone familiar with the history of both U.S. and European torture and murder over the past 150 years, it might not be all that hyperbolic to say that in ISIS, what we see more than anything else is a more expansive, explicit version of our own cruelties. In bombing ISIS and its would-be imperialism, we are really bombing a version of ourselves."WEB,weblink Almond, Ian, Are we ISIS?, 7 January 2015, Political Theology, 21 April 2019, Author and commentator Tom Engelhardt attributed the rise of ISIL and the destruction that followed to what he dubbed as America's drive to establish its own caliphate in the region.WEB,weblink Engelhardt, Tom, How America made ISIS, 3 September 2014, Le Monde Diplomatique, 21 April 2019, A leader article in the New Scientist magazine contextualised ISIL within the nation state construct. Although the group is described as medieval in the pejorative sense, "it is also hyper-modern, interested in few of the trappings of a conventional state apart from its own brutal brand of law enforcement. In fact, it is more of a network than a nation, having made canny use of social media to exert influence far beyond its geographical base."WEB,weblink In our world beyond nations, the future is medieval, 3 September 2014, New Scientist, 25 April 2019,

Designation as a terrorist organisation

{{See also|List of designated terrorist organisations|Terrorism}}{|class="wikitable" style="margin: 1em auto;"! Organisation !! Date !! Body !! References Multinational organisationsUnited Nations}}18 October 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)30 May 2013 (after separation from Al-Qaeda)>United Nations Security CouncilHTTPS://WWW.UN.ORG/SC/COMMITTEES/1267/AQLIST.HTM#ALQAEDAENT >TITLE=AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS LIST ACCESS-DATE=2 OCTOBER 2014 ARCHIVEDATE=25 SEPTEMBER 2014, HTTPS://WWW.UN.ORG/SC/COMMITTEES/1267/RESOLUTIONS.SHTML >ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150405001543/HTTP://WWW.UN.ORG/SC/COMMITTEES/1267/RESOLUTIONS.SHTML TITLE=THE AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN SANCTIONS COMMITTEE – 1267 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS, HTTPS://WWW.UN.ORG/PRESS/EN/2013/SC11019.DOC.HTM >TITLE=SECURITY COUNCIL AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS COMMITTEE AMENDS ENTRY, 8 June 2015, European Union}}2004Council of the European Union (via adoption of UN al-Qaeda Sanctions List)>TITLE=EU TERRORIST LISTING – AN OVERVIEW ABOUT LISTING AND DELISTING PROCEDURES ACCESS-DATE=3 NOVEMBER 2014 YEAR=2010, Nations{{anchor|nations}}United Kingdom}}March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda) Home OfficePROSCRIBED TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS, PP.13–15 >URL=HTTP://WWW.GOV.UK/GOVERNMENT/UPLOADS/SYSTEM/UPLOADS/ATTACHMENT_DATA/FILE/324603/20140627-LIST_OF_PROSCRIBED_ORGANISATIONS_WEBSITE_FINAL.PDF PUBLISHER=HOME OFFICE DEADURL=YES ARCHIVEDATE=15 AUGUST 2014, United States}}17 December 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)United States Department of State>PUBLISHER=BUREAU OF COUNTERTERRORISM. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 28 July 2014, Australia}}2 March 2005 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)14 December 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda) Attorney-General for AustraliaHTTP://WWW.NATIONALSECURITY.GOV.AU/LISTEDTERRORISTORGANISATIONS/PAGES/DEFAULT.ASPX >TITLE=LISTED TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS ACCESS-DATE=31 JULY 2014, Canada}}20 August 2012Parliament of Canada HTTP://WWW.PUBLICSAFETY.GC.CA/CNT/NTNL-SCRT/CNTR-TRRRSM/LSTD-NTTS/CRRNT-LSTD-NTTS-ENG.ASPX >TITLE=CURRENTLY LISTED ENTITIES ACCESS-DATE=31 JULY 2014, Turkey}}30 October 2013Grand National Assembly of TurkeyKAPLAN >FIRST1=HILAL URL=HTTP://WWW.DAILYSABAH.COM/COLUMNS/HILAL_KAPLAN/2014/09/03/CHARGING-TURKEY-FOR-ISIS WORK=DAILY SABAH DATE=3 SEPTEMBER 2014, MAHCUPYAN >FIRST1=ETYEN URL=HTTP://WWW.DAILYSABAH.COM/COLUMNS/ETYEN-MAHCUPYAN/2014/09/20/ISIS-TURKEY-AND-THE-US WORK=DAILY SABAH DATE=20 SEPTEMBER 2014, Saudi Arabia}}7 March 2014Royal decree of the King of Saudi ArabiaHTTPS://WWW.REUTERS.COM/ARTICLE/2014/03/07/US-SAUDI-SECURITY-IDUSBREA260SM20140307 >TITLE=SAUDI ARABIA DESIGNATES MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD TERRORIST GROUP DATE=7 MARCH 2014, 31 July 2014, Indonesia}}1 August 2014National Counter-terrorism Agency BNPTBNPT DECLARES ISIS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION >URL=HTTP://EN.TEMPO.CO/READ/NEWS/2014/08/02/055596766/BNPT-DECLARES-ISIS-A-TERRORIST-ORGANIZATION WORK=TEMPO, 2 August 2014, United Arab Emirates}}20 August 2014United Arab Emirates CabinetHTTP://GULFNEWS.COM/NEWS/GULF/UAE/GOVERNMENT/LIST-OF-TERROR-GROUPS-PUBLISHED-BY-UAE-1.1413219 >TITLE=LIST OF TERROR GROUPS PUBLISHED BY UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ARCHIVEDATE=28 JANUARY 2015, Malaysia}}24 September 2014Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malaysia)>ARCHIVEDATE=25 SEPTEMBER 2014 WORK=THE STRAITS TIMES DATE=25 SEPTEMBER 2014, 25 September 2014, Switzerland}}8 October 2014Federal Council (Switzerland)>PUBLISHER=FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE, CIVIL PROTECTION AND SPORTS, 28 February 2019, Egypt}}30 November 2014The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters HTTP://WWW.DAILYNEWSEGYPT.COM/2014/11/30/COURT-AFFIRMS-ISIS-TERRORIST-GROUP-DESIGNATION/ >TITLE=COURT AFFIRMS ISIS' 'TERRORIST GROUP' DESIGNATION DEADURL=YES ARCHIVEDATE=8 DECEMBER 2014, EGYPT BRANDS JIHADIST ISIL A 'TERRORIST GROUP' >URL=HTTP://WWW.HURRIYETDAILYNEWS.COM/EGYPT-BRANDS-JIHADIST-ISIL-A-TERRORIST-GROUP.ASPX?PAGEID=238&NID=75033&NEWSCATID=352 LOCATION=ISTANBUL, TURKEY, 30 November 2014, India}}16 December 2014Ministry of Home Affairs (India)>ACCESS-DATE=16 DECEMBER 2014 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150101163635/HTTP://WWW.MHA.NIC.IN/BO AGENCY=PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ACCESS-DATE=16 DECEMBER 2014 DATE=16 DECEMBER 2014, Russian Federation}}29 December 2014Supreme Court of RussiaHTTP://TASS.RU/EN/WORLD/769912 >TITLE=RUSSIA CALLS ON ALL STATES TO PUT ISLAMIC STATE, JABHAT AL-NUSRA ON TERRORIST LISTS DATE=29 DECEMBER 2015, 29 December 2014, Kyrgyzstan}}25 March 2015Kyrgyz State Committee of National SecurityPARASZCZUK >FIRST1=JOANNA URL=HTTP://WWW.RFERL.ORG/CONTENT/KYRGYZSTAN-BANS-ISLAMIC-STATE/26920328.HTML ACCESS-DATE=26 MARCH 2015, Syria}}HTTP://WWW.SANA.SY/EN/?P=2988 >TITLE=SYRIA CONDEMNS TERRORIST ACTS IN IRAQ, EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH IRAQI GOVERNMENT, ARMY AND PEOPLE AGENCY=SYRIAN ARAB NEWS AGENCY, Jordan}}HTTP://WWW.NEWS.COM.AU/WORLD/MIDDLE-EAST/JORDAN-CONTINUES-THEIR-REVENGE-ON-ISIS-CARRYING-OUT-AIRSTRIKES-AGAINST-THE-TERROR-GROUP/STORY-FNH81IFQ-1227209129504 >TITLE=JORDAN LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES AGAINST ISIS ACCESS-DATE=7 AUGUST 2015, 6 February 2015, Iran}}HTTP://WWW.IRAN-DAILY.COM/NEWS/115766.HTML >TITLE=REPORT SAYS ISIL TERRORIST GROUP HAS A BASE NEAR US WORK=IRAN NEWSPAPER >DATE=16 APRIL 2015, HTTP://ENGLISH.FARSNEWS.COM/NEWSTEXT.ASPX?NN=13931221000783 >TITLE=LARIJANI REMINDS REGIONAL STATES OF IRAN'S SACRIFICES AGAINST ISIL TERRORISTS AGENCY=FARS NEWS AGENCY ACCESS-DATE=21 APRIL 2015 TASNIM NEWS AGENCY >DATE=8 SEPTEMBER 2014, HTTP://EN.ALALAM.IR/NEWS/1654400 >TITLE=IRANIAN OFFICIAL: US NOT SERIOUS ABOUT COUNTERING ISIL TERRORISTS WORK=AL-ALAM, 26 September 2014, Iraq}}||WEBSITE=AL SUMARIAACCESS-DATE=21 APRIL 2015 PRESS TV >DATE=15 MARCH 2015, Trinidad and Tobago}}||WEBSITE=T&T GUARDIAN, 5 August 2017, Pakistan}}29 August 2015Pakistan Ministry of Interior>FIRST=ZAHID WORK=THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, Pakistan, Japan}}Public Security Intelligence AgencyHTTP://WWW.MOJ.GO.JP/PSIA/ITH/ORGANIZATIONS/INDEX.HTML>TITLE=国際テロ組織 世界のテロ組織等の概要・動向 – 国際テロリズム要覧(WEB版) – 公安調査庁, www.moj.go.jp, Republic of China (Taiwan)}}26 November 2015National Security Bureau (Taiwan)>WEBSITE=蘋果日報, People's Republic of China}}Ministry of Public Security (China)>PUBLISHER=MFA.GOV.CN LANGUAGE=CHINESE, The United Nations Security Council in its Resolution 1267 (1999) described Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates as operators of a network of terrorist training camps.WEB, Resolution 1267 (1999) Adopted by the Security Council at its 4051st meeting on 15 October 1999,weblink UNHCR, The UN's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee first listed ISIL in its Sanctions List under the name "Al-Qaida in Iraq" on 18 October 2004, as an entity/group associated with al-Qaeda. On 2 June 2014, the group was added to its listing under the name "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant". The European Union adopted the UN Sanctions List in 2002.File:Memorial to November 2015 Paris attacks at French embassy in Moscow 13.jpg|thumb|People lay flowers outside the French embassy in Moscow in memory of the victims of the November 2015 Paris attacksNovember 2015 Paris attacksMany world leaders and government spokespeople have called ISIL a terrorist group or banned it, without their countries having formally designated it as such. The following are examples:The Government of Germany banned ISIL in September 2014. Activities banned include donations to the group, recruiting fighters, holding ISIL meetings and distributing its propaganda, flying ISIL flags,NEWS, Eddy, Melissa, Germany Bans Support for ISIS,weblink 19 November 2014, The New York Times, 12 September 2014, wearing ISIL symbols and all ISIL activities. "The terror organisation Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well", said German politician Thomas de Maizière. He added, "Today's ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals."NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150103205324weblink">weblink yes, 3 January 2015, ISIL banned in Germany, Janette, Roberts, Sixth Sense, 17 September 2014, Being a member of ISIL is also illegal in accordance with § 129a and § 129b of the German criminal code.WEB,weblink Drucksache 18/759, Deutscher Bundestag, de, In October 2014, Switzerland banned ISIL's activities in the country, including propaganda and financial support of the fighters, with prison sentences as potential penalties.NEWS,weblink Switzerland bans ISIL, Anadolu Agency, 8 October 2014, In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL after the arrest of an operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account.NEWS, Avaneesh, Pandey,weblink India Bans ISIS After Government Raises Concerns Over Group's Online Presence, 16 December 2014, International Business Times, Pakistan designated ISIL as a banned organisation in late August 2015, under which all elements expressing sympathy for the group would be blacklisted and sanctioned.Media sources worldwide have described ISIL as a terrorist organisation.NEWS, Lister, Tim,weblink ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state?, CNN, 13 June 2014, 14 June 2014,

Militia, territorial authority and other classifications

By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia in addition to a terrorist group. As major Iraqi cities fell to ISIL in June 2014, Jessica Lewis, a former US Army intelligence officer at the Institute for the Study of War, described ISIL at that time as}}File:London protest 2015 Ankara bombings (2).jpg|thumb|Supporters of the Turkish Labour Party protesting in London following the 2015 Ankara bombings2015 Ankara bombingsLewis has called ISILFormer US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel saw an "imminent threat to every interest we have", but former top counter-terrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin derided such talk as a "farce" that panics the public.NEWS, Mazzetti, Mark, Eric, Schmitt, Mark, Landler, 10 September 2014, Struggling to Gauge ISIS Threat, Even as U.S. Prepares to Act,weblink The New York Times, 11 September 2014, Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband concluded that the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused the creation of ISIL.NEWS, Porter, Tom, 10 August 2015, Iraq War Created Isis, Concedes David Miliband,weblink International Business Times, 12 March 2015, Writing for The Guardian, Pankaj Mishra rejects the idea that the group is a resurgence of medieval Islam, saying instead:}}A certain change of attitude occurred following the inauguration of US President Trump. On 28 January 2017, he issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum which called for a comprehensive plan to destroy ISIL to be formulated by the Defense Department within 30 days.WEB,weblink National Security Presidential Memorandum no. 3,

Supporters

{{Split portions|Collaboration with ISIL|date=March 2018|section=yes|existing=yes|discuss=Talk:Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant#Move_portions_of_Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant#Supporters_to_Collaboration_with_ISIL}}According to a June 2015 Reuters report that cited "jihadist ideologues" as a source, 90% of ISIL's fighters in Iraq were Iraqi, and 70% of its fighters in Syria were Syrian. The article stated that the group had 40,000 fighters and 60,000 supporters across its two primary strongholds in Iraq and Syria.NEWS, Saddam's former army is secret of Baghdadi's success,weblink Reuters, 16 June 2015, 1 July 2015, According to scholar Fawaz Gerges writing in ISIS: A History, some "30 percent of the senior figures" in ISIL's military command were former army and police officers from the disbanded Iraqi security forces, turned towards Sunni Islamism and drawn to ISIL by the US De-Ba'athification policy following the US invasion of Iraq.According to a poll by Pew Research Center, Muslim populations of various countries have overwhelmingly negative views of ISIL with Lebanon having the most unfavorable views.WEB,weblink Views of ISIS Overwhelmingly Negative, 17 November 2015, Pew Research Center, WEB, Jacob Poushter191 comments,weblink Most dislike ISIS in Muslim countries | Pew Research Center, 21 May 2016, unfit,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160505125029weblink">weblink 5 May 2016, In most of these countries, concerns about Islamic extremism have been growing.WEB,weblink Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise in Middle East | Pew Research Center, Pewglobal.org, 21 May 2016,

Allegations of state support

Saudi Arabia

{{See also|Response of Saudi Arabia to ISIL}}Although Saudi Arabia's government rejected the claims,NEWS, Black, Ian, Ian Black (journalist), 19 June 2014, Saudi Arabia rejects Iraqi accusations of Isis support,weblink The Guardian, 19 June 2014, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia of funding ISIL.NEWS, Ned, Parker, Louise, Ireland,weblink Iraqi PM Maliki says Saudi, Qatar openly funding violence in Anbar, Reuters, 9 March 2014, Some media outlets, such as NBC, the BBC and The New York Times, and the US-based think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy have written about individual Saudi donations to the group and the Saudi state's decade-long sponsorship of Wahhabism around the world, but have concluded that there is no evidence of direct Saudi state support for ISIL.NEWS,weblink ISIS Atrocities Started With Saudi Support For Salafi Hate, Husain, Ed, 22 August 2014, The New York Times, WEB,weblink Saudi Funding of ISIS, Boghardt, Lori Plotkin, 23 June 2014, Washington Institute, Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), said that the Saudis were "deeply attracted to any militancy that can effectively challenge Shia-dom [Shia version of Islam]." Dearlove stated that, "For ISIS to be able to surge into the Sunni areas of Iraq in the way that it has done recently has to be the consequence of substantial and sustained funding."NEWS,weblink Saudis Deny Supporting ISIS After Former MI6 Head Speaks of 'Substantial and Sustained Funding', Goodenough, Patrick, 9 July 2014, CNSNews.com, In an August 2014 email, leaked by WikiLeaks, apparently from former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to then counselor John Podesta, a memo states that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar "are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region."NEWS, Schwartz, Mattathias, Hillary Clinton acknowledges Saudi terror financing in hacked email, hinting at tougher approach,weblink The Intercept, 13 October 2016, NEWS, McKernan, Bethan, Hillary Clinton 'thinks Saudi Arabia funds Isis', leaked document claims, The Independent, 11 October 2016,weblink 29 October 2018, NEWS, Boris Johnson's Saudi Arabia comments slapped down by PM but Hillary Clinton, German intelligence and the UN expressed similar views, BelfastTelegraph.co.uk, 8 December 2016,weblink 29 October 2018,

Syria

{{Further|Bashar al-Assad#Al-Qaeda and ISIL}}{{Pie chart|value1 = 43|color1 = red|label1 = Syrian Army|value2 = 40|color2 = green|label2 = Sunni rebels|value3 = 17|color3 = yellow|label3 = SDF|caption = Proportion of attacks by ISIL on other groups in Syria, during the period from March 2016 – April 2017 according to IHS Markit.}}During the ongoing Syrian Civil War, President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian Government, and the Syrian Alawite communityNEWS,weblink ISIS reportedly massacres dozens in Syrian village, 31 March 2015, CBS News, Associated Press, have been accused by many opposition and anti-Assad parties of collusion with ISIL, despite massacres of Alawite civilians and executions of captured Syrian Army soldiers of Alawite descent.NEWS,weblink Syria's Assad thinks he is winning. He could be wrong., Sly, Liz, 9 September 2014, The Washington Post, WEB,weblink CFR Backgrounders – The Islamic State, Masters, Jonathan, 16 November 2015, Council on Foreign Relations, Some analysts have even described a tacit nonaggression pact between Islamic State militants and Bashar al-Assad regime, with each focused on fighting the main antigovernment opposition forces for territorial control., Zachary, Laub, NEWS,weblink Is the Assad Regime in League with al-Qaeda?, 27 January 2014, Time, Baker, Aryn, 6 July 2015, Several Islamist prisoners were released from Syrian prisons at the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, which many sources have suggested indicated a strategic attempt to strengthen jihadi factions over other rebels, which contributed to forging ISIL.NEWS,weblink How Syria's Assad Helped Forge ISIS, Cordall, Simon Speakwell, 21 June 2014, Newsweek, 9 March 2015, WEB, LRB · Peter Neumann · Suspects into Collaborators: Assad and the Jihadists, London Review of Books, 3 April 2014,weblink 29 October 2018, WEB, Spencer, Richard, Four jihadists, one prison: all released by Assad and all now dead, s.telegraph.co.uk, 9 May 2016,weblink 29 October 2018, WEB, Online, Spiegel, From Jail to Jihad: Former Prisoners Fight in Syrian Insurgency – International, SPIEGEL ONLINE, 10 October 2013,weblink 29 October 2018, WEB, Assad regime abetted extremists to subvert peaceful uprising, says former intelligence official, The National, 29 October 2018,weblink 29 October 2018, WEB, Assad Henchman: Heres How We Built ISIS, The Daily Beast, 1 December 2016,weblink 29 October 2018, The Syrian government bought oil directly from ISIL,NEWS,weblink It's Becoming Clear That Assad Fueled The Al-Qaeda Surge That Has Kept Him in Power, 21 January 2014, Business Insider, Kelley, Michael B., 9 March 2015, and the Syrian government and ISIL jointly ran a HESCO gas plant in Tabqah. The facility supplied electricity to government-held areas and government-run power plants supplied ISIL-held areas.NEWS,weblink Oil middleman between Syria and Isil is new target for EU sanctions, Blair, David, 7 March 2015, The Daily Telegraph, London, 9 March 2015, A report on 25 June 2015 said that ISIL kept gas flowing to Assad regime-controlled power stations. Furthermore, ISIL allowed grain to pass from the Kurdish-held north-east to government-controlled areas at the cost of a 25% levy.WEB,weblink Rebels are close to Raqqa – but what happens next?, 25 June 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE, The National, Philps, Alan, 20 August 2015, Several sources have said that the Syrian government has tactically avoided ISIL forces in order to weaken opposition such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and according to United States Secretary of State John Kerry the Syrian government purposely ceded territory to ISIL.WEB,weblink Kerry: There Is Evidence That Assad Has Played "Footsie" With ISIL, 18 September 2014, RealClearPolitics, JOHN KERRY: Regrettably Congressman, no we're not going to be undercut, because. If Assad's forces indeed do decide to focus on ISIL significantly, which they haven't been doing throughout this period, one of our judgements is there is evidence that Assad has played footsie with them, and he has used them as a tool of weakening the opposition. He never took on their headquarters, which were there and obvious, and other assets that they have. So we have no confidence that Assad is either capable of or willing to take on ISIL.", 9 March 2015, An IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center database analysis confirmed that only 6% of Syrian government forces attacks were targeted at ISIL from January to November 2014, while in the same period only 13% of all ISIL attacks targeted government forces.NEWS,weblink Syria, ISIS Have Been 'Ignoring' Each Other on Battlefield, Data Suggests, 11 December 2014, NBC, Omar, Ammar Cheikh, Vinograd, Cassandra, 9 March 2015, {{undue weight inline|date=October 2015}}The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has stated that the Syrian government has operatives inside ISIL,NEWS,weblink Has Assad infiltrated rebel forces inside Syria?, 24 April 2014, Channel Four News, 9 March 2015, as has the leadership of Ahrar ash-Sham.WEB,weblink EXCLUSIVE: Shaikh Hassan Abboud's final interview, Ridley, Yyonne, 22 September 2014, Middle East Monitor, 9 March 2015, On 1 June 2015, the United States embassy in Syria stated that the Syrian government was "making air-strikes in support" of an ISIL advance on Syrian opposition positions north of Aleppo.TWEET, 605471087422488579, USEmbassySyria, Reports indicate that the regime is making air-strikes in support of #ISIL's advance on #Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population, U.S. Embassy Syria, 1 June 2015, 2 June 2015, The president of the Syrian National Coalition, Khaled Koja, accused Assad of acting "as an air force for [ISIL]",NEWS,weblink Assad's Forces May Be Aiding New ISIS Surge, 2 June 2015, The New York Times, Barnard, Anne, 5 June 2015, with the Defence Minister of the SNC Salim Idris stating that approximately 180 Syrian government officers were serving in ISIL and coordinating the group's attacks with the Syrian Arab Army.WEB,weblink Assad's cooperation with ISIS could push U.S. into Syria conflict, Bar'el, Zvi, 3 June 2015, Tel Aviv, Israel, Salim Idris, defense minister in the rebels' provisional government, said approximately 180 Syrian Army officers are currently serving with ISIS and coordinating the group's military operations with the army., Haaretz, 4 June 2015, However, according to The American Conservative an April 2017 report by UK security and defense information provider IHS Markit, stated that the Islamic State fought Syrian government forces more than any other opponent between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. According to the report "43 percent of all Islamic State fighting in Syria was directed against President Assad's forces, 17 against the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the remaining 40 percent involved fighting rival Sunni opposition groups".WEB, Dispatch From the Middle East: U.S. Buildup All About Iran, Sharmine, Narwani, The American Conservative, 28 June 2017,weblink

Turkey

{{Further|Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War#Related criticism of Turkey}}Turkey has been accused by experts, Syrian Kurds, and United States Vice-President Joe Biden of supporting or colluding with ISIL.NEWS, Bertrand, Natasha, Senior Western official: Links between Turkey and ISIS are now 'undeniable', Yahoo! New, Business Insider,weblink 28 July 2015, NEWS, Zaman, Amberin, Syrian Kurds continue to blame Turkey for backing ISIS militants,weblink Al-Monitor, 10 June 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160426105227weblink">weblink 26 April 2016, NEWS, Wilgenburg, Wladimir van, Kurdish security chief: Turkey must end support for jihadists,weblink Al-Monitor, 6 August 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150201031351weblink">weblink 1 February 2015, A raid by US special forces on a compound housing the Islamic State's "chief financial officer", Abu Sayyaf, in July 2015, produced evidence that Turkish officials dealt directly with ranking ISIL members. According to a senior Western official, documents and flash drives seized during the Sayyaf raid revealed links "so clear" and "undeniable" between Turkey and ISIL "that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara".Journalist Patrick Cockburn wrote in November 2014 of "strong evidence for a degree of collaboration" between the Turkish intelligence services and ISIL, although the "exact nature of the relationship ... remains cloudy".MAGAZINE, Cockburn, Patrick, Patrick Cockburn, Whose side is Turkey on?, London Review of Books, 6 November 2014, 36, 21, 8–10,weblink In July 2014, Cockburn stated that "Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein's monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the {{convert|510|mi|km|order=flip|adj=mid|-long|sp=us}} Turkish-Syrian border open.""Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country," Independent, 13 July 2014. David L. Phillips of Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, who compiled a list of allegations and claims accusing Turkey of assisting ISIL, wrote that these allegations "range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services".NEWS, Phillips, David L., Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List,weblink HuffPost, 9 November 2014, Several ISIL fighters and commanders have claimed that Turkey supports ISIL.NEWS, Guiton, Barney, 'ISIS Sees Turkey as Its Ally': Former Islamic State Member Reveals Turkish Army Cooperation,weblink Newsweek, 7 November 2014, NEWS, Ben-Solomon, Ariel, Islamic State fighter: 'Turkey paved the way for us',weblink The Jerusalem Post, 30 July 2014, Within Turkey itself, ISIL is believed to have caused increasing political polarisation between secularists and Islamists.NEWS,weblink ISIS Has Polarized Turkey Domestically, Lauren, Williams, The Daily Star (Lebanon), The Daily Star, Assyrian International News Agency, 4 January 2015, Turkey has been further criticised for allowing individuals from outside the region to enter its territory and join ISIL in Syria.NEWS, Tattersall, Nick, Karouny, Mariam, Turkey's 'Open Border' Policy With Syria Has Backfired As ISIS Recruitment Continues,weblink Business Insider, 26 August 2014, NEWS, Schanzer, Jonathan, Jonathan Schanzer, Boosting Turkey as it backs terror,weblink New York Post, 25 September 2014, With many Islamist fighters passing through Turkey to fight in Syria, Turkey has been accused of becoming a transit country for such fighters and has been labelled the "Gateway to Jihad".NEWS, Greenhill, Sam, How seven radicalised young Britons a week are taking the Gateway to Jihad,weblink Daily Mail, 25 August 2014, London, Turkish border patrol officers are reported to have deliberately overlooked those entering Syria, upon payment of a small bribe. A report by Sky News exposed documents showing that passports of foreign Islamists wanting to join ISIL by crossing into Syria had been stamped by the Turkish government.NEWS, New report further exposes Turkey links to ISIL militants,weblink Press TV, Tehran, Iran, 21 October 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141228061729weblink">weblink 28 December 2014, An ISIL commander stated that "most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies",NEWS, Faiola, Anthony, Mekhennet, Souad, In Turkey, a late crackdown on Islamist fighters,weblink The Washington Post, 12 August 2014, adding that ISIL fighters received treatment in Turkish hospitals.

Qatar

Qatar has long been accused of acting as a conduit for the flow of funds to ISIL. While there is no proof that the Qatari government is behind the movement of funds to ISIL, it has been criticised for not doing enough to stem monies sent by private donors in the country.WEB, Qatar and ISIS Funding: The U.S. Approach,weblink The Washington Institute, August 2014, 8 May 2015, WEB, Islamic State: Where does jihadist group get its support?,weblink BBC, 1 September 2014, 8 May 2015, According to some reports, US officials believe that the largest portion of private donations supporting ISIS and al Qaeda-linked groups now comes from Qatar rather than Saudi Arabia.WEB, Qatar Is a U.S. Ally. They Also Knowingly Abet Terrorism. What's Going On?,weblink New Republic, 6 October 2014, 8 May 2015, In August 2014, German minister Gerd Müller accused Qatar of having links to ISIL, stating: "You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar." Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah rejected this statement, saying: "Qatar does not support extremist groups, including [ISIL], in any way. We are repelled by their views, their violent methods and their ambitions."NEWS, German minister accuses Qatar of funding Islamic State fighters,weblink Reuters, 20 August 2014, 8 May 2015, WEB, Qatar allows money to flow to Islamic State, other terrorists: report,weblink The Washington Times, 10 December 2014, 8 May 2015, WEB, Who funds ISIS? Qatar and state-sponsoring allegations,weblink Security Observer, 23 December 2014, 8 May 2015, WEB, Qatar denies backing Islamic State group,weblink Al Jazeera, 24 August 2014, 8 May 2015,

United States

Rand Paul, junior U.S. Senator from Kentucky, has accused the U.S. government of indirectly supporting ISIL in the Syrian Civil War, by arming their allies and fighting their enemies in that country.NEWS, Shabad, Rebeca, Paul: ISIS emboldened after US armed its allies in Syria,weblink The Hill, 22 June 2014, The US assisted the moderate Syrian opposition from 2013 to 2017 (see CIA-led Timber Sycamore program), but whether that assistance was commandeered by ISIL allies remains unclear.

Foreign nationals

{{See also|Foreign fighters in the Syrian and Iraqi Civil Wars}}A United Nations report {{as of|2015|5|alt=from May 2015}} showed that 25,000 "foreign terrorist fighters" from 100 countries had joined "Islamist" groups, many of them working for ISIL or al-Qaeda.NEWS, Burke, Jason, Islamist fighters drawn from half the world's countries, says UN,weblink 26 May 2015, The Guardian, 26 May 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150526202608weblink">weblink 26 May 2015, no, The US-trained commander of Tajikistan's Interior Ministry OMON police special forces, Gulmurod Khalimov, has been raised to the rank of "Minister of War" within the Islamic State.WEB, 6 September 2016, Isis: US-trained Tajik special forces chief Gulmurod Khalimov becomes Isis 'war minister', International Business Times,weblink WEB,weblink Commander of elite Tajik police force defects to Islamic State, 28 May 2015, Reuters, One of the most prominent commanders of ISIL in Syria, Abu Omar al-Shishani, served previously as a sergeant in the Georgian Army before being medically discharged, later imprisoned, becoming radicalized, then fleeing the country.NEWS, Mroue, Bassem, Chechen in Syria a rising star in extremist group, Associated Press, 2 July 2014,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140714130320weblink">weblink 14 July 2014, A 2015 report by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University found 71 individuals charged in the United States with supporting ISIL, 250 travelling or attempting to travel to Syria or Iraq from the United States to join ISIL, and about 900 active domestic ISIL-related investigations.WEB,weblink ISIS in America – Center for Cyber & Homeland Security – The George Washington University, gwu.edu, An October 2016 World Bank study found that "ISIL's foreign fighters are surprisingly well-educated."WEB,weblink ISIL's foreign fighters are surprisingly well-educated, according to the World Bank, Quartz, Aamna Mohdin, 6 October 2016, 18 October 2016, Using the fighters' self-reported educational levels, the study concluded that "69% of recruits reported at least a secondary-level education" of which "a large fraction have gone on to study at university"WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20161007104956weblink">weblink yes, 7 October 2016, Economic and Social Inclusion to Prevent Violent Extremism, World Bank, October 2016, 18 October 2016, and also that "only 15% of recruits left school before high school; less than 2% are illiterate." The study also found that foreign fighters are often more educated than their countrymen where those "from Europe and in Central Asia have similar levels of education to their countrymen" while those "from the Middle East, North Africa, and South and East Asia are significantly more educated than what is typical in their home nations." The report notes that its conclusions that terrorism is not driven by poverty and low levels of education which conforms with previous research. However, the report did find a strong correlation "between a country's male unemployment rate and the propensity of the country to supply foreign fighters". Many European country's have allowed their citizens that joined ISIL to be prosecuted by Iraq.weblink

Foreign nationals by country

Australia

In August 2018, Australia stripped the Australian citizenship from five terrorists who had travelled to fight with the Islamic State and barred them from entering Australia again. This was only possible because they had double citizenships because international law stops the measure from being used on individuals with only one citizenship. The five brought the total to six.WEB,weblink Five Islamic State terrorists stripped of Australian citizenship, 9 August 2018, The Sydney Morning Herald, en, 9 August 2018,

Belgium

Up to 2018, an estimated 450 individuals had travelled from Belgium to join the civil war in Syria and Iraq.BOOK,weblink DE-RADICALIZATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN – Comparing Challenges and Approaches, Vidino, etal, ISPI, 2018, 9788867058198, Milano, 14, Of those, 75 were linked to the Sharia4Belgium network.NEWS,weblink Belgian Radical Networks and the Road to the Brussels Attacks – Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 16 June 2016, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 7 September 2018, en-US, In July 2018, courts announced that Belgium had no obligation to bring children of Islamic State members to Belgium.NEWS,weblink België hoeft kinderen IS-strijders niet te repatriëren, rdc, De Standaard, 20 July 2018, nl-BE,

Denmark

In November 2017 stripped a Turkish man of his Danish citizenship after having been sentenced for terror offenses related to the Islamic State, which left him with a citizenship of Turkey.NEWS,weblink Højesteret: Danskfødt syrienkriger mister statsborgerskabet, DR, 11 August 2018, da,

France

Up to 2018, an estimated 1700 individuals had travelled from France to join the civil war in Syria and Iraq.

Germany

Up to 2018, an estimated 940 individuals had travelled from Germany to join the civil war in Syria and Iraq.

Netherlands

The Parliament of Netherlands voted in 2016 for legislation to strip Dutch citizens who join ISIL or al Qaeda abroad of their citizenship, also if they have not been convicted of any crime. The law can only be applied to individuals with double citizenship. Justice Minister Ard Van der Steur stated the legal changes were necessary to stop jihadists from returning to the Netherlands.WEB,weblink Dutch Jihadists to be stripped of dual citizenship, Israel National News, en, 16 August 2018, In September 2017, four jihadists were stripped of their citizenship.NEWS,weblink Netherlands strip four jihadists of citizenship, The New Indian Express, 16 August 2018, In the 2012 to November 2018 period, above 310 individuals had travelled from the Netherlands to the conflict in Syria and Iraq. Of those 85 had been killed and 55 returned to the Netherlands. Of the surviving Dutch foreign fighters in the region, 135 are fighers in the conflict zone and three quarters are members of ISIL. The remaining quarter have joined Al-Qaeda affiliated groups such as Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham or Tanzim Hurras al-Deen.BOOK,weblink Syria's Legacy – Global jihadism remains a threat to Europe, General Intelligence and Security Service, 2018, 8,weblink 1 December 2018,

Sweden

Up to 2018, an estimated 300 individuals had travelled from Sweden to join the civil war in Syria. In March 2018 Kurdish authorities reported they had captured 41 IS supporters with either Swedish citizenship or residence permit in Sweden, of which 5 had key positions in the organisation and one was the head of the ISIL propaganda efforts.NEWS,weblink Kurdisk källa: 41 IS-svenskar fängslade i Syrien – DN.SE, 24 March 2018, Dagens Nyheter, 25 March 2018, sv-se,

United Kingdom

Cabinet minister William Hague stated in 2014 that up to 400 UK citizens had joined ISIL.WEB,weblink Up to 400 British citizens may be fighting in Syria, says William Hague, Wintour, Patrick, Watt, Nicholas, 16 June 2014, The Guardian, 25 March 2018, The government instituted a practice where if those who had joined had double citizenships were stripped of their UK citizenship to prevent them from arriving back in the UK. By 2017, 150 individuals had been stripped of citizenship and were thus unable to enter the United Kingdom again.WEB,weblink UK 'has stripped 150 jihadists and criminals of citizenship', Association, Press, 30 July 2017, The Guardian, 25 March 2018,

Groups expressing support for ISIL

The Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has identified 60 jihadist groups in 30 countries that have pledged allegiance to or support for ISIL as of mid-November 2014. That many of these groups were previously affiliated with al-Qaeda suggests a shift in global jihadist leadership towards ISIL.NEWS, Riyadh, Mohammed,weblink ISIS Beheads Another American As 60 New Terror Groups Join, The Fiscal Times, 16 November 2014, 28 November 2014, Members of the following groups have declared support for ISIL, either fully or in part:{{colbegin}}
  • Boko HaramNEWS,weblink ISIS accepts Boko Haram pledge, says would-be recruits can go to Nigeria, 13 March 2015, CBC News, Associated Press,
  • Ansar al-Sharia (Tunisia)NEWS, Jamel, Arfaoui,weblink Tunisia: Ansar Al-Sharia Tunisia Spokesman Backs Isis, AllAfrica, Tunis, Tunisia, 8 July 2014, 25 September 2014, NEWS, Abdallah Suleiman Ali, Global jihadists recognize Islamic State,weblink 25 September 2014, Al-Monitor, 3 July 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150223015856weblink">weblink 23 February 2015,
  • Jund al-KhilafahNEWS, Chikhi, Lamine, Splinter group breaks from al Qaeda in North Africa,weblink 24 September 2014, Reuters, 14 September 2014,
  • Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem
  • Jamaah Ansharut TauhidWEB, Witular, Rendi A., Sons, top aides abandon Ba'asyir over ISIL, form new jihadist group,weblink The Jakarta Post, 13 August 2014, – (pledged support to ISIL; the majority of the group split off after its leader pledged allegiance to ISIL)WEB, Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, The Perpetual threat, Chris, Rottenberg, Osgood Center for International Studies, 2012,weblink
  • Islamic Movement of UzbekistanNEWS, Uzbek militants declare support for Islamic State,weblink Agence France-Presse, Dawn, 7 October 2014, 'Hereby, on behalf of all members of our movement, in line with our sacred duties, I declare that we are in the same ranks with the Islamic State in this continued war between Islam and [non-Muslims],' Usman Gazi wrote in an online statement on Sept 26., 25 May 2015, NEWS,weblink IMU Declares It Is Now Part Of The Islamic State, 6 August 2015, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 6 August 2015,
  • Jundallah (Pakistan)
  • Caucasus Emirate (multiple Caucasus Emirate commanders switched allegiance to ISIL)WEB,weblink Six North Caucasus Insurgency Commanders Transfer Allegiance To Islamic State, Liz, Fuller, 2 January 2015, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 17 February 2015, WEB,weblink What Caused the Demise of the Caucasus Emirate?, 18 June 2015, Jamestown Foundation,
  • Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade
  • Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao
    • Jemaah IslamiyahNEWS, Dean, Sarah,weblink PM Tony Abbott warns Australians of threats from Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah group, Daily Mail, 21 August 2014, 23 August 2014, London,
    • Abu SayyafNEWS, Philippines condemns, vows to 'thwart' ISIS,weblink Paterno, Emasquel II, Rappler, 17 September 2014, 19 September 2014,
    • Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom FightersNEWS, BIFF, Abu Sayyaf pledge allegiance to Islamic State jihadists, GMA News Online, Agence France-Presse, GMA Network, Quezon City, Philippines, 16 August 2014,weblink 22 August 2014,
    • Ansar Khalifa Philippines
{{Colend}}

Countries and groups at war with ISIL

File:CountriesAgainstIS.svg|upright=2.75|thumb|center|A map of all state-based opponents of ISIL{{Color box|#00AAD4|border=darkgray}} #AAD400|border=darkgray}} Other state based opponents{{Color box|red|border=darkgray}} Territories held by ISIL at its late 2015 peakISIL's claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups. International rejection of ISIL as a terrorist entity and rejection of its claim to even exist have placed it in conflict with countries around the world.

Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

{{See also|Military intervention against ISIL#International coalitions against ISIL|Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve}}(File:Strikes in Syria and Iraq 2014-09-23.jpg|thumb|Airstrikes in Syria by 24 September 2014)The Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also referred to as the Counter-ISIL Coalition or Counter-DAESH Coalition,NEWS,weblink Coalition commanders seek plan to counter Daesh advance, 14 October 2014, Agence France-Presse, Gulf News, is a US-led group of nations and non-state actors that have committed to "work together under a common, multifaceted, and long-term strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL/Daesh". According to a joint statement issued by 59 national governments and the European Union on 3 December 2014, participants in the Counter-ISIL Coalition are focused on multiple lines of effort:WEB, Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting,weblink 3 December 2014, State.gov, 14 December 2014,
  1. Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;
  2. Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
  3. Cutting off ISIL/Daesh's access to financing and funding;
  4. Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and
  5. Exposing ISIL/Daesh's true nature (ideological delegitimisation).
Operation Inherent Resolve is the operational name given by the US to military operations against ISIL and Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates.Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is co-ordinating the military portion of the response.The Arab League, European Union, NATO, and GCC are part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition:According to the UK-based monitoring group Airwars, the air strikes and artillery of US-led coalition killed as many as 6,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria in 2017."Civilian deaths tripled in U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in 2017, watchdog alleges". The Washington Post. 18 January 2018."US-led coalition killed up to 6000 civilians in fight against IS: watchdog says". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 January 2018.

Other state opponents not part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition

{{see also|Russia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalition|Axis of Resistance#Axis of resistance vs. ISIL}}IranNEWS, Babak, Dehghanpisheh,weblink Iran's elite Guards fighting in Iraq to push back Islamic State, Reuters, 3 August 2014, – military advisors, training, ground troops, and air power in Iraq and Syria, beside Iranian borders (see Iranian intervention in Iraq)File:Russian Sukhoi Su-34 at Latakia (1).jpg|thumb|Russian Sukhoi Su-34Sukhoi Su-34RussiaNEWS, Alexander, Smith,weblink Russia Tells Iraq It's 'Ready' to Support Fight Against ISIS, NBC News, 26 September 2014, 27 September 2014, NEWS, Nordland, Rod,weblink Russian Jets and Experts Sent to Iraq to Aid Army, 29 June 2014, The New York Times, 28 September 2014, – arms supplier to Iraqi and Syrian governments. In June 2014, the Iraqi army received Russian Sukhoi Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft to combat the ISIL.NEWS,weblink Target ISIS: First batch of Russian fighter jets arrives in Iraq, RT, 30 June 2014, 8 June 2015, Security operations within state borders in 2015.NEWS,weblink Russia 'kills 8 ISIS militants' in Caucasus raid, The Daily Star, Agence France-Presse, Beirut, Lebanon, NEWS,weblink L. Todd, Wood, Russia declares counter-terror ops regime in North Caucasus, The Washington Times, 30 June 2015, Airstrikes in Syria (see Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War).NEWS, Christopher, Harress,weblink International Business Times, Russian Islamic State Airstrikes In Iraq: ISIS OK For Russia To Target, Baghdad Says, 24 October 2015, 1 November 2015, NEWS,weblink RT, 8 ISIS targets hit during 20 combat flights in Syria – Russian military, 30 September 2015, 1 October 2015, NEWS, Ed, Payne, Barbara, Starr, Susannah, Cullinane,weblink CNN, Russia launches first airstrikes in Syria, 30 September 2015, 30 September 2015, AzerbaijanNEWS, Giorgi, Lomsadze,weblink EurasiaNet.org, Azerbaijan Arrests Alleged ISIS and Other Islamic Fighters, 24 September 2014, 18 February 2015, NEWS,weblink Panorama, Azerbaijani media: Embassy increases security in Baku because of ISIS threatening, 26 January 2015, 18 January 2015, – security operations within state bordersPakistan – Military deployment over Saudi Arabia-Iraq border. Arresting ISIL figures in Pakistan.NEWS, C. Raja, Mohan, Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia: Pakistan's Leverage in the Gulf,weblink 7 March 2015, The Indian Express, 5 March 2015, NEWS, Now Pakistan cares about ISIS,weblink 7 March 2015, New York Post, 31 October 2014, Jamie, Schram, NEWS, Security forces arrest local Islamic State commander in Lahore: sources,weblink 7 March 2015, The Express Tribune, Lahore, Pakistan, Reuters, 21 January 2015, Yemen (Supreme Political Council)WEB,weblink الجيش واللجان الشعبية يستعيدون السيطرة على جبل نوفان الاستراتيجي, almasalah.com,

Other non-state opponents

{{Category see also|Category:Anti-ISIL factions}}
  • {{flag|al-Qaeda}}
  • (File:Flag of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.svg|25px) al-Nusra FrontNEWS, ISIL, Nusra Clash Fiercely on Qalmoun Barrens: 25 Killed, Injured,weblink Al-Manar News, 17 December 2014, —with localised truces and co-operation at times
  • al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
  • al-Qaeda in the Islamic MaghrebNEWS, Thomas, Joscelyn, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb backs jihadists fighting Islamic State in Derna, Libya,weblink 9 July 2015, Long War Journal,
  • Al-ShabaabNEWS, Suspected Leader of Pro-IS Al-Shabab Faction Reported Killed,weblink 22 November 2015, Voice of America News,
  • (File:Flag of Taliban.svg|25px) TalibanWEB, ISIS reportedly moves into Afghanistan, is even fighting Taliban,weblink 12 January 2015, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150213191753weblink">weblink 13 February 2015, NEWS, ISIL and the Taliban, 1 November 2015, Al Jazeera,weblink
  • (File:Flag of Hamas.svg|22 px) HamasNEWS, ISIL warns Hamas in video message, Al Jazeera,weblink 1 July 2015,
  • {{flag|Hezbollah}}WEB, Mortada, Radwan, Hezbollah fighters and the "jihadis": Mad, drugged, homicidal, and hungry,weblink Al Akhbar, 19 May 2014, 8 June 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140707040428weblink">weblink 7 July 2014, yes,
  • {{flag|Houthis}}NEWS,weblink Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech, Reuters, 13 November 2014,
  • (File:Flag of Kurdistan Workers' Party.svg|22 px) Kurdistan Workers' Party—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Syrian KurdistanWEB, Mohammed, A. Salih,weblink PKK forces impress in fight against Islamic State, 1 September 2014, Al-Monitor, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141006140026weblink">weblink 6 October 2014,
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Syrian Democratic Forces.svg}} Syrian Democratic Forces
  • (File:Emblem of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units.svg|22px) Nineveh Plain Protection Units – an Assyrian Christian militia in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq and SyriaNEWS, Assyrians fight back in Iraq, Badanah village liberated from ISIS, Leith, Aboufadel, 3 September 2016, Al Masdar News,weblink

Al-Qaeda

Al-Nusra Front is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria. Al-Nusra has launched many attacks and bombings, mostly against targets affiliated with or supportive of the Syrian government.NEWS, Bill, Roggio,weblink Suicide bombers kill 14 in Damascus, Long War Journal, 11 June 2013, 3 June 2015, There have been media reports that many of al-Nusra's foreign fighters have left to join al-Baghdadi's ISIL.NEWS,weblink Syria: Jabhat al-Nusra split after leader's pledge of support for al-Qaeda, The Telegraph, 19 May 2013, London, Richard, Spencer, In February 2014, after continued tensions, al-Qaeda publicly disavowed any relations with ISIL. However, ISIL and al-Nusra Front still cooperate with each other occasionally when they fight against the Syrian government.NEWS,weblink Jabhat Al-Nusra And ISIS Alliance Could Spread Beyond Damascus, Erin, Banco, International Business Times, 11 April 2015, NEWS, Eugenio, Lilli,weblink How would a deal between al-Qaeda and Isil change Syria's civil war?, The Telegraph, London, 14 November 2014, NEWS, Mitchell, Prothero,weblink ISIS joins other rebels to thwart Syria regime push near Lebanon, The Sacramento Bee, 4 March 2014, 4 July 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141006094834weblink">weblink 6 October 2014, yes, }}On 10 September 2015, an audio message was released by al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri criticising ISIL's self-proclaimed caliphate and accusing it of "sedition". This was described by some media outlets as a "declaration of war".NEWS, James Gordon, Meek, Al Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Declares War on ISIS 'Caliph' Al-Baghdadi,weblink Yahoo! News, ABC News, 11 September 2015, However, although al-Zawahiri denied ISIL's legitimacy, he suggested that there was still room for cooperation against common enemies, and said that if he were in Iraq, he would fight alongside ISIL.NEWS, Omar, Fahmy, 9 September 2015, Al Qaeda calls Islamic State illegitimate but suggests cooperation,weblink Reuters, 11 September 2015,

Human rights abuse and war crime findings

{{anchor|war crimes}}In July 2014, the BBC reported the United Nations' chief investigator as stating: "Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may be added to a list of war crimes suspects in Syria."NEWS,weblink UN 'may include' Isis on Syrian war crimes list, BBC News, 26 July 2014, By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war"Video shows Islamic State executes scores of Syrian soldiers". Reuters. 28 August 2014. and over 1,000 civilians.{{citation needed|date=June 2017}}In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity.NEWS,weblink ISIS accused of crimes against humanity, Al Arabiya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 November 2014, NEWS, Nina, Larson,weblink UN probe: ISIS committing 'crimes against humanity' in Syria, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, 14 November 2014, A report by Human Rights Watch in November 2014 accused ISIL groups in control of Derna, Libya of war crimes and human rights abuses and of terrorising residents. Human Rights Watch documented three apparent summary executions and at least ten public floggings by the Islamic Youth Shura Council, which joined ISIL in November. It also documented the beheading of three Derna residents and dozens of seemingly politically motivated assassinations of judges, public officials, members of the security forces and others. Sarah Leah Watson, Director of HRW Middle East and North Africa, said: "Commanders should understand that they may face domestic or international prosecution for the grave rights abuses their forces are committing."WEB,weblink Libya: Extremists Terrorizing Derna Residents, Human Rights Watch, 27 November 2014, Speaking of ISIL's methods, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated that the group "seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey".

Religious and minority group massacres, forced conversion, and expulsion

{{anchor|persecutions}}{{See also|Arabization|Genocide of Christians by ISIL|Genocide of Shias by ISIL|Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL}}File:Yazidi refugees.jpg|thumb|Yazidi refugees on Mount SinjarMount SinjarISIL compels people in the areas that it controls to live according to its interpretation of sharia law.NEWS, McCoy, Terrence, 13 June 2013, ISIL, beheadings and the success of horrifying violence,weblink The Washington Post, 23 June 2014, NEWS, Bulos, Nabih, 20 June 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria aims to recruit Westerners with video,weblink Los Angeles Times, 17 August 2014, There have been many reports of the group's use of death threats, torture and mutilation to compel conversion to Islam, and of clerics being killed for refusal to pledge allegiance to the so-called "Islamic State". ISIL directs violence against Shia Muslims, Alawites, Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac and Armenian Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks and Mandeans in particular.NEWS, Abi-Habib, Maria, Iraq's Christian Minority Feels Militant Threat,weblink 6 July 2014, The Wall Street Journal, 26 June 2014, subscription, ISIL fighters are targeting Syria's minority Alawite sect.NEWS, Turkey's Arab Alawites stand at a crossroads,weblink The National, 6 December 2014, The Islamic State and affiliated jihadist groups reportedly took the lead in an offensive on Alawite villages in Latakia Governorate of Syria in August 2013.NEWS,weblink Syrian rebels accused of sectarian murders, The Daily Telegraph, 11 August 2013, Hundreds of Alawite civilians have been killed, kidnapped or have disappeared during a rebel offensive on President Bashar al-Assad's heartland province of Latakia, local residents have reported., London, Ruth, Sherlock, WEB,weblink Syria: Executions, Hostage Taking by Rebels, Human Rights Watch, 10 October 2013, Amnesty International has held ISIL responsible for the ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minority groups in northern Iraq on a "historic scale", putting entire communities "at risk of being wiped off the map of Iraq". In a special report released on 2 September 2014, the organization described how ISIL had "systematically targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, of individuals and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014". Among these people were Assyrian Christians, Turkmen Shia, Shabak Shia, Kaka'i, Yazidis and Sabean Mandeans, who have lived together for centuries in Nineveh province, large parts of which have come under ISIL's control.WEB,weblink 2 September 2014, Iraq crisis: Islamic State accused of ethnic cleansing, BBC News, 25 September 2014, Among the known killings of religious and minority group civilians carried out by ISIL are those in the villages and towns of Quiniyeh (70–90 Yazidis killed), Hardan (60 Yazidis killed), Sinjar (500–2,000 Yazidis killed), Ramadi Jabal (60–70 Yazidis killed), Dhola (50 Yazidis killed), Khana Sor (100 Yazidis killed), Hardan area (250–300 Yazidis killed), al-Shimal (dozens of Yazidis killed), Khocho (400 Yazidis killed and 1,000 abducted), Jadala (14 Yazidis killed)REPORT,weblink United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 6 July – 10 September 2014, and Beshir (700 Shia Turkmen killed),NEWS,weblink UN: ISIS Massacred 700 Turkmen – Including Women, Children, Elderly, Lauretta, Brown, CNS News, 26 August 2014, and others committed near Mosul (670 Shia inmates of the Badush prison killed), and in Tal Afar prison, Iraq (200 Yazidis killed for refusing conversion). The UN estimated that 5,000 Yazidis were killed by ISIL during the takeover of parts of northern Iraq in August 2014.NEWS,weblink UN confirms 5,000 Yazidis men were executed and 7,000 women are now sex slaves, Daily Mail, 20 October 2014, London, 14 October 2014, In late May 2014, 150 Kurdish boys from Kobani aged 14–16 were abducted and subjected to torture and abuse, according to Human Rights Watch.NEWS, Lucas, Ryan, ISIS Tortured Kurdish Children Captured in Kobani: Group,weblink 4 November 2014, Associated Press, HuffPost, 4 November 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141105035214weblink">weblink 5 November 2014, In the Syrian towns of Ghraneij, Abu Haman and Kashkiyeh 700 members of the Sunni Al-Shaitat tribe were killed for attempting an uprising against ISIL control.NEWS,weblink Islamic State group 'executes 700' in Syria, Al Jazeera, 17 August 2014, 20 October 2014, NEWS, Liz, Sly, Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored, fueling resentment, 20 October 2014, The Washington Post, 7 November 2014,weblink The UN reported that in June 2014 ISIL had killed a number of Sunni Islamic clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to it.WEB, Zarocostas, John, U.N.: Islamic State executed imam of mosque where Baghdadi preached,weblink McClatchyDC, 10 October 2014, 8 July 2014, Christians living in areas under ISIL control face four options: converting to Islam, paying a religious levy called the jizya, leaving the "Caliphate", or death.NEWS, van Tets, Fernande, Isis takes Iraq's largest Christian town as residents told – 'leave, convert or die',weblink Independent, 7 August 2014, 5 January 2015, NEWS, Jadallah, Ahmed, Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians,weblink Reuters, 18 July 2014, 5 January 2015, "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword", ISIL said.NEWS, Erb, Kelly Phillips, Islamic State Warns Christians: Convert, Pay Tax, Leave Or Die,weblink Forbes, 19 July 2014, 4 July 2016, NEWS, Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians, 18 July 2014, Reuters,weblink It said that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which the group has now named Caliph Ibrahim, had set a Saturday deadline for Christians who did not want to stay and live under those terms to "leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate". "After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword," it said., ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi further noted that Christians who do not agree with those terms must "leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate" within a specified deadline. ISIL had already set similar rules for Christians in Raqqa, once one of Syria's more liberal cities.NEWS, Abedine, Saad, Mullen, Jethro, Islamists in Syrian city offer Christians safety – at a heavy price,weblink 28 February 2014, CNN, 27 July 2014, NEWS, Hubbard, Ben, Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side,weblink The New York Times, 27 July 2014, 23 July 2014, However, on 29 March 2016, ISIL issued a decree preventing Christians and Armenians from leaving Raqqa.NEWS, Robinson, Julian, Is ISIS planning to kill all remaining Christians in Raqqa? Terror group's decision to ban all members of the faith from leaving the city prompt fears for their safety,weblink 31 March 2016, Daily Mailaccess-date=4 July 2016, On 23 February 2015, in response to a major Kurdish offensive in the Al-Hasakah Governorate, ISIL abducted 150 Assyrian Christians from villages near Tal Tamr (Tell Tamer) in northeastern Syria, after launching a large offensive in the region.NEWS,weblink Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians, Suleiman, Al-Khalidi, 23 February 2015, Reuters, WEB,weblink Islamic State 'abducts dozens of Christians in Syria', 23 February 2015, 23 February 2015, BBC, Kurdish officials have claimed that ISIL's campaign against Kurdish and Yezidi enclaves, such as Sinjar, are part of an organised Arabization plan.WEB, Judit, Neurink,weblink Kurdish official: ISIS Capture of Shingal 'was part of Arabization campaign', Rudaw, 29 December 2014,

Treatment of civilians

{{See also|Killing of captives by ISIL|Mass executions in ISIL occupied Mosul}}During the Iraqi conflict in 2014, ISIL released dozens of videos showing its ill treatment of civilians, many of whom had apparently been targeted on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned of war crimes being committed in the Iraqi war zone, and disclosed a UN report of ISIL militants murdering Iraqi Army soldiers and 17 civilians in a single street in Mosul. The UN reported that in the 17 days from 5 to 22 June, ISIL killed more than 1,000 Iraqi civilians and injured more than 1,000.NEWS, ISIL Militants Killed More Than 1000 Civilians in Recent Onslaught in recent Onslaught in Iraq: UN,weblink RT News, 4 July 2014, NEWS,weblink Iraq violence: UN confirms more than 2000 killed, injured since early June, 24 June 2014, UN News Centre, 4 July 2014, NEWS,weblink UN warns of war crimes as ISIL allegedly executes 1,700, 15 June 2014, Today's Zaman, 4 July 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140704015301weblink">weblink 4 July 2014, After ISIL released photographs of its fighters shooting scores of young men, the UN declared that cold-blooded "executions" by militants in northern Iraq almost certainly amounted to war crimes.NEWS, Spencer, Richard, Iraq crisis: UN condemns 'war crimes' as another town falls to Isis,weblink The Telegraph, 16 June 2014, 6 July 2014, London, ISIL's advance in Iraq in mid-2014 was accompanied by continuing violence in Syria. On 29 May, ISIL raided a village in Syria and at least 15 civilians were killed, including, according to Human Rights Watch, at least six children.NEWS,weblink Syria: ISIS Summarily Killed Civilians, 14 June 2014, Human Rights Watch, 5 July 2014, A hospital in the area confirmed that it had received 15 bodies on the same day.NEWS,weblink Syria conflict: Amnesty says ISIS killed seven children in north, 6 June 2014, BBC News, 5 July 2014, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that on 1 June, a 102-year-old man was killed along with his whole family in a village in Hama province.NEWS,weblink NGO: ISIS kills 102-year-old man, family in Syria, Al Arabiya English, Agence France-Presse, 1 June 2014, According to Reuters, 1,878 people were killed in Syria by ISIL during the last six months of 2014, most of them civilians.NEWS,weblink Islamic State executed nearly 2,000 people in six months: monitor, Reuters, Oliver, Holmes, 28 December 2014, During its occupation of Mosul, ISIL implemented a sharia school curriculum which banned the teaching of art, music, national history, literature and Christianity. Although Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has never been taught in Iraqi schools, that subject was also banned from the school curriculum. Patriotic songs were declared blasphemous, and orders were given to remove certain pictures from school textbooks.NEWS, Bacchi, Umberto, ISIS Medieval School Curriculum: No Music, Art and Literature for Mosul Kids,weblink International Business Times, NEWS, Spencer, Richard,weblink Islamic State issues new school curriculum in Iraq, The Telegraph, 16 September 2014, London, NEWS,weblink ISIS eradicates art, history and music from curriculum in Iraq, 15 September 2014, CBS News, NEWS,weblink Mosul Schools Go Back in Time With Islamic State Curriculum, 17 September 2014, Zaid, Sabah, Khalid, Al-Ansary, Bloomberg News, Iraqi parents largely boycotted schools in which the new curriculum was introduced.NEWS,weblink Parents boycott militants' curriculum, 17 September 2014, Catherine, Philp, The Times, London, After capturing cities in Iraq, ISIL issued guidelines on how to wear clothes and veils. ISIL warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or face severe punishment.WEB, Islamic State says women in Mosul must wear full veil or be punished,weblink 26 July 2014, The Irish Times, 23 August 2014, A cleric told Reuters in Mosul that ISIL gunmen had ordered him to read out the warning in his mosque when worshippers gathered. ISIL ordered the faces of both male and female mannequins to be covered, in an order which also banned the use of naked mannequins.NEWS, Islamic State tells Mosul shopkeepers to cover up naked mannequins,weblink The Telegraph, London, Damien, McElroy, 23 July 2014, In Raqqa the group used its two battalions of female fighters in the city to enforce compliance by women with its strict laws on individual conduct.NEWS, ISIS Is Actively Recruiting Female Fighters To Brutalize Other Women,weblink Business Insider, ISIL released 16 notes labelled "Contract of the City", a set of rules aimed at civilians in Nineveh. One rule stipulated that women should stay at home and not go outside unless necessary. Another rule said that stealing would be punished by amputation.WEB, Zelin, Aaron Y., 13 June 2014, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Has a Consumer Protection Office,weblink The Atlantic, 17 June 2014, NEWS, Taylor, Adam, The rules in ISIS' new state: Amputations for stealing and women to stay indoors.,weblink 12 June 2014, The Washington Post, 2 August 2014, In addition to banning the sale and use of alcohol, ISIL banned the sale and use of cigarettes and hookah pipes. It also banned "music and songs in cars, at parties, in shops and in public, as well as photographs of people in shop windows".NEWS, ISIS bans music, imposes veil in Raqqa,weblink 13 September 2014, Al-Monitor, 20 January 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140913104620weblink">weblink 13 September 2014, According to The Economist, the group also adopted certain practices seen in Saudi Arabia, including the establishment of religious police to root out "vice" and enforce attendance at daily prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction of Christian churches and non-Sunni mosques or their conversion to other uses.ISIL carried out executions on both men and women who were accused of various acts and found guilty of crimes against Islam such as sodomy,NEWS, Isis executes more than 4,000 people in less than two years,weblink 11 November 2016, Independent, 30 April 2016, adultery, usage and possession of contraband, rape, blasphemy, witchcraft,"IS beheads two civilian women in Syria: monitor {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150704173057weblink |date=4 July 2015}}". Yahoo News. 30 June 2015. renouncing Islam and murder. Before the accused are executed their charges are read to them and the spectators. Executions take various forms, including stoning to death, crucifixions, beheadings, burning people alive, and throwing people from tall buildings.NEWS, Saul, Heather, 22 January 2015, Isis publishes penal code listing amputation, crucifixion and stoning as punishments – and vows to vigilantly enforce it,weblink Independent, 3 February 2015, London, NEWS, Withnall, Adam, 18 January 2015, Isis throws 'gay' men off tower, stones woman accused of adultery and crucifies 17 young men in 'retaliatory' wave of executions,weblink Independent, 3 February 2015, London, NEWS, Rush, James, 3 February 2015, Images emerge of 'gay' man 'thrown from building by Isis militants before he is stoned to death after surviving fall',weblink Independent, 3 February 2015, London, WEB, Daragahi, Borzou, 25 February 2015, Isis brutality in Iraq reawakens Sunni resistance,weblink Financial Times, 25 February 2014, The Islamic State in Iraq frequently carried out mass executions in Mosul and Hawija.The Islamic State militants were accused of using civilian residents of towns as human shields.NEWS, Islamic State digging in in Raqqa, hiding in civilian shadows, amassing human shields,weblink Japan Times, 18 November 2015, The Telegraph reported that "Extremist fighters are deliberately hiding among civilian buildings and residents to try to prevent strikes."NEWS, Islamic State jihadists using human shields to avoid air strikes,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2015, NEWS, ISIS using children human shields in Iraq and Syria as US and others increase airstrikes,weblink CBS News, 4 December 2015, Civil rights activist told ARA News that "ISIS militants prevent the people of Manbij and Jarablus from leaving their hometowns despite the fierce airstrikes by Russian warplanes"."ISIS extremists use Syrian civilians as human shields against Russian strikes {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160504224105weblink |date=4 May 2016}}". ARA News. 24 January 2016. The use of human shields and executions of civilians who tried to flee continued in Iraq right through until the group lost is final major urban territory there after its defeat in the Battle for Mosul in July 2017.JOURNAL, At Any Cost: The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul,weblink 11 July 2017, London, Amnesty International, 21 July 2017,

Child soldiers

{{See also|Military use of children}}According to a report by the magazine Foreign Policy, children as young as six are recruited or kidnapped and sent to military and religious training camps, where they practice beheading with dolls and are indoctrinated with the religious views of ISIL.WEB,weblink Islamic State's Child Soldiers: First Come the Sweets, Then the Beheadings, Kuntz, Katrine, 29 July 2016, Der Spiegel, 1 August 2016, Children are used as human shields on front lines and to provide blood transfusions for Islamic State soldiers, according to Shelly Whitman of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. The second instalment of a Vice News documentary about ISIL focused on how the group is specifically grooming children for the future. A spokesman told VICE News that those under the age of 15 go to sharia camp to learn about religion, while those older than 16 can go to military training camp. Children are also used for propaganda. According to a UN report, "In mid-August, ISIL entered a cancer hospital in Mosul, forced at least two sick children to hold the ISIL flag and posted the pictures on the internet." Misty Buswell, a Save the Children representative working with refugees in Jordan, said, "It's not an exaggeration to say we could lose a whole generation of children to trauma."WEB, Brannan, Kate, Children of the Caliphate,weblink Foreign Policy, 30 November 2014, A UN report indicated that at least 89 children, mostly from the ages of 12 to 16 had been killed fighting for the Islamic State in 2015, 39% of which died in suicide bombing attacks.WEB,weblink IS increases use of child soldiers, says US report, BBC News, Der Spiegel estimated in 2016 that 1,500 boys were serving as child soldiers for ISIL. It was reported that on 12 March 2017, ISIL used 6 child suicide bombers against the Syrian Army soldiers besieged in Deir ez-Zor.WEB, In pictures: ISIS launches fresh attacks against the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor,weblink Al Masdar News, Chris Tomson, 14 March 2017, 14 March 2017,

Sexual violence and slavery

{{further|Sexual violence in the Iraqi insurgency|Slavery in 21st-century Islamism}}{{See also|Islamic views on slavery|Ma malakat aymanukum|Raptio|Wartime sexual violence}}Sexual violence perpetrated by ISIL includes using rape as a weapon of war;WEB, Peritz, Aki, Maller, Tara, 16 September 2014, The Islamic State of Sexual Violence,weblink Foreign Policy, 14 August 2015, instituting forced marriages to its fighters;NEWS, Saul, Heather, 18 February 2015, Isis Raqqa wives subjected to 'brutal' sexual assaults after marrying militants,weblink Independent, 14 August 2015, London, and trading women and girls as sex slaves.NEWS, Callimachi, Rukmini, 13 August 2015, ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape,weblink The New York Times, 14 August 2015, There are many reports of sexual abuse and enslavement in ISIL-controlled areas of women and girls, predominantly from the minority Christian and Yazidi communities.NEWS,weblink Islamic State: Yazidi women tell of sex-slavery trauma, BBC News, 22 December 2014, 4 January 2015, Paul, Wood, Fighters are told that they are free to have sex with or rape non-Muslim captive women.NEWS, Katarina, Lagerwall, Swedish, Det jag har bevittnat i al-Raqqa kommer alltid förfölja mig, What I have witnessed in al-Raqqa will always haunt me,weblink 25 September 2014, Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden, 23 September 2014, Haleh Esfandiari from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has highlighted the abuse of local women by ISIL militants after they have captured an area. "They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try to sell them. The younger girls ... are raped or married off to fighters", she said, adding, "It's based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters."NEWS, Brekke, Kira, ISIS Is Attacking Women, And Nobody Is Talking About It,weblink 11 September 2014, HuffPost, 8 September 2014, The capture of Iraqi cities by the group in June 2014 was accompanied by an upsurge in crimes against women, including kidnap and rape.NEWS,weblink Surging Violence Against Women in Iraq, Inter Press Service, 27 June 2014, 5 July 2014, NEWS,weblink Why We Must Act When Women in Iraq Document Rape, HuffPost, 25 June 2014, 10 July 2014, Clare, Winterton, NEWS,weblink Fear of Sexual Violence Simmers in Iraq As ISIL Advances, BuzzFeed, 27 June 2014, 9 July 2014, Giglio, Mike, According to Martin Williams in The Citizen, some hard-line Salafists apparently regard extramarital sex with multiple partners as a legitimate form of holy war and it is "difficult to reconcile this with a religion where some adherents insist that women must be covered from head to toe, with only a narrow slit for the eyes".NEWS,weblink Sexual jihad is a bit much, The Citizen, 25 September 2013, 7 July 2014, Williams, Martin, Gauteng, South Africa,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140716131626weblink">weblink 16 July 2014, yes, {{as of|2015|August|}}, the trade in sex slaves appeared to remain restricted to Yazidi women and girls. It has reportedly become a recruiting technique to attract men from conservative Muslim societies, where dating and casual sex are not allowed. Nazand Begikhani said of the Yazidi victims, "These women have been treated like cattle ... They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They've been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags."NEWS, Watson, Ivan, 30 October 2014, 'Treated like cattle': Yazidi women sold, raped, enslaved by ISIS,weblink CNN, 14 August 2015, According to UN Reports the price list for IS sex slaves range from 40 to 160 US dollars. The younger the slave the more expensive. Girls and boys between the age 1–9 are referred to as the most expensive, with the cheapest being women between 40 and 50 years old.NEWS, Yoon, Sangwoon, Islamic State Circulates Sex Slave Price List,weblink Bloomberg Business, 4 August 2015,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150807011203weblink">weblink 7 August 2015, According to another source the price of a slave equals the price of an AK-47.BOOK, Jürgen, Todenhöfer, 2015, Inside IS- 10 Tage im, Inside IS: 10 days in 'Islamic State', German, Munich, Germany, C. Bertelsmann Verlag, 978-3-570-10276-3, A United Nations report issued on 2 October 2014, based on 500 interviews with witnesses, said that ISIL took 450–500 women and girls to Iraq's Nineveh region in August, where "150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves".NEWS, Nebehay, Stephanie, Islamic State committing 'staggering' crimes in Iraq: U.N. report,weblink 2 October 2014, 2 October 2014, Reuters, In mid-October, the UN confirmed that 5,000–7,000 Yazidi women and children had been abducted by ISIL and sold into slavery.NEWS, Spencer, Richard,weblink Isil carried out massacres and mass sexual enslavement of Yazidis, UN confirms, 14 October 2014, The Telegraph, 3 November 2014, London, In November 2014 The New York Times reported on the accounts given by five who escaped ISIL of their captivity and abuse.NEWS, Kirk, Semple,weblink Yazidi Girls Seized by ISIS Speak Out After Escape, The New York Times, 14 November 2014, In December 2014, the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights announced that ISIL had killed over 150 women and girls in Fallujah who refused to participate in sexual jihad.NEWS, ISIS Just Executed More Than 150 Women in Fallujah,weblink NOW News, Business Insider, 17 December 2014, Non-Muslim women have reportedly been married off to fighters against their will. ISIL claims the women provide the new converts and children necessary to spread ISIL's control.Shortly after the death of US hostage Kayla Mueller was confirmed on 10 February 2015,NEWS, Rukmini, Callimachi,weblink Death of Kayla Mueller, ISIS Hostage, Confirmed by Family and White House, The New York Times, 10 February 2015, several media outlets reported that the US intelligence community believed she may have been given as a wife to an ISIL fighter.NEWS,weblink U.S. believes hostage was given to ISIS fighter as bride, CBS News, 11 February 2015, 17 August 2015, NEWS, James Gordon, Meek, Rhonda, Schwartz,weblink Officials: Kayla Mueller May Have Been Given to ISIS Commander, ABC News, 10 February 2015, NEWS, Meg, Wagner, Corky, Siemaszko,weblink Kayla Jean Mueller, American aid worker held hostage, may have been forced to marry ISIS leader: report, Daily News, New York, 10 February 2015, In August 2015 it was confirmed that she had been forced into marriageNEWS, Ken, Dilanian, 14 August 2015, Islamic State Leader Raped American Hostage, US Finds,weblink yes, Yahoo! News, Associated Press,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150814203110weblink">weblink 14 August 2015, to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who raped her repeatedly.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Islamic State leader Baghdadi 'raped' Kayla Mueller, 14 August 2015, NEWS, Goldman, Adam, Miller, Greg, Leader of Islamic State took American hostage as sexual slave,weblink The Washington Post, 14 August 2015, The Mueller family was informed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had sexually abused Ms. Mueller, and that Ms. Mueller had also been tortured. Abu Sayyaf's widow, Umm Sayyaf, confirmed that it was her husband who had been Mueller's primary abuser.NEWS,weblink ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Sexually Abused American Hostage Kayla Mueller, Officials Say, ABC News, James Gordon, Meek, 14 August 2015, Washington DC, 14 August 2015, The information about al-Baghdadi's extraordinary direct role in the captivity and physical abuse of Kayla Mueller was drawn from, among many sources, the U.S. debriefings of at {{sic, least least, two Yezedi teenage girls, ages 16 and 18, held as sex slaves in the Sayyaf compound as well as from the interrogation of Abu Sayyaf's wife Umm Sayyaf, who was captured in the U.S. raid, the officials told ABC News.}}In its digital magazine Dabiq, ISIL explicitly claimed religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women.NEWS, Spencer, Richard,weblink Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves 'for theological reasons', says Isil, 13 October 2014, The Telegraph, 3 November 2014, London, NEWS,weblink Slavery in Islam: To have and to hold, The Economist, 18 October 2014, According to The Wall Street Journal, ISIL appeals to apocalyptic beliefs and claims "justification by a Hadith that they interpret as portraying the revival of slavery as a precursor to the end of the world".NEWS, Nour, Malas,weblink Ancient Prophecies Motivate Islamic State Militants: Battlefield Strategies Driven by 1,400-year-old Apocalyptic Ideas, The Wall Street Journal, 18 November 2014, 22 November 2014, ISIL appeals to the hadith and Quran when claiming the right to enslave and rape captive non-Muslim women.NEWS, Abdelaziz, Salma, ISIS states its justification for the enslavement of women,weblink CNN, 13 October 2014, 1 January 2015, NEWS, Sypher, Ford, Rape and Sexual Slavery Inside an ISIS Prison,weblink Horror, The Daily Beast, 28 August 2014, 5 January 2015, NEWS, Kumar, Anugrah, ISIS Claims Islam Justifies Making 'Infidel' Women Sex Slaves,weblink The Christian Post, 13 October 2014, 1 January 2015, According to Dabiq, "enslaving the families of the kuffar and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia's that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Quran and the narration of the Prophet ... and thereby apostatizing from Islam." Captured Yazidi women and children are divided among the fighters who captured them, with one-fifth taken as a tax.NEWS, ISIL seeks to justify enslaving Yazidi women and girls in Iraq,weblink abril, Today's Zaman, 14 October 2014, 2 January 2014, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20141115054011weblink">weblink 15 November 2014, ISIL has received widespread criticism from Muslim scholars and others in the Muslim world for using part of the Quran to derive a ruling in isolation, rather than considering the entire Quran and hadith. According to Mona Siddiqui, ISIL's "narrative may well be wrapped up in the familiar language of jihad and 'fighting in the cause of Allah', but it amounts to little more than destruction of anything and anyone who doesn't agree with them"; she describes ISIL as reflecting a "lethal mix of violence and sexual power" and a "deeply flawed view of manhood".NEWS, Siddiqui, Mona, Isis: a contrived ideology justifying barbarism and sexual control,weblink The Observer, 24 August 2014, 1 January 2015, Dabiq describes "this large-scale enslavement" of non-Muslims as "probably the first since the abandonment of Shariah law".File:Female Yezidi resistance fighters - YJÊ.jpg|thumb|YJÊ are women fighters trained by the Kurdish Workers Party guerillas to defend themselves against Islamist extremists.]]In late 2014, ISIL released a pamphlet that focused on the treatment of female slaves.NEWS, Amelia, Smith,weblink ISIS Publish Pamphlet On How to Treat Female Slaves, Newsweek, 12 September 2014, It claims that the Quran allows fighters to have sex with captives, including adolescent girls, and to beat slaves as discipline. The pamphlet's guidelines also allow fighters to trade slaves, including for sex, as long as they have not been impregnated by their owners.NEWS, Our faith condones raping underage slaves: ISIS publishes shocking guidebook telling fighters how to buy, sell and abuse captured women,weblink Abul, Taher, Daily Mail, 13 December 2014, London, Charlie Winter, a researcher at the counter-extremist think tank Quilliam, described the pamphlet as "abhorrent".NEWS, Adam, Withnall,weblink Isis releases 'abhorrent' sex slaves pamphlet with 27 tips for militants on taking, punishing and raping female captives, Independent, 10 December 2014, NEWS, Carey, Lodge,weblink Islamic State issues abhorrent sex slavery guidelines about how to treat women, Christianity Today, 15 December 2014, In response to this document Abbas Barzegar, a religion professor at Georgia State University, said Muslims around the world find ISIL's "alien interpretation of Islam grotesque and abhorrent".NEWS, Greg, Botelho,weblink ISIS: Enslaving, having sex with 'unbelieving' women, girls is OK, CNN, 13 December 2014, Muslim leaders and scholars from around the world have rejected the validity of ISIL's claims, claiming that the reintroduction of slavery is un-Islamic, that they are required to protect "People of the Scripture" including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Yazidis, and that ISIL's fatwas are invalid due to their lack of religious authority and the fatwas' inconsistency with Islam.The Independent reported in 2015 that the usage of Yazidi sex slaves had created ongoing friction among fighters within ISIL. Sajad Jiyad, a Research Fellow and Associate Member at the Iraqi Institute for Economic Reform, told the newspaper that many ISIL supporters and fighters had been in denial about the trafficking of kidnapped Yazidi women until a Dabiq article justifying the practice was published.NEWS,weblink Yazidi sex slaves 'gang-raped in public' by Isis fighters, harrowing accounts reveal, Independent, 10 April 2015, 11 April 2015, Saul, Heather, London, NEWS,weblink Isis infighting: Tensions rise over use of Yazidi sex slaves, loss of Kobani and poor services in areas controlled by group, Independent, 21 February 2015, 11 April 2015, Saul, Heather, London, The New York Times said in August 2015 that "[t]he systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution." The article claims that ISIL is not merely exonerating but sacralising rape, and illustrated this with the testimony of escapees. One 15-year-old victim said that, while she was being assaulted, her rapist "kept telling me this is ibadah"; a 12-year-old victim related how her assailant claimed that, "by raping me, he is drawing closer to God"; and one adult prisoner told how, when she challenged her captor about repeatedly raping a 12 year old, she was met with the retort, "No, she's not a little girl, she's a slave and she knows exactly how to have sex and having sex with her pleases God."In July 2016 it was reported by an AP investigation that ISIL was using mobile apps like Telegram to sell their sex slaves and identify the slaves of other ISIL members at checkpoints.NEWS, Islamic State tightens grip on captives held as sex slaves, Lori, Hinnant, Maya, Alleruzzo, Balint, Szlanko, 5 July 2016, The Big Story, Associate Press,weblink In 2016, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability said they had identified 34 senior ISIL members who were instrumental in the systematic sex slave trade and planned to prosecute them after the end of hostilities.WEB,weblink Iraq's Sinjar Yazidis: Bringing IS slavers to justice, Gardner, Ffrank, 3 August 2016, BBC News, 3 August 2016,

Attacks on members of the press

The Committee to Protect Journalists states: "Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable."WEB,weblink About CPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists, ISIL has tortured and murdered local journalists,NEWS, Al Fares, Zaid, 5 September 2014, The Forgotten Isis Beheadings: The World Mourns Steven Sotloff, but who Remembers Bassam al-Rayes?,weblink International Business Times UK, 17 December 2014, NEWS, Kestler-D'Amours, Jillian, 6 October 2014, Syria journalists 'on the margins of history',weblink Al Jazeera, 17 December 2014, creating what Reporters Without Borders calls "news blackholes" in areas controlled by ISIL. ISIL fighters have reportedly been given written directions to kill or capture journalists.WEB,weblink Areas controlled by Islamic State are news 'black holes', Reporters Without Borders, 23 October 2014, In December 2013, two suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of TV station Salaheddin and killed five journalists, after accusing the station of "distorting the image of Iraq's Sunni community". Reporters Without Borders reported that on 7 September 2014, ISIL seized and on 11 October publicly beheaded Raad al-Azzawi, a TV Salaheddin cameraman from the village of Samra, east of Tikrit.NEWS,weblink ISIL 'publicly executes Iraqi journalist', 11 October 2014, Al Jazeera, {{as of|2014|October|}}, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, ISIL is holding nine journalists and has nine others under close observation in Mosul and Salahuddin province.During 2013 and part of 2014, an ISIL unit nicknamed the Beatles acquired and held 12 Western journalists hostage, along with aid workers and other foreign hostages, totalling 23 or 24 known hostages. A Polish journalist Marcin Suder was captured in July 2013 but escaped four months later.NEWS,weblink ISIS Hostages Endured Torture and Dashed Hopes, Freed Cellmates Say, The New York Times, Rukmini, Callimachi, 25 October 2014, The unit executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and released beheading videos. Eight of the other journalists were released for ransom: Danish journalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, French journalists Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin, and Pierre Torres, and Spanish journalists Marc Marginedas, Javier Espinosa, and Ricardo García Vilanova. The unit continues to hold hostage British journalist John Cantlie and a female aid worker.NEWS,weblink The Fates of 23 ISIS Hostages in Syria, Karen, Yourish, The New York Times, 25 October 2014, Cyber-security group the Citizen Lab released a report finding a possible link between ISIL and a digital attack on the Syrian citizen media group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RSS). Supporters of the media group received an emailed link to an image of supposed airstrikes, but clicking on the link introduced malware to the user's computer that sends details of the user's IP address and system each time it restarts. That information has been enough to allow ISIL to locate RSS supporters. "The group has been targeted for kidnappings, house raids, and at least one alleged targeted killing. At the time of that writing, ISIL was allegedly holding several citizen journalists in Raqqa", according to the Citizen Lab report.NEWS, Johnston, Chris, Islamic State suspected of cyber-attack on Raqqa opponents,weblink The Guardian, 9 December 2014, 28 December 2014, On 8 January 2015, ISIL members in Libya claimed to have executed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari who disappeared in September 2014.WEB,weblink Libya's ISIS branch claims execution of two Tunisian journalists, Al Akhbar English, 9 January 2015, Also in January 2015, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto was kidnapped and beheaded, after a demand for a $200 million ransom payment was not met.WEB,weblink Isis video purports to show beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, Justin, McCurry, 31 January 2015, The Guardian, 1 July 2015,

Beheadings and mass executions

{{See also|Beheading video|Beheading in Islamism}}An unknown number of Syrians and Iraqis, several Lebanese soldiers, male and female Kurdish fighters near Kobanî, two American journalists, one American and two British aid workers, 30 Ethiopian ChristiansNEWS,weblink ISIS executes more Christians in Libya, video shows, CNN, Eliott C. McLaughlin, 20 April 2015, and 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in LibyaWEB,weblink ISIL video shows Christian Egyptians beheaded in Libya, Al Jazeera, 16 February 2015, have been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIL uses beheadings to intimidate local populations and has released a series of propaganda videos aimed at Western countries.ISIL was reported to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters who tried to leave Raqqa.NEWS,weblink Erika, Solomon, Isis morale falls as momentum slows and casualties mount, Financial Times, 19 December 2014, 20 December 2014, They also engage in public and mass executions of Syrian and Iraqi soldiers and civilians, sometimes forcing prisoners to dig their own graves before shooting lines of prisoners and pushing them in.WEB,weblink Seeking Information: Help Identify Individuals Traveling Overseas for Combat, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 7 October 2014, WEB,weblink Syrian Soldiers Digging Their Own Graves Before Being Executed by ISIS, YouTube, yes,weblink 28 January 2015, Among the known mass executions of captured soldiers carried out by ISIL are those in Tikrit (ISIS executed up to 1,700 Shia Iraqi Air Force cadets from Camp Speicher near Tikrit on 12 June 2014),NEWS,weblink New mass graves found in Tikrit, CNN, Ellis, Ralph, 6 April 2015, NEWS,weblink Two detained in Finland over ISIS executions in Tikrit, Yle, 10 December 2015, Al-Thawrah (ISIS executed 250 Syrian soldiers captured at the Al-Tabqa air base between 27 and 28 August 2014),NEWS, Sylvia, Westall, Mariam, Karouny,weblink Video shows Islamic State executes scores of Syrian soldiers, Reuters, 28 August 2014, Palmyra (up to 280 Syrian soldiers and government loyalists were shot in the head or beheaded in a public square on 22 May 2015),NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="archive.today/20150525142119weblink">weblink yes, 25 May 2015, ISIS purges Syria's Palmyra of Assad loyalists, The Times of India, Associated Press, 23 May 2015, and Deir ez-Zor (ISIS killed at least 300 Syrian soldiers, pro-government militiamen and their families on 16 January 2016).WEB,weblink Isis massacre: At least 300 killed, several held hostages in east Syria, International Business Times, 17 January 2016, ISIL executed 600 Shia prisoners in Mosul in June 2014."Isis kills hundreds of Iraqi Sunnis from Albu Nimr tribe in Anbar province". The Guardian. 30 October 2014. In November 2014, there were reports that ISIL fighters massacred more than 630 members of the Albu Nimr tribe in Iraq. Albu Nimr was one of the Sunni Arab tribes that fiercely opposed ISIL."IS Massacres 70 More Tribesmen In Iraqi Revenge Attack". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Radio Liberty/Radio Liberty. 10 November 2014 On 17 December 2014, it was reported by Turkish medi, that ISIL had executed at least 150 women from the Albu Nimr tribe in Falluja for refusing to marry ISIL militants.NEWS, Heather, Saul,weblink Independent, London, Isis 'executes 150 women for refusing to marry militants' and buries them in mass graves, 17 December 2014,

Use of chemical weapons

File:ISIL chemical weapons factory.png|thumb|A destroyed ISIL chemical weapons factory in Deir ez-Zor GovernorateDeir ez-Zor Governorate{{Further|Use of chemical weapons in the Iraqi civil war|Use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war}}The Islamic State began a program in 2014 to make chemical weapons using both chlorine and a World War I-era toxin known as sulfur mustard. NEWS, Exclusive: Iraqi scientist says he helped ISIS make chemical weapons,weblink The Washington Post, 21 January 2019, 15 May 2019, The Washington Post, Kurds in northern Iraq reported being attacked by ISIL with chemical weapons in August 2015,NEWS, Kurdish forces fighting Isis report being attacked with chemical weapons,weblink Agence France-Presse, 13 August 2015, 14 August 2015, The Guardian, which was later confirmed to be mustard gas.NEWS, Deutsch, Anthony, Samples confirm Islamic State used mustard gas in Iraq – diplomat, Reuters, 15 February 2016,weblink 15 February 2016, At Kobanî, it is highly likely that ISIL used chlorine gas. These chemical weapons may have been from a chemical weapons storage site at Al-Muthanna, which contained 2,500 chemical rockets. Although the rockets' chemical contents were deteriorated, ISIL may have used them in a concentrated manner.WEB, ISIS's Financial and Military Capabilities,weblink Crethiplethi, Winter 2014, 14 November 2015,

Destruction of cultural and religious heritage

UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova has warned that ISIL is destroying Iraq's cultural heritage, in what she has called "cultural cleansing". "We don't have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history", she said. Referring to the ancient cultures of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, she said, "This is a way to destroy identity. You deprive them of their culture, you deprive them of their history, their heritage, and that is why it goes hand in hand with genocide. Along with the physical persecution they want to eliminate – to delete – the memory of these different cultures ... we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable."NEWS,weblink Iraq's heritage needs protection from Islamic State – UNESCO, 2 November 2014, Reuters, Saad Eskander, head of Iraq's National Archives said, "For the first time you have cultural cleansing... For the Yazidis, religion is oral, nothing is written. By destroying their places of worship... you are killing cultural memory. It is the same with the Christians – it really is a threat beyond belief."NEWS, Jane, Arraf,weblink Islamic State seeking to 'delete' entire cultures, UNESCO chief warns in Iraq, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 November 2014, File:Temple of Bel, Palmyra 02.jpg|thumb|Temple of Bel in PalmyraPalmyraTo finance its activities, ISIL is stealing artefacts from SyriaWEB, Franklin, Lamb, SYRIA: "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", Intifada Palestine,weblink 8 May 2014, 28 December 2014, transcript of an interview conducted by the author at the National Museum of Syria with an employee of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM). The gentleman had been working in the governorate of Raqqa, in eastern Syria, when armed groups were looting museums and conducting illegal excavations of heritage sites., and Iraq and sending them to Europe to be sold. UNESCO has asked for United Nations Security Council controls on the sale of antiquities, similar to those imposed after the 2003 Iraq War. UNESCO is working with Interpol, national customs authorities, museums, and major auction houses in attempts to prevent looted items from being sold. ISIL occupied Mosul Museum, the second most important museum in Iraq, as it was about to reopen after years of rebuilding following the Iraq War, saying that the statues were against Islam and threatening to destroy the museum's contents.NEWS, Melissa, Block,weblink The Plight of Mosul's Museum: Iraqi Antiquities At Risk Of Ruin, 9 July 2014, NPR, NEWS, Christopher, Dickey,weblink ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq, The Daily Beast, 7 July 2014, 1 December 2014, ISIL considers worshipping at graves tantamount to idolatry, and seeks to purify the community of unbelievers. It has used bulldozers to crush buildings and archaeological sites. Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism", saying, "For Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends{{sic}}; for ISIS, it is an end in itself".{{r|ISIS_NYT}} The destruction by ISIL in July 2014 of the tomb and shrine of the prophet Yunus – Jonah in Christianity – the 13th-century mosque of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qassimin, the 14th-century shrine of prophet Jerjis – St George to Christians – and the attempted destruction of the Hadba minaret at the 12th-century Great Mosque of Al-Nuri have been described as "an unchecked outburst of extreme Wahhabism".{{citation needed|date=March 2019}} "There were explosions that destroyed buildings dating back to the Assyrian era", said National Museum of Iraq director Qais Rashid, referring to the destruction of the shrine of Yunus. He cited another case where "Daesh (ISIL) gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square".NEWS,weblink Islamic State: Jihadists destroying and looting Iraqi heritage sites for artefacts, UNESCO warns, ABC News, Agence France-Presse, In March 2015, ISIL reportedly bulldozed the 13th-century BC Assyrian city of Nimrud, believing its sculptures to be idolatrous. UNESCO head, Irina Bokova, deemed this to be a war crime.NEWS, Nimrud: Outcry as IS bulldozers attack ancient Iraq site,weblink 6 March 2015, BBC News, 6 March 2015, ISIL has burned or stolen collections of books and papers from the various locations including the Central Library of Mosul (which they rigged with explosives and burned down),WEB, Johnlee, Varghese,weblink Isis Burns Down Mosul Library, Destroys 8,000 Rare Books and Manuscripts, Ibtimes.co.in, 24 February 2015, 21 May 2016, the library at the University of Mosul, a Sunni Muslim library, a 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers, and the Mosul Museum Library. Some destroyed or stolen works date back to 5000 BCE and include "Iraq newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire, and book collections contributed by about 100 of Mosul's establishment families." The stated goal is to destroy all non-Islamic books.

See also

{hide}Wikipedia books
|1=Islamic terrorism
|3=Islamic terrorist groups
{edih}

References

{{Reflist}}

Bibliography

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  • NEWS, Boffey, Daniel, 'Islamic State' is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims,weblink The Guardian,
  • BOOK, {{harvid, Bowering, 2013, |title=The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought |editor=Gerhard Böwering |url={{Google books|q1I0pcrFFSUC|plainurl=y}} |publisher=Princeton University Press |date=2013 |isbn=978-0-691-13484-0}}
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  • JOURNAL, Tausch, Arno, Estimates on the Global Threat of Islamic State Terrorism in the Face of the 2015 Paris and Copenhagen Attacks, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Rubin Center, Research in International Affairs, Idc Herzliya, Israel, 19, 1, Spring 2015, 2702356,weblink
  • NEWS, Graeme C.A. Wood, Wood, Graeme, March 2015, What ISIS Really Wants, The Atlantic,weblink

External links

{{Sister project links | wikt=ISIS | commons=Category:Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant | b = no | n = Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant | q = Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant | s=no | v=no | voy=no | species = no| d=no | mw= no}} {{Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant}}{{Military intervention against ISIL}}{{Islamism}}{{Syrian Civil War}}{{Armed Iraqi groups in the Iraq War and the Iraq Civil War}}{{Islamic terrorism in Europe}}{{Authority control}}

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