Terrorism has plagued our world in the 21st century like never before. This millennium started with the worst terrorist attack in history, 9/11, and there seems to be nothing stopping the several terrorist organizations that wish to wreak havoc on the entire world. While Taliban and Al Qaeda were among the largest terrorist groups a decade back, ISIS has emerged as the strongest militant group in the recent times.
If you are looking for answers to questions like who is ISIS, where it is located, who is its leader and more, then here's the answer.
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What Exactly is ISIS?
ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is also referred to as ISIL, short for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and simply IS, Islamic State. It is a Jihadist militant group which follows Wahabbi, a fundamentalist doctrine of Sunni Islam. The organization was first established in Iraq, but then it absorbed a Syrian terrorist group and started to known as ISIS.
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How Did It Come Into Being?
The history of the organization can be dated back to 2004 when it was established by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as al Qaeda in Iraq, before rebranding itself two years later as the Islamic State of Iraq. During that period, it was an ally of Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, which was another radical anti-Western group dedicated to the establishment of an independent Islamic state in the region. However, Al Qaeda renounced its ties with ISIS in 2014, owing to the rising conflicts between ISIS and Al-Nusra Front.
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Who Is Its Leader?
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who organized the radical group, was killed in a US strike in June 2006 and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, otherwise known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir took his place as the leader. When Al Qaeda Iraq was re-established as the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri declared Abu Omar al-Baghdadi as the new head of the group, who was succeeded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after the two were killed in April 2010. He was held in a US-run prison named Camp Bucca for several months but was released in 2004. Currently, the US Department of State is offering a reward of USD 25 million to anyone offering information leading to the capture of Baghdadi.
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How Strong Is it?
While the militant group had a control over 34000 square miles in Iraq and Syria, its territory had shrunk to approximately 23320 square kilometers towards the end of 2016. It generates revenue from oil production, smuggling, ransom from kidnappings, extortion and taxes. According to a report by Forbes, it has an annual turnover of USD 2 billion, making it the wealthiest militant group in the entire world. Though it is concentrated in the Middle Eastern region, it inspires acts of terrorism all around the world, and at least 29 countries have suffered from it.
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While the future of terrorism () and how it will affect the next generation is uncertain, it has certainly crippled our world. Though some might say that we think it is scarier than it is, the chaos caused in the world is truly drastic.
Tell us what you think about the topic and how can ISIS be tackled through your comments below.
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