Who would have thought that a more militant and fundamentalist organisation than a-Qaeda would arise? Well it has happened. So radical that not even Al Qaeda will associate with them. ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is adding a new dimension of chaos and instability to a region already plagued with both.
Formerly known as ISIL – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIS is a Sunni jihadist group in the Middle East. In its self-proclaimed status as a Caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world with aspirations of bringing most of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control beginning with Iraq, Syria and other territories in the Levant region which include Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey.
ISIS is the successor to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), formed by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi in 1999, which took part in the Iraqi insurgency against American-led forces and their Iraqi allies following the 2003 invasion of Iraq
In a part of the world where radicalism and religion are the hallmarks of all opposition movements, ISIS has it is spades. This coupled with tribal loyalties creates a volatile combustible mix in the Middle East.
The western world has been has previously thrown their weight behind various Islamic rebel groups in an effort to moderate the influence of the radicals in power only to belatedly discover that their chosen organisation is no less radical.
This is what happened in Afghanistan where the West supported the Taliban against the Soviet occupiers being ultimately forced to oust them after the Twin Towers terrorist action.
ISIS grew significantly under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gaining support in Iraq as a result of alleged economic and political discrimination against Iraqi Sunnis.
Whereas most military forces go to great lengths to hide their atrocities, organisations such as ISIS go to the other extreme: they will purposely post clips of their egregious behaviour in order to intimidate their foes.