How ISIS Became a Terrorist Group
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is also known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It is a Sunni jihadist group that was inspired by al Qaida. United Nations states that ISIS has been responsible for war crimes and abuse of human rights for decades. ISIS was established in 1999 by claiming elegance to Al-Qaeda. In 2003, it participated in the Iraq insurgency after an invasion by Western forces. Consequently, it began to identify as an Islamic State. In 2014, it identified as a religious, political, and military group claiming authority over Muslims globally (Belanger 459). Ultimately, ISIS has a violent ideology as it calls itself a caliphate claiming authority over all Muslims.
The United States has been embroiled in a conflict for more than ninety percent of its very life as a nation. America, therefore, finds itself currently enmeshed in with ISIS. ISIS is an inchoate confederacy of like-minded thugs spread across a region and the globe (Crooke 1). Currently, ISIS utilizes almost every social platform to communicate and share messages spreading propaganda. For example, it uses Twitter and Facebook as well as encrypted chat apps such as Telegram, Surespot, Threema, and WhatsApp. Sharing videos of beheadings on YouTube and more gruesome clips on LiveLeak has also been a norm as ISIS in attempts to preach to the disciples across the world. After major terror attacks takes place, ISIS has been using Twitter claiming responsibility. Consequently, followers cheer prompting the group to claim dominance as the most visible modern-day terror network.
ISIS being a militant Islamic terrorist organization cuts violent paths through Syria and Iraq. Most global leaders have been researching ISIS’ goals. The organization’s mission goal, as stated publicly in June, is establishing new Islamic caliphates across the Middle East. Caliphate refers to the idea of enormous Islamic states encompassing Muslims in order to overthrow existing governments to establish their own theocratic states (Crooke 1). ISIS has been posting videos showing members of the organization beheading people including journalists. The clips are accompanied with interpretations affirming the organization is diverse; hence, keen to spread its message worldwide. The messages can be encrypted as the organization also relies on the clips to pass coded memos to other ISIS members.
Most people identify the group as ISIS. It, however, identifies as simply IS. The simple title has been referenced by leaders to communicate the goals of the organization to the members who believe it is not a terrorist group but rather an Islamic State. The goals include recruiting more members in order to seize more opportunities and conquer new lands (Belanger 461). Consequently, the organization can spread its sphere further. The organization, however, acknowledges that most Muslims will identify its goals as controversial discouraging new members to join and submit. As a result, ISIS has embodied the attitude of accepting Muslims and Non-Muslims. The new members are expected to join the organization and embrace its ideologues failure to which can lead to death (Crooke 1). Currently, ISIS is dedicated to fuel conflicts with the United States. Security departments across America believe ISIS has been planning terror attacks targeting the country as well as Europe. Consequently, tensions have been high in both regions. Thus, ISIS embraces the goal of taking over responsibility and control over the Muslim population in the world. The process can either rely on force or the will of Muslim populations.
How ISIS Involves Other Groups
ISIS has been spreading successfully across Iraq and Syria. The Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been playing a major role in ensuring Islamic State rises in power. Al-Qaeda, however, believes ISIS can play a major role in the demise of its existence (Belanger 467). As a result, ISIS has often rejected Al-Qaeda’s authority leading to the split of jihadist movement. Jihadist ideologies are the source of ISIS’s fighters in Iraq and Syria. There are more than forty and sixty thousand supporters in each country respectively. More so, the organization’s military power provides support as former army and police officers have also joined as members of ISIS. Nations supporting ISIS include Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Qatar. Terror groups that have offered ISIS support include Boko Haram, Jundallah from Pakistan, Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, Abu Sayyaf, and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan among others (Crooke 1). Thus, there are more than thirty nations and sixty jihadist groups that offer support to ISIS in spreading hatred and terror wars.
Forms and Weapons Used by ISIS
ISIS took the United States and regional military observers by surprise after it developed from an individual terror group into an effective fighting force without relying on Al-Qaeda. It also captured swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq in attempts to recreate the Islamic Kingdom. Initially, ISIS lacked traditional air power. Instead, the organization would lay claim to stocks owned by the Iraqi Soviet as well as Chinese and American equipments. Fighters with rag-tag collection of weapons offered tactical flexibility against ISIS’s foes. Air strikes did not hinder ISIS from identifying money making sources. Consequently, it continued to gather stability in war against the West that was threatening its existence (Belanger 471). In 2017, ISIS has received massive support and backing from foreign coalition sponsors. ISIS also holds a huge amount of territory in Syria prompting the organization to grow stronger. Coupled with funds acquired through oil and extortion rackets, ISIS has been able to buy weapons of mass destruction from China and created bombs used against the United States. ISIS also collects taxes, sells electricity and exports oil to gather funds needed in acquiring military based weapons.
Why ISIS Uses Islam Religious Ideologies
ISIS relies on bloodthirsty ideologies to influence Muslims into embracing its goals. According to, ISIS regards itself as more faithful to scripture than ordinary Muslims. As a result, it embraces religious scholars in ranks able to make finely crafted arguments that can be applied to initiate terror attacks and civil wars. Thus, ISIS cynically interprets Islamic ideologies to make poor decisions and identify battlefields out of ignorance. ISIS believes the ignorant Islamic ideologies should be applied to restore the earlier Islamic empire or caliphate in attempts to take over the world. ISIS often quotes Islamic scriptures in some of the clips posted on YouTube. It is believed that ISIS’s leader is a scholar of the Quran as he has a PHD as claimed by his family members and friends. Since leader is deeply pious, he ensures his senior advisers, commanders, and lieutenants are also well versed with the Quran scriptures. Consequently, they play the major role of ensuring other members of the organizations are radicalized (Crooke 1). For example, they encourage Muslims to embrace hatred towards people and nations fighting the organization’s existence. Eventually, ISIS embraces radicalized Muslim members who are well versed with the Quran teachings and ideologies, hence, cannot hesitate to fight for their beliefs. Ultimately, ISIS is a religious organization that relies on poorly interpreted Islamic scriptures to make poor decisions and spread hatred through wars and terror attacks.
Belanger, Adele. A Fight for Statehood? ISIS and Its Quest for Political Domination. E-International Relations, 2015.
Crooke, Alastair. You Can’t Understand ISIS if You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia. Huffingtonpost.com, 2014.