The Islamic State

Formerly known as ISIS and ISIL, the Islamic State (IS) is a radical Islamist group that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq. Originally, an Al Qaeda splinter group, IS uses extreme force and brutal tactics in order to strike fear into potential opponents.
IS uses highly persuasive social media campaigns to attract fighters from around the world. The total number of IS fighters is estimated to be around 30,000, with approximately 2,500 of them from Western countries.
How did it all start? After the U.S. invaded Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and formed AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq). Abu Musab al-Zarqawi died in 2006, and a U.S. troop surge weakened ISIS considerably. However, when U.S. troops were pulled from Iraq,
ISIS rebuilt itself. After taking Mosul and Raqqa, it declared itself the Islamic state in 2014, at its height, ISIS controlled more than 34,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq, from the Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad.
In early 2016, the United States calculated that ISIS had lost 40% of its 34,000 square miles of territory.Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the leader of ISIS from April 2010 until his death in October 2019 in the course of a U.S. military raid.
After his death, ISIS announced its new leader would be Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.
ISIS aims to create an Islamic state called a caliphate across Iraq, Syria and beyond. The group implements Sharia Law, rooted in eighth-century Islam, to establish a society that mirrors the region's ancient past.
ISIS aims to create an Islamic state called a caliphate across Iraq, Syria and beyond. The group implements Sharia Law, rooted in eighth-century Islam, to establish a society that mirrors the region's ancient past.
in 2015, ISIS was believed to be holding 3,500 people as slaves, according to a United Nations report. Most of the enslaved were women and children from the Yazidi community, but some were from other ethnic and religious minority communities.
ISIS's revenue comes from oil production and smuggling, taxes, ransoms from kidnappings, selling stolen artifacts, extortion and controlling crops. The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations.
ISIL is known for its videos of beheadings and other types of executions of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its destruction of cultural heritage sites. The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for committing human rights abuses, genocide,
war crimes, and crimes against humanity.[103] ISIL also committed ethnic cleansing on an unprecedented scale in northern Iraq
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", and by their "incredible enthusiasm" – including enthusiasm for killing "hundreds of millions" of people.
Estimates of the size of ISIL's military have varied widely, from tens of thousands up to 200,000. In early 2015, journalist Mary Anne Weaver estimated that half of ISIL fighters were foreigners.
A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries were in ISIL's ranks in November 2014. US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015,
including 3,400 from the Western world. In September 2015, the CIA estimated that 30,000 foreign fighters had joined ISIL
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. 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. ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda. It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world.
Videos by ISIL are commonly accompanied by nasheeds (chants), notable examples being the chant Dawlat al-Islam Qamat, which came to be viewed as an unofficial anthem of ISIL and Salil al-sawarim.
ISIL, in a mid-March 2020 Al-Naba article, described the fearful reaction to COVID-19 as a divinely wrought "painful torment" against Western "crusader nations". An early February article praised God for the same against Iran's Shiites and China.
According to a 2015 study by the Financial Action Task Force, ISIL's five primary sources of revenue are as follows

-proceeds from the occupation of territory (including control of banks,petroleum reservoirs, taxation, extortion, and robbery of economic assets)
kidnapping for ransom
donations from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, often disguised as meant for "humanitarian charity"
material support provided by foreign fighters
fundraising through modern communication networks
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.
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