What is ISIS?
The Islamic State is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Led by Abu Bakr Baghdadi, it began as the Iraqi Chapter of Al Qaeda. But, these two groups had disagreements and eventually ended up splitting and now function separately.
The main fortress if this group is a city in Syria called Raqqa and it also controls many oil fields in Iraq.To recruit people from other parts of the world, this group has undertaken the use of social media and misleading information to lure the people into helping them.
ISIS is a hierarchical organisation where the members work their way up in the ranks. Those at the very bottom of the table, ones who displease the ISIS or prove to be of very less of no use, are sent on suicide missions or those places and missions with a very high risk of being killed. The main reason of an ISIS membership is to be given a prestigious post in the Emni where they would enjoy more authority, power and status as compared to other high posts in the ISIS, such as becoming the members of the ISIS Police also know as hisbah.
The terrorist group has recruited fighters internationally which has led to horrific attacks all over the world. Having fulfilled their territory requirements, covering the territories of Iraq and Mosul, ISIS now has a territory as big as the United Kingdom.
Somehow, the members of the ISIS believe that they have a role to play in the apocalypse. They believe in the prophecy that there will be a big battle against ‘Rome’ in Dabiq, Syria that they will sack Istanbul and that a final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur before Jesus returns at the End of Days.
It seeks to eradicate all sorts of obstacles from letting God rule the earth again and to defend the Muslim community, or umma against the infidels and apostates. The group has welcomed the prospect of direct confrontation with the US-led coalition, viewing it as a harbinger of an end-of-times showdown between Muslims and their enemies described in Islamic apocalyptic prophecies.
Matthew Olsen, the director of the US National Counter-terrorism Center, in September 2014 said IS controlled much of the Tigris-Euphrates river basin – an area similar in size to the United Kingdom.
The US defence department declared that ISIS front-lines in much of northern and central Iraq and northern Syria have been pushed back significantly by US-led coalition air strikes and ground operations. In reality, ISIS militants exercise complete control over a very small part of that territory which includes cities, towns, oil fields, and military fields.
They enjoy the freedom of movement uninhabited areas outside what the Institute for the Study of War calls “control zones”, but they would struggle to defend them. Inside area where ISIS in control, there is strict sharia, women are supposed to wear full veils revealing nothing and non-Muslims are given the choice between paying a special tax, conversion or death.