Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
|Part of a series on|
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; / /,), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS; //), officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and also known by its Arabic-language acronym Daesh (Arabic: داعش, romanized: Dāʿish, IPA: [ˈdaːʕɪʃ]), is a terrorist militant group and a former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi jihadist doctrine of Sunni Islam. ISIL gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.
The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations as well as by many international organisations and individual countries. ISIL is widely 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. ISIL also committed ethnic cleansing on a historic and unprecedented scale in northern Iraq.
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 caliphate and began referring to itself as the Islamic State (الدولة الإسلامية ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah; IS). As a caliphate, it claimed religious, political, and military authority over all Muslims worldwide. 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.
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, 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. 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.
In mid-2014, an international coalition led by the United States intervened against ISIL in Syria and Iraq with a massive airstrike campaign, in addition to supplying advisors, weapons, training, and supplies to ISIL's enemies in the Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces. This campaign reinvigorated the latter two forces and dealt a huge blow to the nascent Islamist proto-state, killing tens of thousands of ISIL troops and dealing significant damage to their financial and military infrastructure. This was soon followed by a smaller-scale Russian intervention exclusively in Syria, in which ISIL lost thousands more fighters to airstrikes, cruise missile attacks, and other Russian military activities and had its financial base even further degraded. In July 2017, the group lost control of its largest city, Mosul, to the Iraqi army, followed by the loss of its de facto political capital of Raqqa to the Syrian Democratic Forces. Following these major defeats, 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. US 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. On 10 December 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, said that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of the Islamic State from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq's territory. By 23 March 2019, ISIL lost one of their last significant territories in the Middle East in the Deir ez-Zor campaign, surrendering their "tent city" and pockets in Al-Baghuz Fawqani to the Syrian Democratic Forces at the end of the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL since 2013, later killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during a raid into the rebel-held Idlib province of Syria conducted by U.S. special forces on 27 October 2019. On 31 October, ISIL media announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi to be Baghdadi's successor.
In April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām (الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام). As 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", "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (both abbreviated as ISIS), or "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (abbreviated as ISIL).
While the use of either one or the other acronym has been the subject of debate, 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 (داعش), or Daesh. This name has been widely used by ISIL's Arabic-speaking detractors,[clarification needed] 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"). Within areas under its control, ISIL considers use of the name Daesh punishable by flogging or cutting out the tongue.
In late June 2014, the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah (lit. 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. 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.
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, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom 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'." 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.
Purpose and strategy
ISIL is a theocracy, proto-state and a Salafi or Wahhabi group. ISIL's ideology represents radical Salafi Islam, a strict, puritanical form of Sunni Islam. Muslim organisations like Islamic Networks Group (ING) in America have argued against this interpretation of Islam. ISIL promotes religious violence, and regards Muslims who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates. 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". 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.
For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State ... are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group's territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.— David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times
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. Bernard Haykel has described ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism". Senior Saudi religious leaders have issued statements condemning ISIL and attempting to distance the group from official Saudi religious beliefs.
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.
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. ISIL believes that it will defeat the army of "Rome" at the town of Dabiq..ISIL also believes that after al-Baghdadi there will be only four more legitimate caliphs.
The noted scholar of militant Islamism Will McCants writes:
References to the End Times fill Islamic State propaganda. It's a big selling point with foreign fighters, who want to travel to the lands where the final battles of the apocalypse will take place. The civil wars raging in those countries today [Iraq and Syria] lend credibility to the prophecies. The Islamic State has stoked the apocalyptic fire. [...] For Bin Laden's generation, the apocalypse wasn't a great recruiting pitch. Governments in the Middle East two decades ago were more stable, and sectarianism was more subdued. It was better to recruit by calling to arms against corruption and tyranny than against the Antichrist. Today, though, the apocalyptic recruiting pitch makes more sense than before.— William McCants, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State
Since at latest 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state. 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).
ISIL has detailed its goals in its Dabiq magazine, saying it will continue to seize land and take over the entire Earth until its:
Blessed flag...covers all eastern and western extents of the Earth, filling the world with the truth and justice of Islam and putting an end to the falsehood and tyranny of jahiliyyah [state of ignorance], even if America and its coalition despise such.— 5th edition of Dabiq, the Islamic State's English-language magazine
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.
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.
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".
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. Jason Burke, a journalist writing on Salafi jihadism, has written that ISIL's goal is to "terrorize, mobilize [and] polarize". 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". 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."
A work published online in 2004 entitled Management of Savagery (Idarat at Tawahoush), described by several media outlets as influential on ISIL and intended to provide a strategy to create a new Islamic caliphate, 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."
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 2016 Berlin truck attack, the 6 June 2017 attacks on Tehran, the 22 May 2017 bombing in Manchester, and the 3 June 2017 attacks in London that ISIL claimed credit for).
Raqqa in Syria was under ISIL control from 2013 and in 2014 it became the group's de facto capital city. 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
From 2013 to 2019, ISIL was 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) 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. 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. 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".
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. 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." 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. 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.
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-Adnani until his death by airstrike in late August 2016.
On 27 October 2019 al-Baghdadi was targeted by US military and died after he detonated a suicide vest in Barisha, Idlib, Northwest Syria. U.S. President Donald Trump stated in a televised announcement that Baghdadi had in fact raid during the operation and that American forces used support from helicopters, jets and drones through airspace controlled by Russia and Turkey.  He said that "Russia treated us great... Iraq was excellent. We really had great cooperation" and Turkey knew they were going in. He thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the Syrian Kurdish forces for their support. The Turkish Defence Ministry also confirmed on Sunday that Turkish and U.S. military authorities exchanged and coordinated information ahead of an attack in Syria's Idlib. Fahrettin Altun, a senior aide to Turkish President Tayyib Erdogan, also stated, among other things, that "Turkey was proud to help the United States, our NATO ally, bring a notorious terrorist to justice" and that Turkey "will continue to work closely with the United States and others to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations." Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to say if the United States had told Russia about the raid in advance but said that its result, if confirmed, represented a serious contribution by the United States to combat terrorism. Russia had previously claimed Baghdadi was killed in May 2019 by their air strike, however Russia TV stated the news of his death on October 27, 2019 is the first to be confirmed.
In September 2019, a statement attributed to ISIL's propaganda arm, the Amaq news agency, claimed that Abdullah Qardash was named as al-Baghdadi's successor. Analysts dismissed this statement as a fabrication, and relatives were reported as saying that Qardash died in 2017. Rita Katz, a terrorism analyst and the co-founder of SITE Intelligence, noted that the alleged statement used a different font when compared to other statements and it was never distributed on Amaq or ISIL channels.
On 29 October 2019, Trump stated on social media that al-Baghdadi's "number one replacement" had been killed by American forces, without giving a name. A U.S. official later confirmed that Trump was referring to ISIL spokesman and senior leader Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria two days earlier. On 31 October, ISIL named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi as Baghdadi's successor.
Civilians in ISIL-controlled areas
In 2014 The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million people lived in the Islamic State. 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". Civilians, as well as the Islamic State itself, have released footage of some of the human rights abuses.
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.
Number of combatants
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 relies mostly on captured weapons with major sources including Saddam Hussein's Iraqi stockpiles from the 2003–11 Iraq insurgency 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. 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. Ninety percent of the group's weapons ultimately originated in China, Russia or Eastern Europe according to Conflict Armament Research.
The group uses truck and car bombs, suicide bombers and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to convert them into weapons. 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. 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.
During the Battle of Mosul, commercially available quadcopters and drones were being used by ISIL as surveillance and weapons delivery platforms using improvised cradles to drop grenades and other explosives. One ISIL drone base was struck and destroyed by two Royal Air Force Tornado using two Paveway IV guided bombs.
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.
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". In 2015, it was estimated that western women made up over 550, or 10%, of ISIL's western foreign fighters.
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.
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. Equality for women is opposed, as is education on non-religious subjects, the "worthless worldly sciences".
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.
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. It began to expand its media presence in 2013, with the formation of a second media wing, Al-I'tisam Media Foundation, in March and the Ajnad Foundation for Media Production, specialising in nasheeds and audio content, in August. In mid-2014, ISIL established the Al Hayat Media Center, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French. 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. Then FBI Director James Comey said that ISIL's "propaganda is unusually slick," noting that, "They are broadcasting... in something like 23 languages".
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. Al-Hayat also began publishing other digital magazines, including the Turkish language Konstantiniyye, the Ottoman word for Istanbul, and the French language Dar al-Islam. 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).
ISIL's use of social media has been described by one expert as "probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies". It regularly uses social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its messages. The group uses the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram to disseminate images, videos and updates.
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. 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.
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 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 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. 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.
In mid-2014, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service obtained information that ISIL had assets worth US$2 billion, making it the richest jihadist group in the world. About three-quarters of this sum was said to looted from Mosul's central bank and commercial banks in the city. However, doubt was later cast on whether ISIL was able to retrieve anywhere near that sum from the central bank, and even on whether the looting had actually occurred.
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. 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.
The group was founded in 1999 by Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād (lit. "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.
Territorial control and claims
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".
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. 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, Bangladesh and the Philippines, but it has not announced any further official branches, instead identifying new affiliates as simply "soldiers of the caliphate".
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.
Classification as a terrorist organisation
Many countries and international bodies have officially designated ISIL as a terrorist organisation.
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'." 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 § Classification). Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL (see § 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.
The group's declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy has been disputed by Middle Eastern governments, by Sunni Muslim theologians and historians as well as other jihadist groups.
Religious leaders and organisations
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.
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. Other scholars have also described the group not as Sunnis, but as Khawarij. 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.
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". In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily Sufi—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. "[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". 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.
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". 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, 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".
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.
Whether Sunni or Shia, Salafi or Sufi, conservative or liberal, Muslims – and Muslim leaders – have almost unanimously condemned and denounced ISIL not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic.
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".
Theologian and Qatar-based TV broadcaster 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. He also stated on his official website "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". 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."
Academics Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel of The New Yorker have criticized ISIL's execution of Muslims for breach of traditional sharia law while violating it simultaneously themselves (encouraging women to emigrate to its territory, travelling without a Wali—male guardian—and in violation of his wishes). as well as 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).
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". 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.
Other jihadist groups
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. ISIL is widely denounced by a broad range of Islamic clerics, including Saudi and al-Qaeda-oriented clerics. 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." 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.
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."
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. 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.
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.
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". The main criticism of defectors from ISIL has been that the group is fighting and killing other Sunni Muslims, as opposed to just non-Sunnis being brutalised. In one case, a supposed defector from ISIL executed two activists of a Syrian opposition group in Turkey who had sheltered them.
Operations Targeting Terrorists
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."
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."
Designation as a terrorist organisation
|United Nations||18 October 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)
30 May 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
|United Nations Security Council|||
|European Union||2004||EU Council (via adoption of UN al-Qaeda Sanctions List)|||
|United Kingdom||March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)
20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
|United States||17 December 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)||United States Department of State|||
|Australia||2 March 2005 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)
14 December 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
|Attorney-General for Australia|||
|Canada||20 August 2012||Parliament of Canada|||
|Turkey||30 October 2013||Grand National Assembly of Turkey|||
|Saudi Arabia||7 March 2014||Royal decree of the King of Saudi Arabia|||
|Indonesia||1 August 2014||Counter-Terrorism National Agency (BNPT)|||
|United Arab Emirates||20 August 2014||United Arab Emirates Cabinet|||
|Malaysia||24 September 2014||Ministry of Foreign Affairs|||
|Switzerland||8 October 2014||Swiss Federal Council|||
|Egypt||30 November 2014||The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters|||
|India||16 December 2014||Ministry of Home Affairs|||
|Russian Federation||29 December 2014||Supreme Court of Russia|||
|Kyrgyzstan||25 March 2015||Kyrgyz State Committee of National Security|||
|Trinidad and Tobago|||
|Pakistan||29 August 2015||Ministry of Interior|||
|Japan||Public Security Intelligence Agency|||
|Republic of China (Taiwan)||26 November 2015||National Security Bureau|||
|People's Republic of China||Ministry of Public Security|||
|Venezuela||4 September 2019||National Assembly of Venezuela|||
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. 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.
Many 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, 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." Being a member of ISIL is also illegal in accordance with § 129a and § 129b of the German criminal code.
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.
In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL after the arrest of an operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account.
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.
By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia in addition to a terrorist group and a cult. 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
not a terrorism problem anymore, [but rather] an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they are taking terrain. They have shadow governments in and around Baghdad, and they have an aspirational goal to govern. I don't know whether they want to control Baghdad, or if they want to destroy the functions of the Iraqi state, but either way the outcome will be disastrous for Iraq.
Lewis has called ISIL
an advanced military leadership. They have incredible command and control and they have a sophisticated reporting mechanism from the field that can relay tactics and directives up and down the line. They are well-financed, and they have big sources of manpower, not just the foreign fighters, but also prisoner escapees.
Former 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.
In actuality, Isis is the canniest of all traders in the flourishing international economy of disaffection: the most resourceful among all those who offer the security of collective identity to isolated and fearful individuals. It promises, along with others who retail racial, national and religious supremacy, to release the anxiety and frustrations of the private life into the violence of the global.
On 28 January 2017, President Donald Trump 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.
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. 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. In most of these countries, concerns about Islamic extremism have been growing.
Countries and groups at war with ISIL
ISIL'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
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, 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:
- Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;
- Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
- Cutting off ISIL/Daesh's access to financing and funding;
- Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and
- 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 Pentagon, by December 2017 over 80,000 ISIL fighters had been killed in Iraq and Syria by CJTF-OIR airstrikes. By then the coalition had flown over 170,000 sorties, 75-80% of combat sorties were conducted by the military of the United States, with the other 20-25% by Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. 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 by the end of 2017.
Lebanon, which the U.S. considers part of the Global Coalition, fought off several incursions by ISIL, with the largest engagements taking place from June 2014 to August 2017, when several thousand ISIL fighters invaded from Syria and occupied Lebanese territory. The U.S. and U.K.-backed Lebanese Army succeeded in repulsing this invasion, killing or capturing over 1,200 ISIL fighters in the process.
On December 21, 2019, over 33 Islamist militants were killed in Mali by French forces using attack helicopters, drones and ground troops, alongside the border with Mauritania where an Al-Qaeda-linked group operates.
Other state opponents not part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition
Russia – 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. Security operations within state borders in 2015. Airstrikes in Syria (see Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War).
Other non-state opponents
- al-Nusra Front—with localised truces and co-operation at times
- al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
- al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
- Kurdistan Workers' Party—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Syrian Kurdistan
- Syrian Democratic Forces
- Nineveh Plain Protection Units – an Assyrian Christian militia in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq and Syria
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. There have been media reports that many of al-Nusra's foreign fighters have left to join al-Baghdadi's ISIL.
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.
The two groups [ISIL and al-Nusra] share a nihilistic worldview, a loathing for modernity, and for the West. They subscribe to the same perverted interpretations of Islam. Other common traits include a penchant for suicide attacks, and sophisticated exploitation of the internet and social media. Like ISIL, several Al Qaeda franchises are interested in taking and holding territory; AQAP has been much less successful at it. The main differences between Al Qaeda and ISIL are largely political—and personal. Over the past decade, Al Qaeda has twice embraced ISIL (and its previous manifestations) as brothers-in-arms.
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". 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.
Human rights abuse and war crime findings
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." By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war and over 1,000 civilians.
In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity. 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."
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".
- Islamic State of Iraq
- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province
- Violent extremism
- List of armed groups in the Iraqi Civil War
- List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War
- List of wars and battles involving ISIL
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Islamic Military Alliance
- Rape during the Syrian Civil War
- Damascus Time
- It's On U
- Gander, Kashmira (7 July 2015). "Isis flag: What do the words mean and what are its origins?". The Independent.
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (29 January 2019). "New video message from The Islamic State: "Fulfilling the Promise – Wilāyat al-'Irāq, Kirkūk"".
- "Statement of ISIS – The Battle of Brussels". Investigativeproject.org (in Arabic).
- "ISIS ID CARD". gdb.rferl.org.
- Pool, Jeffrey (16 December 2004). "Zarqawi's Pledge of Allegiance to Al-Qaeda: From Mu'Asker Al-Battar, Issue 21". Terrorism Monitor. Vol. 2 no. 24. Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
- "Al-Qaeda disavows ISIS militants in Syria". BBC News. 3 February 2014.
- Holmes, Oliver (3 February 2014). "Al Qaeda breaks link with Syrian militant group ISIL". Reuters.
- Laskar, Rezaul H. (29 January 2015). "IS announces expansion into AfPak, parts of India". Hindustan Times.
- Elbagir, Nima; Cruickshank, Paul; Tawfeeq, Mohammed (7 March 2015). "Boko Haram purportedly pledges allegiance to ISIS". CNN.
- Gambhir, Harleen (23 June 2015). "ISIS Declares Governorate in Russia's North Caucasus Region". Institute for the Study of War.
- "Islamic State". Australian National Security. Australian Government. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "The Islamic State". Mapping Militant Organizations. Stanford University. 23 January 2015.
- Saltman, Erin Marie; Winter, Charlie (November 2014). Islamic State: The Changing Face of Modern Jihadism (PDF) (Report). Quilliam. ISBN 978-1-906603-98-4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2015.
- Crooke, Alastair (5 September 2014). "You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia". HuffPost.
- Arnstrong, Karen (27 November 2014). "Wahhabism to ISIS: How Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism". New Statesman. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
- "Islamic State confirms Baghdadi is dead, appoints successor". Reuters. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- Rubin, Alissa J. (5 July 2014). "Militant Leader in Rare Appearance in Iraq". The New York Times.
- Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad (24 January 2016). "An Account of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi & Islamic State Succession Lines". Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog.
- "Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli". Rewards for Justice. United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. 5 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- Schmidt, Michael (25 March 2016). "A Top ISIS Leader Is Killed in an Airstrike, the Pentagon Says". The New York Times.
- Laghmari, Jihen; Alexander, Caroline; Follain, John (16 March 2016). "Islamic State Spreads in North Africa in Attacks Ignored by West". Bloomberg News.
- "ISIS Leadership". Frontline. PBS. 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Chulov, Martin (31 August 2016). "Abu Muhammad al-Adnani's death does not signal the demise of Isis". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- Lister, Charles (2014). "Islamic State Senior Leadership: Who's Who" (PDF). Brookings Institution. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2016.
- "Here's What We Know About the 'Caliph' of the New Islamic State". Business Insider. AFP. 29 June 2014.
- "ISIS Spokesman Declares Caliphate, Rebrands Group as Islamic State". Jihadist News. SITE Intelligence Group. 29 June 2014.
- "Pentagon Confirms U.S. Strike in Syria Killed ISIL Leader". DoD News. United States Department of Defense. 12 September 2016.
- Garland, Chad (14 July 2016). "Islamic State says top commander is dead; Pentagon unsure". Stars and Stripes.
- Worley, Will (13 July 2016). "Isis confirms death of hugely popular 'minister of war' Omar al-Shishani". The Independent.
- Starr, Barbara (15 March 2016). "U.S. assesses ISIS operative Omar al-Shishani is dead". CNN.
- "Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili". Rewards for Justice. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. 5 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- "Isis: US-trained Tajik special forces chief Gulmurod Khalimov becomes Isis 'war minister'". International Business Times. 6 September 2016.
- "Isis's propaganda chief, Dr. Wa'il, killed in airstrike, Pentagon confirms". The Guardian. Reuters. 16 September 2016.
- "Islamic State group names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi". BBC News. 31 October 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
- "ISIS 'essentially moved' its Syria HQ from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor province". RT. 23 April 2017.
- "Syrian army captures Mayadin from ISIS near Deir ez-Zor". Rudaw. 14 October 2017.
- Benhaida, Sarah; al-Rubaye, Ahmad (26 October 2017). "Iraq forces launch 'last big fight' against IS". Rudaw.
- "Anti-IS forces converge on Syria border town". Agence France-Presse. 4 November 2017 – via Yahoo News.
- "Syrian army & allies capture last major ISIS held town in Syria". RT. Russia: TV-Novosti. 4 November 2017.
- Bussoletti, Francesco (29 June 2018). "Syria, the Isis pockets of resistance at Deir Ezzor are reduced to two". Difesa & Sicurezza.
- Aboufadel, Leith (13 December 2018). "Breaking: SDF captures Daesh's de facto capital in Syria".
- "US-backed fighters seize east Syria village from ISIS". The National.
- Aboufadel, Leith (24 January 2019). "ISIL's reign over eastern Euphrates nearing its end – map". Al-Masdar News.
- Callimachi, Rukmini (24 January 2019). "Down to Its Last 2 Villages in Syria, ISIS Still Fights Back". The New York Times.
- Aboufadel, Leith (7 February 2019). "ISIS squeezed into last areas as SDF troops capture 2 villages east of the Euphrates (MAP)". Al-Masdar News.
- Hussein, Rikar (9 February 2019). "US-backed Fighters Launch Final Push to Defeat IS in Syria". Voice of America.
- "US-allied Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State". The Washington Post. 23 March 2019.
- Cockburn, Patrick (16 November 2014). "War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims senior Kurdish leader". The Independent.
- Gartenstein-Ross-ROSS, Daveed (9 February 2015). "How many Fighters Does the Islamic State Really Have?". War on the Rocks.
- "Saddam's former army is secret of Baghdadi's success". Reuters. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- "Operation Inherent Resolve and other overseas contingency operations" (PDF). US Department of Defense. 31 December 2018.
- "Briefing With Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey". state.gov. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
- Shinkman, Paul D. (27 December 2017). "ISIS By the Numbers in 2017". U.S. News & World Report.
- Jones, Seth G.; Dobbins, James; Byman, Daniel; et al. (2017). "Rolling Back the Islamic State". RAND Corporation. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- "México aparece entre los países amenazados por el ISIS" [Mexico appears among the countries threatened by ISIS]. El País (in Spanish). Madrid: Prisa. 25 November 2015.
- Farmer, Ben; Mehsud, Saleem (15 July 2018). "ISIS targets Taliban in fight for Afghanistan". Thenational.ae.
- Khettab, Djamila Ould (30 December 2015). "Algeria a 'symbolic target' for ISIL". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network.
- "OKRA Home". Global Operations. Department of Defense – Government of Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
- Porter, Tom (13 September 2014). "Isis Use Picture of \'Cyclops Baby\' to Recruit Fighters for Apocalyptic Battle". International Business Times.
- Stonington, Joel (9 September 2014). "Is This Cyclops Baby the Muslim Antichrist?". Vocativ.
- Romero, Simon; Schmidt, Michael (1 August 2016). "As ISIS Posts in Portuguese, U.S. and Brazil Bolster Olympics Security". The New York Times.
- "Operation IMPACT". National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
- Osbourne, Samuel (1 March 2017). "Isis threatens China and vows to 'shed blood like rivers'". The Independent.
- "Fiji Joins US-Led Coalition Against Daesh – Spokesperson". Sputnik. 12 September 2018.
- "Germany to strip dual-nationals who fight for Isis of citizenship". Financial Times.[full citation needed]
- Kalmouki, Nikoleta (25 September 2014). "Greece Brings War Against the Islamic State".
- "L'Italia pronta a bombardare Isis in Iraq. La Difesa: ipotesi da valutare". Corriere della Sera. 6 October 2015.
- Kumenov, Almaz (14 May 2019). "Kazakhstan evacuates citizens from Syria, arrests some". Eurasianet.
- "Pro-Isis hackers attack North Korean airline Facebook page". The Guardian. AFP. 14 January 2015.
- Paraszczuk, Joanna (15 March 2015). "Kyrgyzstan Bans IS, Designates It As Terror Group". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
- Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (20 July 2018). "Malaysia launches crackdown on Isis after threats to kill the king and prime minister". The Guardian.
- Ucko, David H. (28 December 2017). "Trouble in Paradise: Mauritus Tries to Ward off Islamic Radicalization". World Politics Review.
- "Islamic State group: Nicaragua arrests four suspected members". BBC News. 26 June 2019.
- Johnson, Bridget (30 December 2018). "Barcelona Terror Alert Coincides with New Spanish-Language ISIS Threats". Homeland Security Today.
- "Sri Lanka bombings: Isis claims responsibility for deadly church and hotel attacks on Easter Sunday". The Independent. 23 April 2019.
- Callimachi, Rukmini; Kramer, Andrew E. (31 July 2018). "Video Purports to Show Tajikistan Attackers Pledging Allegiance to ISIS". The New York Times.
- McAdams, John (7 August 2017). "The President of Turkmenistans Anti-ISIS Propaganda Video is Straight out of an '80s Action Movie". Wide Open Spaces.
- "Uzbekistan to receive and rehabilitate 148 women and children from ISIS". AlShahidWitness.com. 3 June 2019.
- Juan Guaidó [@jguaido] (4 September 2019). "Desde la @AsambleaVE hemos declarado a la disidencia de las FARC, ELN, Hamas, Hezbollah e ISIS como grupos terroristas, ordenándoles a todos los cuerpos de seguridad del Estado proteger nuestra soberanía e integridad territorial frente a la amenaza que representan estos grupos" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Badr Organization Destroys ISIS Car Bomb". Military.com. 5 June 2015.
- Illingworth, Andrew (22 December 2017). "Combat footage: Iraqi forces battle ISIS in east Syria". Al Masdar News.
- Musa, Rami (10 June 2015). "Al-Qaida-linked militants attack IS affiliate in Libya". Military Times.
- Farmer, Ben (24 January 2019). "Taliban agree Isil and Al-Qaeda will be barred from Afghanistan in major concession during talks with US". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited.
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (June 2014). The War between ISIS and al-Qaeda for Supremacy of the Global Jihadist Movement (PDF). Research Notes (Report). 20. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- Tharoor, Ishaan (18 June 2014). "ISIS or ISIL? The debate over what to call Iraq's terror group". The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Schwartz, Felica (23 December 2014). "One More Name for Islamic State: Daesh". The Wall Street Journal.
- Guthrie, Alice (19 February 2015). "Decoding Daesh: Why is the new name for ISIS so hard to understand?". Free Word Centre. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- "ISIL defeated in final Syria victory: SDF". Al Jazeera. 23 March 2019.
• Wedeman, Ben; Said-Moorhouse, Lauren (23 March 2019). "ISIS has lost its final stronghold in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces says". CNN.
• Frantzman, Seth J. "After ISIS 'defeat,' what comes next? – Analysis". The Jerusalem Post.
• McKernan, Bethan (23 March 2019). "Isis defeated, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announce". The Guardian.
• Callimachi, Rukmini (23 March 2019). "ISIS Caliphate Crumbles as Last Village in Syria Falls". The New York Times.
- al-Ibrahim, Fouad (22 August 2014). "Why ISIS is a threat to Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism's deferred promise". Al Akhbar. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014.
- Dolgov, Boris (23 September 2014). "Islamic State and the policy of the West". Oriental Review.
• Wilson, Rodney (2015). Islam and Economic Policy. Edinburgh University Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-7486-8389-5.
• Cockburn, Patrick (3 March 2016). "End Times for the Caliphate?". London Review of Books. Vol. 38 no. 5. pp. 29–30.
• Pastukhov, Dmitry; Greenwold, Nathaniel. "Does Islamic State have the economic and political institutions for future development?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
• Pedler, John (2015). A Word Before Leaving: A Former Diplomat's Weltanschauung. Troubador. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-78462-223-7.
• Kerr, Michael; Larkin, Craig (2015). The Alawis of Syria: War, Faith and Politics in the Levant. Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-19-045811-9.
- "John Kerry holds talks in Iraq as more cities fall to ISIS militants". CNN. 23 June 2014.
- Al-Salhy, Suadad; Arango, Tim (10 June 2014). "Sunni Militants Drive Iraqi Army Out of Mosul". The New York Times.
- Arango, Tim (3 August 2014). "Sunni Extremists in Iraq Seize 3 Towns From Kurds and Threaten Major Dam". The New York Times.
- "A Short History Of ISIS Propaganda Videos". The World Post. 11 March 2015.
- al-Taie, Khalid (13 February 2015). "Iraq churches, mosques under ISIL attack". Al-Shorfa. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015.
- Larson, Nina (14 November 2014). "UN probe: ISIS committing 'crimes against humanity' in Syria". The Daily Star. Beirut, Lebanon.
- "Ethnic cleansing on a historic scale: The Islamic State's systematic targeting of minorities in northern Iraq" (PDF). Amnesty International. 2 September 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2015.
- Roggio, Bill (29 June 2014). "ISIS announces formation of Caliphate, rebrands as 'Islamic State'". Long War Journal.
- Withnall, Adam (29 June 2014). "Iraq crisis: Isis changes name and declares its territories a new Islamic state with 'restoration of caliphate' in Middle East". The Independent. London.
- "What is Islamic State?". BBC News. 26 September 2014.
- "What does ISIS' declaration of a caliphate mean?". Al Akhbar. 30 June 2014. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019.. See also: Kadi, Wadad; Shahin, Aram A. "Caliph, caliphate". In Bowering (2013).
- Akyol, Mustafa (21 December 2015). "A Medieval Antidote to ISIS". The New York Times.
- Birke, Sarah (5 February 2017). "How ISIS Rules". The New York Review of Books.
- "Islamic State and the crisis in Iraq and Syria in maps". BBC News. 18 October 2016.
- "Exclusive: In turf war with Afghan Taliban, Islamic State loyalists gain ground". Reuters. 29 June 2015.
- "Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State". Reuters. 18 November 2014.
- Zavadski, Katie (23 November 2014). "ISIS Now Has a Network of Military Affiliates in 11 Countries Around the World". New York.
- Gerges, Fawaz A. (2016). A History of ISIS. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9780691170008.
- "Once promised paradise, ISIS fighters end up in mass graves". The Straits Times. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria (Report). US Department of Defense. 9 August 2017.
- "42 months of Russian operations on the Syrian territory kill more than 8000 civilians including more than 18150 people in their raids and shelling". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 30 March 2019.
- "US created Daesh, allowed regional states to fund terror group: Nasrallah". Press TV. 11 July 2017. Archived from the original on 11 July 2017.
- Suomenaro, Matti; Stockert, Ellen; Casagrande, Genevieve (13 August 2017). "Russia's Syria Mirage: July 17 - August 13, 2017". Institute for Study of War.
- "ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territory, officials say". Fox32Chicago. WFLD. 26 December 2017.
- "Islamic State completely 'evicted' from Iraq, Iraqi PM says". The Age. 10 December 2017.
- "Al-Baghdadi Killed in Idlib, a Hotbed of Terror Groups, Foreign Fighters". VOA News. 27 October 2019.
- "US targeted ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: US officials". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- Browne, Ryan; Mattingly, Phil (27 October 2019). Zeleny, Jeff; Liptak, Kevin; Diamond, Jeremy (eds.). "ISIS leader al-Baghdadi believed to have been killed in a US military raid, sources say". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- Lubold, Gordon; Abdulrahim, Raja (27 October 2019). "Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Dead, Trump Says". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed in US raid, says Donald Trump - latest updates". The Guardian. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- Chulov, Martin (31 October 2019). "Islamic State names new leader after death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- Irshaid, Faisal (2 December 2015). "Isis, Isil, IS or Daesh? One group, many names". BBC. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "AlQaeda in Iraq confirms Syria's Nusra Front is part of its network". Al Arabiya English. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Saxena, Vivek (18 June 2014). "ISIS vs ISIL – Which One Is It?". The Inquisitr. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Terrorist Designations of Groups Operating in Syria". United States Department of State. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- "Isis, Isil or Da'ish? What to call militants in Iraq". BBC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- Randal, Collin. "Why Does a Simple Word like Daesh Disturb Extremists so Much". The National. Abu Dhabi. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Abouzeid, Rania (16 January 2014). "Syria's uprising within an uprising". European Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- Vultaggio, Maria (16 November 2015). "ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State, Daesh: What's The Difference?". International Business Times.
- Moore, Jack (2 July 2014). "Iraq Crisis: Senior Jordan Jihadist Slams Isis Caliphate". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Mandhai, Shafik (7 July 2014). "Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi's caliphate". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- "Iraq's Baghdadi calls for 'holy war'". Al Jazeera. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Statement by the President on ISIL". White House. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "United Nations Official Document". United Nations. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Pugliese, David. "Details about the Canadian government's motion about going to war against ISIL". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Turkish government files motion to Parliament to fight ISIL". Andalou Agency. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Australia says ready to strike ISIL in Iraq". Al Jazeera. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Russia urges Iran's participation in anti-ISIL battle". Press TV. 28 September 2014. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "ISIL: UK government response". Government of the United Kingdom. 13 October 2014.
- Taylor, Adam (17 September 2014). "France is ditching the 'Islamic State' name—and replacing it with a label the group hates". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Yuhasin, Alan (19 December 2014). "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. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Tobey, Mark (2015). The ISIS Crisis: What You Really Need to Know. chapter 6 reference 13: Moody. ISBN 978-0-8024-9321-7.
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.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Belanger-McMurdo, Adele. "A Fight for Statehood? ISIS and Its Quest for Political Domination".
Nevertheless, ISIS is neither a terrorist organization nor a political party; instead, it is a theocratic proto-state.
- Caldwell, Dan (2016). Seeking Security in an Insecure World. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 195.
It is a theocratic state that considers itself unbound by the Westphalian principle of sovereignty with its corollaries of nonaggression and nonintervention
- Hassan, Hassan (24 January 2015). "The secret world of Isis training camps – ruled by sacred texts and the sword". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Bradley, Matt (1 February 2015). "Islamic State Affiliate Takes Root Amid Libya's Chaos". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Teti, Isabella Frances (6 November 2016). "The 'ISIS Phenomenon'". PennState Presidential Leadership Academy. Pennsylvania State University.
- "INGYouth: Frequently Asked Questions". ING. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- Prusher, Ilene (9 September 2014). "What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group". Time. Archived from the original on 9 September 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Speckhard, Anne (29 August 2014). "Endtimes Brewing". Huffington Post (UK). Archived from the original on 17 September 2014.
- Kirkpatrick, David (24 September 2014). "ISIS Harsh Brand of Islam Is Rooted in Austere Saudi Creed". The New York Times.
- "Crime and punishment in Saudi Arabia: The other beheaders". The Economist. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Staff writer (19 August 2014). "'ISIS is enemy No. 1 of Islam,' says Saudi grand mufti". Al Arabiyah News English. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Staff writer. "Some Saudi clerics condemn Isil but preach intolerance". Gulf News (10 September 2014). Reuters. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Mamouri, Ali (29 July 2014). "Why Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Wood, Graeme (15 February 2015). "What ISIS Really Wants". The Atlantic. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- McCants, William (2015). The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-250-08090-5.
- Beauchamp, Zack (2 September 2014). "17 things about ISIS and Iraq you need to know". Vox. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Abu Mohammad. "Letter dated 9 July 2005" (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. See page 2 onwards. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Johnson, M. Alex (3 September 2014). "'Deviant and Pathological': What Do ISIS Extremists Really Want?". NBC News. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Kubba, Laith (7 July 2014). "Who is the U.S. targeting in Iraq air strikes?". Al Jazeera.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (29 September 2015). "US counterterrorism efforts in Syria: A winning strategy?". Long War Journal.
- Withnall, Adam (21 December 2014). "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". Independent. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- Greyvenstein, Hester Maria (15 January 2015). "Q&A: German journalist on surviving ISIL". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 October 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.
- Tran, Mark; Weaver, Matthew (30 June 2014). "Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- McGrath, Timothy (2 July 2014). "Watch this English-speaking ISIS fighter explain how a 98-year-old colonial map created today's conflict". Los Angeles Times. GlobalPost. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Caillet, Romain (27 December 2013). "The Islamic State: Leaving al-Qaeda Behind". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- Manne, Robert (June 2016). "The mind of the Islamic State: An ideology of savagery". The Monthly.
- Moghadam, Assaf; Fishman, Brian (10 May 2011). Fault Lines in Global Jihad: Organizational, Strategic, and Ideological Fissures. Taylor & Francis. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-136-71058-2.
- Moghadam, Assaf; Fishman, Brian, eds. (16 December 2010). Self-Inflicted Wounds: Debates and Divisions within al-Qa'ida and its Periphery (PDF) (Report). Harmony Project, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2016.
- Reuter, Christoph (18 April 2015). "The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State". Der Spiegel.
- Reardon, Martin (6 July 2015). "ISIL and the management of savagery". Al Jazeera.
- Gude, Ken (November 2015). Anti-Muslim Sentiment Is a Serious Threat to American Security (PDF). Center for American Progress. p. 3.
- Burke, Jason (14 November 2015). "Islamic State 'Goes Global' with Paris Attacks". The Observer.
- Gambhir, Harleen (February 2015). ISIS Global Intelligence Summary: January 7 – February 18 (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of War.
- Chotiner, Isaac (12 July 2016). "The ISIS Correspondent [interview with Rukmini Callimachi]". Slate.
- Naji, Abu Bakr (23 May 2006). The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass (PDF). John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- McCoy, Terrence (12 August 2014). "The calculated madness of the Islamic State's horrifying brutality". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Crooke, Alastair (30 June 2014). "The ISIS' 'Management of Savagery' in Iraq". HuffPost.
- Hassan, Hassan (8 February 2015). "Isis has reached new depths of depravity. But there is a brutal logic behind it". The Guardian.
- Wright, Lawrence (16 June 2014). "ISIS's Savage Strategy in Iraq". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Atran, Scott; Hamid, Nafees (16 November 2015). "Paris: The War ISIS Wants". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Erdbrink, Thomas (7 June 2017). "Iran Assails Saudi Arabia After Pair of Deadly Terrorist Attacks". The New York Times.
- Hubbard, Ben (24 July 2014). "Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Weiss, Michael; Hassan, Hassan (15 April 2016). "Everything We Knew About This ISIS Mastermind Was Wrong". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- Barrett, Richard (November 2014). "The Islamic State" (PDF). Soufan Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Moore, Jack (22 April 2015). "ISIS Replace Injured Leader Baghdadi With Former Physics Teacher". Newsweek. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- Thompson, Nick; Shubert, Attika (18 September 2014). "The anatomy of ISIS: How the 'Islamic State' is run, from oil to beheadings". CNN. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- Ruthven, Malise (9 July 2015). "Inside the Islamic State. Review of Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate by Abdel Bari Atwan". The New York Review of Books.
- Sly, Liz (5 April 2015). "How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis". Independent.
- Sly, Liz (4 April 2015). "The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein's". The Washington Post.
- Hubbard, Ben; Schmitt, Eric (27 August 2014). "Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Sly, Liz (5 April 2015). "How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis". Independent. London. Retrieved 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.
- Dearden, Lizzie (4 March 2016). "Former US military adviser David Kilcullen says there would be no Isis without Iraq invasion". Independent. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- Lake, Eli (11 February 2015). "Foreign Recruits Are Islamic State's Cannon Fodder". Bloomberg News.
- "Iraqis, Saudis call shots in Raqa, ISIL's Syrian 'capital'". Channel NewsAsia. 19 June 2014. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015.
- Abi-Habib, Maria (9 March 2015). "Splits in Islamic State Emerge as Its Ranks Expand". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Trofimov, Yaroslav (4 February 2015). "In Islamic State Stronghold of Raqqa, Foreign Fighters Dominate". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "IS group unit known as 'Emni' aims to export terror around the world – France 24". 4 August 2016.
- Callimachi, Rukmini (3 August 2016). "How a Secretive Branch of ISIS Built a Global Network of Killers". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- "Trump confirms ISIS leader Baghdadi is dead after US raid in Syria — 'He died like a coward'". 27 October 2019 – via www.cnbc.com.
- Perraudin, Frances (27 October 2019). "Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed in US raid, says Donald Trump - latest updates". www.theguardian.com.
- "Turkish-U.S. military forces exchanged information ahead of U.S. operation in Syria". reuters.com. 27 October 2019.
- "Prior to the US Operation in Idlib Province of Syria last night, information exchange and coordination between the military authorities of both countries took place". 27 October 2019 – via Official Twitter Account of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Defence.
- "Factbox: World reacts to announcement of Islamic State leader Baghdadi's death". www.reuters.com. 27 October 2019.
- "Trump says U.S. may release parts of Baghdadi raid video". Reuters. Reuters. 28 October 2019.
- Withnall, Adam (16 June 2017). "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead: Russia says it may have killed Isis leader in Raqqa air strike". Independent News. Independent News. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "ISIS leader al-Baghdadi killed in US raid in Syria, Trump confirms". RT.com. RT.com. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "Al-Baghdadi nominates Iraqi Abdullah Qardash as his successor to lead Daesh". The Middle East Monitor. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
- Siegel, Jordan (22 August 2019). "Ailing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi puts 'Professor' Abdullah Qardash in charge of Isis". The Times. Times Newspapers Limited. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "With Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gone, what next for ISIL?". Al Jazeera English. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Trump says al-Baghdadi's 'number one replacement' is dead". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Trump says likely Baghdadi successor killed by U.S. troops". Reuters. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "ISIS spokesman Al-Muhajir killed in U.S. airstrike in Syria". BNO News. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "Islamic State names its new leader". 31 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
- on YouTube
- "Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria" (PDF). United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- Two women release extraordinary footage of what life is really like living under Isis. Independent. 13 March 2016.
- "Deserters describe life under ISIL rule". Al Jazeera. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
- McCoy, Terrence (13 June 2013). "ISIL, beheadings and the success of horrifying violence". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Haytham Mustafa (31 December 2016). "Islamic State replaces Syrian officials by foreign jihadists in Raqqa". ARA News. Archived from the original on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Cook and Vale. "From Daesh to ‘Diaspora." International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. King's College London. Pages 14-19.
- "Sa është numri i xhihadistëve të ISIS-it?" [How Many Jihadists ISIS?] (in Albanian). Tirana, Albania: Top Channel. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- Weaver, Mary Anne (19 April 2015). "Her Majesty's Jihadists". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "UN Report on 15,000 Foreigners Joining ISIS Fighters in Syria And Iraq Will Shock You". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014.
- Windrem, Robert (28 February 2015). "ISIS By the Numbers: Foreign Fighter Total Keeps Growing". NBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- Sarhan, Arme. "CIA: 30,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS". Iraq News. 29 September 2015.
- "World's Richest Terror Army". BBC. 24 April 2015. p. 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."
- "Kyrgyzstan: Abusive Crackdowns on 'Extremist' Material". Human Rights Watch. 17 September 2018.
- Ismay, John (17 October 2013). "Insight into How Insurgents Fought in Iraq". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Lister, Charles (7 August 2014). "Not Just Iraq: The Islamic State Is Also on the March in Syria". HuffPost. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "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.
- Crawford, Jamie (14 December 2017). "Report details where ISIS gets its weapons". CNN. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
- "Treasury Targets ISIS Leader Involved in Chemical Weapons Development". United States Department of the Treasury. 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
- Cowell, Alan (10 July 2014). "Low-Grade Nuclear Material Is Seized by Rebels in Iraq, U.N. Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Sherlock, Ruth (10 July 2014). "Iraq jihadists seize 'nuclear material', says ambassador to UN". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Blake, Paul (11 September 2015). "US official: 'IS making and using chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria'". BBC. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Dearden, Lizzie (11 September 2015). "Isis 'manufacturing and using chemical weapons' in Iraq and Syria, US official claims". Independent. London. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Water and Violence Link: Crisis of Survival in the Middle East (PDF) (Report). Mumbai, India: Strategic Foresight. December 2014. ISBN 978-81-88262-24-3.
- Eshel, Tamir (12 October 2016). "Weaponized Mini-Drones Entering the Fight". Defense Update. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Eshel, Tamir (17 January 2017). "RAF Strikes Daesh Drone Facility in Mosul". Defense Update. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Saul, Heather (31 October 2014). "Isis now targeting women with guides on how to be the 'ultimate wives of jihad'". Independent. London. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- Perešin, Anita (2015). "Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS". Perspectives on Terrorism. 9 (3): 22. ISSN 2334-3745. JSTOR 26297379.
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.
- Koninkrijksrelaties, Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en (14 December 2017). "Jihadist women, a threat not to be underestimated – Publication – pdf". AIVD. p. 6. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Abdul-Alim, Jamaal (8 March 2015). "ISIS 'Manifesto' Spells Out Role for Women". The Atlantic. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Winter, Charlie (5 February 2015). "QUILLIAM Translation and Analysis of Islamic State Manifesto on Jihadist Brides". Quilliam Foundation. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- Khalaf, Roula; Jones, Sam (17 June 2014). "Selling terror: how Isis details its brutality". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Stone, Jeff (17 June 2014). "ISIS Attacks Twitter Streams, Hacks Accounts To Make Jihadi Message Go Viral". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- Roggio, Bill (28 October 2007). "US targets al Qaeda's al Furqan media wing in Iraq". Long War Journal.
- Bilger 2014, p. 1.[full citation needed]
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (8 March 2013). "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". Jihadology. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (20 August 2013). "New statement from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shām: "Announcing Ajnād Foundation For Media Production"". Jihadology. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Gertz, Bill (13 June 2014). "New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment Material for Americans, Westerners". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "ISIS Declares Islamic Caliphate, Appoints Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi As 'Caliph', Declares All Muslims Must Pledge Allegiance To Him". MEMRI. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (28 January 2015). "The Islamic State's model". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- Sullivan, Kevin (8 December 2014). "Three American teens, recruited online, are caught trying to join the Islamic State". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- Jacoby, Tim (14 August 2018). "Islam and the Islamic State's Magazine, Dabiq". Cambridge Core. Cambridge University Press. 2 (1): 32–54. doi:10.1017/S1755048318000561.
- "Dabiq: What Islamic State's New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction, Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine". The Jamestown Foundation. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
- Akkoc, Raziye (12 October 2015). "Ankara bombings: Islamic State is main suspect, says Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Hunter, Isabel (22 July 2015). "Suruc bombings: Turkish President accused of not doing enough to help Kurds fight Isis threat across its border in Syria". Independent. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Jihadists Release First Issue of Pro-IS French Magazine "Dar al-Islam"". SITE Intelligence Group. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "The Virtual Caliphate: ISIS'S Information Warfare" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
As of late 2016, Rumiyah has apparently supplanted other internationally oriented publications, as al-Hayat has ceased publishing them
- "Islamic State launches English-language radio bulletins". The Daily Telegraph. London. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- Berger, J. M. (16 June 2014). "How ISIS Games Twitter". The Atlantic. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "ISIS Propaganda Campaign Threatens U.S." Anti-Defamation League. 27 June 2014. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Isis Telegram channel doubles followers to 9,000 in less than 1 week". 12 October 2015 – via Yahoo News.
- Lee, Ian; Hanna, Jason (12 August 2015). "Croatian ISIS captive reportedly beheaded". CNN. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- Walsh, Michael (23 September 2014). "ISIS releases second 'lecture video' of British hostage John Cantlie". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Hegghammer, Thomas; Nesser, Petter (9 July 2015). "Assessing the Islamic State's Commitment to Attacking the West". Perspectives on Terrorism. Terrorism Research Initiative. 9 (4). ISSN 2334-3745.
- "Inside the Islamic State kidnap machine". BBC News. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Financing of the Terrorist Organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (PDF). Financial Action Task Force. February 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Matthews, Dylan (24 July 2014). "The surreal infographics ISIS is producing, translated". Vox. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
- Allam, Hannah (23 June 2014). "Records show how Iraqi extremists withstood U.S. anti-terror efforts". McClatchy News. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- The Editorial Board (12 March 2017). "Man Without an ISIS Plan". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Chulov, Martin (15 June 2014). "How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isis's $2bn jihadist network". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Moore, Jack (11 June 2014). "Mosul Seized: Jihadis Loot $429m from City's Central Bank to Make Isis World's Richest Terror Force". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- McCoy, Terrence (12 June 2014). "ISIS just stole $425 million, Iraqi governor says, and became the 'world's richest terrorist group'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Carey, Glen; Haboush, Mahmoud; Viscusi, Gregory (26 June 2014). "Financing Jihad: Why ISIS Is a Lot Richer Than Al-Qaeda". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Windrem, Robert (24 June 2014). "U.S. Official Doubts ISIS Mosul Bank Heist Windfall". NBC News. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Daragahi, Borzou (17 July 2014). "Biggest bank robbery that 'never happened' – $400m Isis heist". Financial Times. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- "Isis to mint own Islamic dinar coins in gold, silver and copper". The Guardian. 21 November 2014.
- "Islamic State reportedly buying silver, gold as it prepares to issue currency". McClatchy. 20 November 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Ensor, Josie (14 November 2014). "Islamic State announces its own currency". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Jabbar, Marwan (3 September 2015). "Gold at End of Extremist Rainbow: Islamic State Release Their Own 'Fake' Currency". Niqash. Baghdad.
- Dearden, Lizzie (25 March 2016). "Isis fails to bring in own currency, relies on 'satanic' US dollars instead". The Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
- "Zarqawi Letter" State Dept. archives
- Caris, Charles C.; Reynolds, Samuel (July 2014). "ISIS Governance in Syria" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War.
- "Islamic State moves in on al-Qaeda turf". BBC News. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Weiss, Caleb (26 October 2016). "Islamic State in Somalia claims capture of port town". The Long War Journal.
- Roul, Animesh (May 2016). "How Bangladesh Became Fertile Ground for al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State". CTC Sentinel. Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. 9 (5).
- Weiss, Caleb (24 June 2016). "The Islamic State grows in the Philippines". The Long War Journal.
- Winter, Charlie (22 July 2016). "Has the Islamic State Abandoned Its Provincial Model in the Philippines?". War on the Rocks.
- "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". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 20 February 2019.
- Ban Ki-Moon (24 September 2014). "Secretary-General's remarks to Security Council High-Level Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters". United Nations. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Hassan, Steven (21 October 2014). "ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy". The World Post. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- ""They're delusional": Rivals ridicule ISIS declaration of Islamic state". CBS News. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Hasan, Mehdi (10 March 2015). "Mehdi Hasan: How Islamic is Islamic State?". New Statesman. Retrieved 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").
- Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad (2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. pp. xvii–xviii. ISBN 978-1-908224-12-5.
- Khan, Sheema (29 September 2014). "Another battle with Islam's 'true believers'". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada.
- Hasan, Usama (July 2012). The Balance of Islam in Challenging Extremism (PDF) (Report). Quilliam Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2014.
- Jebara, Mohamad (6 February 2015). "Imam Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism". Ottawa Citizen.
- Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad (2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. pp. xvii–xviii. ISBN 978-1-908224-12-5. See also p.8.
- "The slow backlash – Sunni religious authorities turn against Islamic State". The Economist. 6 September 2014.
- "Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti denounces Islamic State group as un-Islamic". Reuters. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Shaikh, Amad (1 October 2014). "Muslim Scholars Letter to al-Baghdadi of ISIS or ISIL – A Missed Opportunity". Muslim Matters. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- Markoe, Lauren (24 September 2013). "Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter to Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology". HuffPost. Religious News Service. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Smith, Samuel (25 September 2014). "International Coalition of Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS' Religious Arguments in Open Letter to al-Baghdadi". The Christian Post. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi". September 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Milmo, Cahal (25 September 2014). "Isis is 'an offence to Islam', says international coalition of major Islamic scholars". Independent. London. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
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.
- "Head of Egypt's al-Azhar condemns ISIS 'barbarity'". Al Arabiya English. Agence France-Presse. 3 December 2014.
- Al-Awsat, Asharq (13 December 2014). "Egypt's Al-Azhar stops short of declaring ISIS apostates – Azhar statement rejects practice of takfirism". Asharq Al Awsat. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Maged, Amany (15 January 2015). "In search of 'renewal' – Al-Azhar is at the centre of an escalating controversy". Al Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Fouad, Ahmed. "Al-Azhar refuses to consider the Islamic State an apostate". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015.
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
- "Sheikh Al-Azhar Speech in opening of conference". Muslim World League. 22 February 2015. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016.
- Agarwall, Priyangi (9 December 2015). "70,000 clerics issue fatwa against terrorism, 15 lakh Muslims support it". The Times of India. TNN.
- Jckson, Molly (10 December 2015). "70,000 Indian clerics issue fatwa against terrorists". The Christian Science Monitor.
- Mortimer, Caroline (10 December 2015). "70,000 Muslim clerics just issued a fatwa against terrorism". Independent.
- Strange, Hannah (5 July 2014). "Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Staff writers (2 August 2016). "Al-Qaradawi: Rulers Of UAE And Daesh Leaders Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin | English – Middle East Press News Agency". Middle East News Agency. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad (2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-908224-12-5.
- Creswell, Robyn; Haykel, Bernard (8 June 2015). "Battle Lines". The New Yorker. Retrieved 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.
- Creswell, Robyn; Haykel, Bernard (8 June 2015). "Battle Lines". The New Yorker. Retrieved 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.
- Halleck, Thomas (26 September 2014). "Thousands of French Muslims Protest Herve Gourdel Beheading". International Business Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "'Not in my name': French Muslims rally to denounce ISIS beheadings". RT. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad (2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-908224-12-5.
- Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length). VICE News. 30 September 2014 – via YouTube.
- "Ghosts of Aleppo (Full Length)". VICE News.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (25 October 2015). "Al Qaeda appears 'moderate' compared to Islamic State, veteran jihadist says". Long War Journal.
- 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'". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (5 June 2015). "The Al Nusrah Front's 'inherited jihad'". Long War Journal.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (20 July 2015). "Officials from Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham vow to continue fight against Islamic State". Long War Journal.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (9 February 2015). "Al Qaeda Uses ISIS to Try to Present Itself as Respectable, Even Moderate". The Weekly Standard.
- Rikab, Waleed (9 September 2015). "The Plight of Syria's Druze Minority and U.S. Options". Syria Comment.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (2 November 2015). "Al Qaeda chief calls for jihadist unity to 'liberate Jerusalem'". Long War Journal.
- Video on YouTube
- "Number of ISIS defectors growing, disillusioned with killing fellow Muslims: Study". The Straits Times. London. Agence France-Presse. 21 September 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
- Neumann, Peter R. (22 September 2015). "Defectors: ISIS is killing Muslims, not protecting them". CNN. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Robins-Early, Nick (21 September 2015). "New Report Reveals Why Fighters Are Quitting ISIS". HuffPost. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "A 'disgraceful reality': Islamic State spies posing as defectors". Syria Direct. 5 November 2015.
- "Iraqi forces kill 2 Daesh/ISIS terrorists in Kirkuk". Turkish Press. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
- Almond, Ian (7 January 2015). "Are we ISIS?". Political Theology. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- Engelhardt, Tom (3 September 2014). "How America made ISIS". Le Monde Diplomatique. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "In our world beyond nations, the future is medieval". New Scientist. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
- "Al-Qaida Sanctions List". United Nations. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee – 1267". United Nations Web Services Section. United Nations. Archived from the original on 5 April 2015.
- "Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Amends Entry". Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Wahlisch, Martin (2010). "EU Terrorist Listing – An Overview about Listing and Delisting Procedures" (PDF). Berghof Foundation. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Proscribed Terrorist Organisations, pp.13–15" (PDF). Home Office. 20 June 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". Bureau of Counterterrorism. United States Department of State. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Listed terrorist organisations". Australian National Security. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Currently listed entities". Public Safety Canada. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Kaplan, Hilal (3 September 2014). "Charging Turkey for ISIS". Daily Sabah. Istanbul, Turkey. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Mahcupyan, Etyen (20 September 2014). "ISIS, Turkey and the US". Daily Sabah. Istanbul, Turkey. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Saudi Arabia designates Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group". Reuters. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "BNPT Declares ISIS a Terrorist Organization". Tempo. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "List of terror groups published by United Arab Emirates". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015.
- "Malaysia designates ISIS as terrorist group, vows tough action: Report". The Straits Times. Singapore. 25 September 2014. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "The Federal Council adopts Ordinance banning the Islamic State Group and related organisations". Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports. Retrieved 28 February 2019.[permanent dead link]
- "Court affirms ISIS' 'terrorist group' designation". Daily News Egypt. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014.
- "Egypt brands jihadist ISIL a 'terrorist group'". Hürriyet Daily News. Istanbul, Turkey. 30 November 2014.
- "Banned Organisations". Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "India bans IS". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Press Trust of India. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Russia calls on all states to put Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra on terrorist lists". Russian News Agency TASS. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Paraszczuk, Joanna. "Kyrgyzstan Bans IS, Designates It As Terror Group". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Manal. "Syria condemns terrorist acts in Iraq, expresses solidarity with Iraqi government, army and people". Syrian Arab News Agency.
- "Jordan launches airstrikes against ISIS". News Corp Australia. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Report says ISIL terrorist group has a base near US". Iran Daily. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Larijani Reminds Regional States of Iran's Sacrifices against ISIL Terrorists". Fars News Agency. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Iran Says Arrests ISIL Suspects at Border". Tasnim News Agency. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Iranian Official: US Not Serious about Countering ISIL Terrorists". Al-Alam. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- الامن النيابية: داعش انتهى عسكريا في العراق بعد قتل واعتقال 75 الف عنصر. Al Sumaria (in Arabic). Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "Iraq arrests dozens of ISIL members in Baghdad". Press TV. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "No Room for terrorist". T&T Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- Gishkori, Zahid. "Islamic State listed among proscribed outfits". The Express Tribune. Pakistan.
- 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 (in Japanese). Ministry of Justice (Japan).
- IS叫戰 點名台灣 (in Chinese). Apple Daily.
- "Xi Jinping's speech on the event of a Chinese citizen being killed by terrorist organization" (in Chinese). mfa.gov.cn. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- "Resolution 1267 (1999) Adopted by the Security Council at its 4051st meeting on 15 October 1999". UNHCR.
- Eddy, Melissa (12 September 2014). "Germany Bans Support for ISIS". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- Roberts, Janette (17 September 2014). "ISIL banned in Germany". Sixth Sense. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015.
- "Drucksache 18/759" (PDF) (in German). Deutscher Bundestag.
- "Switzerland bans ISIL". Anadolu Agency. 8 October 2014.
- Pandey, Avaneesh (16 December 2014). "India Bans ISIS After Government Raises Concerns Over Group's Online Presence". International Business Times.
- Lister, Tim (13 June 2014). "ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state?". CNN. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Vick, Karl; Baker, Aryn (11 June 2014). "Extremists in Iraq Continue March Toward Baghdad". Time. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Mazzetti, Mark; Schmitt, Eric; Landler, Mark (10 September 2014). "Struggling to Gauge ISIS Threat, Even as U.S. Prepares to Act". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Porter, Tom (10 August 2015). "Iraq War Created Isis, Concedes David Miliband". International Business Times. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Mishra, Pankaj (24 July 2015). "How to think about Islamic State". The Guardian.
- "National Security Presidential Memorandum no. 3" (PDF).
- "Views of ISIS Overwhelmingly Negative". Pew Research Center. 17 November 2015.
- Jacob Poushter191 comments. "Most dislike ISIS in Muslim countries | Pew Research Center". Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise in Middle East | Pew Research Center". Pewglobal.org. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- Seligman, Lara (14 October 2019). "Turkish-Backed Forces Are Freeing Islamic State Prisoners". Foreign Policy.
- "Turkey/Syria: Civilians at Risk in Syria Operation". Human Rights Watch. 11 October 2019.
- "Coalition commanders seek plan to counter Daesh advance". Gulf News. Agence France-Presse. 14 October 2014.
- "Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting" (Press release). US State Department. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- "Special Report: Operation Inherent Resolve". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Special Reports: Operation Inherent Resolve (Report). U.S. Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017.
- Ryan, Missy (18 January 2018). "Civilian deaths tripled in U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in 2017, watchdog alleges". The Washington Post.
- Ryan, Missy (18 January 2018). "US-led coalition killed up to 6000 civilians in fight against IS: watchdog says". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Mroue, Bassem; Rosa, Andrea (22 June 2016). "Lebanese army slowly crushing extremists near Syria border". Associate Press.
- "Lebanese army slowly crushing extremists near Syria border". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 22 June 2016. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016.
- Saab, Bilal. "The United States Has Not Lost Lebanon." Archived 1 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine Foreign Policy. May, 2018.
- "Mali: French forces kill 33 Islamist militants in Mali December 21". GardaWorld. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- Dehghanpisheh, Babak (3 August 2014). "Iran's elite Guards fighting in Iraq to push back Islamic State". Reuters.
- Smith, Alexander (26 September 2014). "Russia Tells Iraq It's 'Ready' to Support Fight Against ISIS". NBC News. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Nordland, Rod (29 June 2014). "Russian Jets and Experts Sent to Iraq to Aid Army". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Target ISIS: First batch of Russian fighter jets arrives in Iraq". RT. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "Russia 'kills 8 ISIS militants' in Caucasus raid". The Daily Star. Beirut, Lebanon. Agence France-Presse.
- Wood, L. Todd (30 June 2015). "Russia declares counter-terror ops regime in North Caucasus". The Washington Times.
- Harress, Christopher (24 October 2015). "Russian Islamic State Airstrikes In Iraq: ISIS OK For Russia To Target, Baghdad Says". International Business Times. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "8 ISIS targets hit during 20 combat flights in Syria – Russian military". RT. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- Payne, Ed; Starr, Barbara; Cullinane, Susannah (30 September 2015). "Russia launches first airstrikes in Syria". CNN. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- Lomsadze, Giorgi (24 September 2014). "Azerbaijan Arrests Alleged ISIS and Other Islamic Fighters". EurasiaNet.org. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Azerbaijani media: Embassy increases security in Baku because of ISIS threatening". Panorama. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Mohan, C. Raja (5 March 2015). "Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia: Pakistan's Leverage in the Gulf". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Schram, Jamie (31 October 2014). "Now Pakistan cares about ISIS". New York Post. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Security forces arrest local Islamic State commander in Lahore: sources". The Express Tribune. Lahore, Pakistan. Reuters. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- الجيش واللجان الشعبية يستعيدون السيطرة على جبل نوفان الاستراتيجي. almasalah.com (in Arabic).
- "ISIL, Nusra Clash Fiercely on Qalmoun Barrens: 25 Killed, Injured". Al-Manar News. 17 December 2014.
- Todd, Brian (22 January 2015). "ISIS gaining ground in Yemen, competing with al Qaeda". CNN.
- Joscelyn, Thomas (9 July 2015). "Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb backs jihadists fighting Islamic State in Derna, Libya". Long War Journal.
- "Suspected Leader of Pro-IS Al-Shabab Faction Reported Killed". Voice of America News. 22 November 2015.
- "ISIS reportedly moves into Afghanistan, is even fighting Taliban". 12 January 2015. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015.
- "ISIL and the Taliban". Al Jazeera. 1 November 2015.
- "ISIL warns Hamas in video message". Al Jazeera. 1 July 2015.
- Mortada, Radwan (19 May 2014). "Hezbollah fighters and the "jihadis": Mad, drugged, homicidal, and hungry". Al Akhbar. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech". Reuters. 13 November 2014.
- Mohammed, A. Salih (1 September 2014). "PKK forces impress in fight against Islamic State". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
- Aboufadel, Leith (3 September 2016). "Assyrians fight back in Iraq, Badanah village liberated from ISIS". Al Masdar News.
- Roggio, Bill (11 June 2013). "Suicide bombers kill 14 in Damascus". Long War Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Spencer, Richard (19 May 2013). "Syria: Jabhat al-Nusra split after leader's pledge of support for al-Qaeda". The Telegraph. London.
- Sly, Liz (3 February 2014). "Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Banco, Erin (11 April 2015). "Jabhat Al-Nusra And ISIS Alliance Could Spread Beyond Damascus". International Business Times.
- Lilli, Eugenio (14 November 2014). "How would a deal between al-Qaeda and Isil change Syria's civil war?". The Telegraph. London.
- Prothero, Mitchell (4 March 2014). "ISIS joins other rebels to thwart Syria regime push near Lebanon". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- Ghosh, Bobby (12 January 2015). "ISIL and Al Qaeda: Terror's frenemies". Quartz.
- Meek, James Gordon (10 September 2015). "Al Qaeda Leader Al-Zawahiri Declares War on ISIS 'Caliph' Al-Baghdadi". ABC News – via Yahoo! News.
- Fahmy, Omar (9 September 2015). "Al Qaeda calls Islamic State illegitimate but suggests cooperation". Reuters. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "UN 'may include' Isis on Syrian war crimes list". BBC News. 26 July 2014.
- "Video shows Islamic State executes scores of Syrian soldiers". Reuters. 28 August 2014.
- "ISIS accused of crimes against humanity". Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Al Arabiya. 14 November 2014.
- "Libya: Extremists Terrorizing Derna Residents". Human Rights Watch. 27 November 2014.
- Abass, Ademola (2014). Complete International Law: Text, Cases and Materials (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad (2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. ISBN 978-1-908224-12-5.
- Boffey, Daniel. "'Islamic State' is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims". The Guardian.
- Gerhard Böwering, ed. (2013). The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13484-0.
- Chulov, Martin (11 December 2014). "Isis: the inside story". The Guardian.
- Fishman, Brian (2008). "Using the Mistakes of al Qaeda's Franchises to Undermine Its Strategies". Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 618: 46–54. doi:10.1177/0002716208316650. JSTOR 40375774.
- Fraile Ordonez, Siobhan (28 September 2015). "The Non-Islamic Non-State". St Andrews Foreign Affairs Review. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- Simon, Steven (2008). "The Price of the Surge: How U.S. Strategy Is Hastening Iraq's Demise". Foreign Affairs. Vol. 87 no. 3. pp. 57–72, 74–76. JSTOR 20032651.
- Tausch, Arno (Spring 2015). "Estimates on the Global Threat of Islamic State Terrorism in the Face of the 2015 Paris and Copenhagen Attacks" (PDF). Middle East Review of International Affairs. Rubin Center, Research in International Affairs, Idc Herzliya, Israel. 19 (1). SSRN 2702356. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- Wood, Graeme (March 2015). "What ISIS Really Wants". The Atlantic.
- The Islamic State by Council on Foreign Relations
- ISIS, Counter Extremism Project profile
- "'Islamic State': Raqqa's loss seals rapid rise and fall" by BBC News
- Frontline: Losing Iraq (July 2014), The Rise of ISIS (October 2014), Obama at War (May 2015), Escaping ISIS (July 2015), documentaries by PBS
- The Islamic State, August 2014 documentary by Vice News
- "ISIS: Portrait of a Jihadi Terrorist Organization", report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
- Operation Inherent Resolve updates
- "The Group That Calls Itself a State", publication by the Combating Terrorism Center