16 July 2014
With the diminishing influence of Al-Qaeda, it now appears that a new, even more violent and radical group has emerged to plug the gap: the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – which now calls itself the Islamic State – under the leadership of the self-proclaimed new “caliph” of the world, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Its origins date back to Musab al-Zarqawi’s Jama’at al-Tauhid wa’l-Jihad (Community of Monotheists and Jihad) in early 2004, but it has now emerged as the strongest, and certainly the best known, among the radical militant groups in the Middle East.
Over the past few weeks, observers have reacted with consternation at the rate of advance of the group, as ISIS forces moved deep into the heart of Iraq and defeated the troops of the Iraqi army.There have been reports of Iraqi troops abandoning their posts and surrendering, only to be summarily slaughtered by ISIS militants who videotaped the executions and then posted them on the Internet for all to see.
… The writer is an associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 16/07/2014