IS is a Jihadist group that was formed in 2000 as an affiliate group of Al-Queda. In 2003 and following the US invasion of Iraq, it separated itself from Al-Queda, and they started competing against one another for influence and world domination. At the core of the IS ideology, IS seeks to claim authority of overall Muslims. And ultimately, establish an Islamic State that is led by a religious, political leader known as a ‘caliph’.
The group is known for its extreme brutality and they regularly take advantage of social media sites to release mass execution videos on the internet. IS is considered the richest Jihadist group in the world with assets that is worth 2 billion dollars. A quarter of that sum was looted from the central bank of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. The group aims to suppress other religious beliefs by threatening and killing people of any other faith. It is important that everybody understands how IS works, so we can find a solution together. This is why this article will talk in more depth about the points already mentioned above.
The Islamic state has lost thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria. It is estimated that the number of fighters dropped to more than 6,000. The White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said there are now over 25,000 fighters still fighting for the Islamic State. The leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi, the replacement of Abu Omar Al-Baghdadi, tries to get more recruits from Iraq and Syria, but also from the rest of the world. It is hard to tell how many foreign fighters are in the Islamic State at the moment, but it is a fact that many of them return to their home countries after a while fighting for the Islamic state and these people remain a threat.
The Islamic state is one of the best funded terrorist groups in the world. So how does IS gets its money? It is all about oil and extortion. The group controls oil fields and refineries across Iraq and Syria and fighters smuggle crude oil across the border for cash and other goods. The Islamic State also steals a lot of money from the government banks. People who live in territories occupied by IS are taxed on everything. They have to pay taxes to be able to access their own bank accounts and they have to pay taxes on the goods they sell. The Islamic State also makes money by selling art they have stolen and by asking for ransom money for prisoners.
The Islamic State uses the internet for two important reasons. The first reason is to spread fear. In the last few years, the Islamic State has killed a lot of people in front of the camera with multiple messages to countries which were attacking the Islamic State. They kill, for example, people from the Syrian army or journalists from Europe and the US, in an awful way to scare other people. They mostly chop the head off of those people or burn them alive. That shows us how barbaric those fighters are.
The other reason why the Islamic State uses the internet is to recruit new fighters from all over the world. By spreading promotion videos on the internet, they hope they can persuade people to join the Islamic state and go to Syria or even worse, attack Europe like what happened in Brussels and in Paris. So you can see their army is big, they have a lot of money and they are a threat to the world. It is important that people are aware of this threat and together try to defeat it with everything we have. At this point this is not the case and many people are in danger. When the US and European countries take action together this problem can and will be solved.