In 2014, ISIS and ISIL merged renaming itself the Islamic State (IS) created a caliphate and claimed absolute authority over all of the world’s Muslims. The Islamic State (IS) was disavowed by Al-Qaeda but has become one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces in Iraq and Syria and encouraging brutal terrorist attacks around the world targeting hotels, embassies, museums, mosques, busy city streets and other civilian targets.
Facts about Islamic State (IS)
Followers of the radical Islamic group Al Qaeda created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL). In 2014 ISIS and ISIL merged to form the Islamic State (IS).
Members of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) are Sunni Muslims who practice Wahhabism, an ultraconservative, extreme form of Islam, the religion of the Muslims.
The Islamic State, like Al-Qaeda, identifies with an Islamic idealogy known as jihadism. A jihad is a holy war fought by Muslims to defend, or spread, their beliefs. Jihadists divide the world into the "realm of Islam" under Islamic Sharia rule and the "realm of war" not under Muslim rule.
Jihadists adhere to the belief that a violent struggle or crusade against Christian 'Infidels' and any other non-believers, by groups and by individuals, is a religious duty of Muslims in order to maintain and spread their religion. Muslim followers engaged in jihad are called mujahideen.
Jihadists believe that killing the enemy or themselves in the process is an act of martyrdom brings a special place in heaven and that the killing of Muslim bystanders or innocent civilians should not impede acts of jihad.
The term Jihadists is used to differentiate its followers from non-violent Sunni Islamists.
In June 2014, the Islamic State (IS) formally declared the establishment of a ‘caliphate’, a state governance in accordance with Islamic law (Sharia), by their God’s deputy on Earth (the caliph). A Caliphate is an Islamic state ruled by a single religious and political leader called the Caliph.
IS demanded that Muslims migrated to lands under IS control, swore allegiance to the caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and that all other jihadist groups across the world accepted the supreme authority of IS.
Al-Qaeda shared a similar ideology to Islamic State but advocated a different strategy focusing on attacking the United States. The Islamic State (IS) prioritized in seizing and holding territory in the Middle East such as Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon together with undertaking terrorist attacks on all Western nations.
The different strategies and divisions resulted in IS being disavowed by Al-Qaeda, although some its factions and affiliations still remain closely allied.
IS has become notorious for its violent struggle with its use of intimidation and brutality which have included mass killings, abductions and beheadings. Many of the events linked to IS are detailed the section below.
The Islamic State (IS) is one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces in Iraq and Syria and organizing terrorist attacks across the world.
The Islamic State is still often referred to as ISIS or ISIL. Just to add to the confusion regarding names, the derogatory term "Daesh" is now being used to describe supporters of the Islamic State.
The name "Daesh" is an acronym taken from the initial letters of the group's previous name in Arabic, "al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa al-Sham". The word "Daesh" sounds similar to an Arabic verb that means to tread underfoot, trample, or crush something which is why Islamic State (IS) supporters object to its use.
The rise of the Islamic State has energized the jihadi movement, attracting tens of thousands of young Muslims around the globe.
The Islamic State has been condemned by the United Nations (UN) for committing numerous crimes against humanity in Iraq and Syria, and is likely to remain a worldwide threat for many years to come.
Islamic State (IS) Facts for kids
2014: June 10, 2014 The taking of Mosul in Iraq allowed ISIS and ISIL to create a caliphate, rename itself the Islamic State (IS) and claim absolute authority over all Muslims.
2014: 20 June, 2014: The United Nations (UN) announced that over 1 million Iraqis had been forced from their homes.
2014: June 29, 2014: ISIS announces the creation of the caliphate (Islamic state) making Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (known as Caliph Ibrahim) the self-declared authority over the world's estimated 1.5 billion Muslims. The group also announces a name change to the Islamic State (IS).
2014: June 30, 2014: The Pentagon announces the United States is sending an additional 300 troops to Iraq
2014: Islamic State (IS) called on supporters around the world to take action in retaliation for air strikes in Iraq and Syria.
2014: ISIL covertly invaded Syria and the Levant and began participating in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.
2014: August 8, 2014: The US began to reengage in Iraq with a series of air strikes aimed at ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
2014: August 19, 2014: A video posted on YouTube with a man speaking in British accent, dubbed 'Jihadi John', shows U.S. journalist James Foley beheaded by ISIS militants.
2014: September 2, 2014: ISIS release a video showing the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.
2014: September 13, 2014: ISIS release a video showing the execution of British aid worker David Haines beheading of hostage Alan Henning
2014: September 25, 2014: Algerian ISIS militants kidnap and behead a French tourist
2014: October 22, 2014: Canadian parliament shootings resulting in the death of a Canadian soldier
2014: November 16, 2014: The murder another American aid worker, Peter Kassig.
2014: December 16, 2014: Three hostages killed at a cafe siege in Sydney, Australia
2015: January 7, 2015: Ten journalists and two policemen killed at the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris
2015: January 27, 2015: Assault on Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya in which 5 foreign visitors were killed
2015: February 20 2015: Three simultaneous ISIS in suicide car bomb explosion kills at least 30 and injures more than 40 in Gobba, Libya.
2015: March 18, 2015: Tunisia Museum Attack at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis killing 21 people
2015: June 19, 2015: The US State Department issued its annual terrorism report, declaring that ISIS was becoming a greater threat than Al Qaeda (also refer to the War in Afghanistan).
2015: June 26, 2015: Kuwait Shiite mosque bombing kills 27 and injures 227.
2015: June 26, 2015: Tunisia Attack kills 38 tourists at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse, Tunisia
2015: July 4, 2015: ISIS militants execute 25 captives in the Syrian city of Palmyra.
2015: July 7, 2015: Cairo embassy explosion at the Italian Consulate in Egypt
2015: July 19, 2015: Iraq ice truck bombing in Khan Bani Saad kills 120
2015: August 2015 - ISIS destroys antiquities in the historic city of Palmyra in Syria, including the nearly 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshami.
2015: October 14, 2015: The US began deploying 300 military personnel to Cameroon to support African forces in a non-combat role in their fight against ISIS insurgency
2015: September 24, 2015: Yemen mosque bombing. The Sana'a mosque bombings in Yemen led to the death of 142 and injury of 351 people
2015: 12 Nov 2015 - British ISIS militant Jihadi John, real name is Mohammed Emwazi, is killed
2015: November 13, 2015: Paris terror attacks in which suicide bombers hit six locations killing 129 with 352 others wounded, 99 of them critically
2015: October 31, 2015: Russian airliner carrying 224 people brought down over Sinai
2016: January 9, 2016: ISIS attack at the Bella Vista Resort in Hurghada, Egypt - 3 European tourists injured
2016: January 14, 2016: Seven people killed during Jakarta attack in Indonesia.
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