Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

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"ISIL", "ISIS", "Islamic State", and "Daish" redirect here. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_0

For other uses, see ISIL (disambiguation), Isis (disambiguation), Islamic state (disambiguation), and Daish (surname). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_1

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_table_infobox_0

Islamic State of Iraq and the LevantIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_0_0
FounderIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_1_0 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_1_1
LeadersIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_2_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_2_1
Dates of operationIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_3_0 1999–presentIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_3_1
Group(s)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_4_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_4_1
HeadquartersIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_5_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_5_1
Active regionsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_6_0 ISIL's territory, in grey, at the time of its greatest territorial extent (May 2015).

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Detailed current mapsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_6_1

IdeologyIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_7_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_7_1
SizeIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_8_0 List of combatant numbers


Civilian populationIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_8_1

AlliesIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_9_0 See sectionIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_9_1
OpponentsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_10_0 State opponents


Many others


Non-state opponents


 Hezbollah


Full list...


More...Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_10_1

Battles and warsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_0_11_0 the Iraq War (2003–2011), the Iraqi insurgency, the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi Civil War, the Second Libyan Civil War, the Boko Haram insurgency, the War in North-West Pakistan, the War in Afghanistan, the Yemeni Civil War, and other conflicts

Primary target of Operation Inherent Resolve and of the military intervention against ISIL in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and NigeriaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_0_11_1

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; /ˈaɪsəl, ˈaɪsɪl/), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS; /ˈaɪsɪs/), officially known as the Islamic State (IS) and also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh (داعش, Dāʿish, IPA: [ˈdaːʕɪʃ), is a militant Islamist group and a former unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Salafi jihadist doctrine of Sunni Islam. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_2

ISIL was founded by the Jordanian jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999 and 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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_3

The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_4

ISIL is 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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_5

The United Nations holds ISIL responsible for committing human rights abuses, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_6

The Islamic State committed ethnic cleansing on a historic scale in northern Iraq. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_7

ISIL originated in 1999 as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, 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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_8

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_9

As a caliphate, it claimed religious, political, and military authority over all Muslims worldwide. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_10

Its adoption of the name Islamic State and its idea of a caliphate have been criticised, with the United Nations, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups vehemently rejecting its statehood. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_11

In Syria, the group conducted ground attacks on both government forces and opposition factions, and by December 2015, it held an area extending from western Iraq to eastern Syria, containing an estimated eight to twelve million people, where it enforced its interpretation of sharia law. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_12

ISIL is believed to be operational in 18 countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, with "aspiring branches" in Mali, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_13

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_14

In mid-2014, an international coalition led by the United States intervened against ISIL in Syria and Iraq with an airstrike campaign, in addition to supplying advisors, weapons, training, and supplies to ISIL's enemies in the Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_15

This campaign reinvigorated the latter two forces and dealt a blow to the nascent Islamist proto-state, killing tens of thousands of its troops and damaging its financial and military infrastructure. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_16

This was 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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_17

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_18

ISIL continued to lose territory to the various military forces allied against it. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_19

By December 2017, the Islamic State controlled just 2% of its maximum territory (in May 2015). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_20

In December 2017, Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of the Islamic State underground, three years after the group captured about a third of Iraq's territory. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_21

By 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 after the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_22

On 31 October 2019, ISIL media announced that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi was the new leader of the Islamic State, after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during the US Barisha raid in the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province of Syria four days previously. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_23

Name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_0

Main article: Names of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_24

See also: Name changes due to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_25

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_26

As 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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_27

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_28

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_29

Dāʿish (داعش‎), or Daesh. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_30

This name has been widely used by ISIL's Arabic-speaking detractors, for example when referring to the group whilst speaking amongst themselves, 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"). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_31

Within areas under its control, ISIL considers use of the name Daesh punishable by flogging or cutting out the tongue. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_32

In late June 2014, the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah (lit. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_33

'Islamic State' or IS), declaring itself a worldwide caliphate. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_34

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_35

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_36

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_37

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"). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_38

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_39

I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_40

The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats'." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_41

Retired general John Allen, the U.S. envoy appointed to co-ordinate the coalition; U.S. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_42 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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_43

In 2014, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah dubbed ISIS as QSIS for "al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria", arguing that ISIL does not represent the vast majority of Muslims. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_44

Purpose and strategy Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_1

Ideology Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_2

Main article: Ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_45

ISIL is a theocracy, proto-state and a Salafi or Wahhabi group. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_46

ISIL's ideology has been described as being based on Salafism, Salafi jihadism, and Wahhabism. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_47

Through the official statement of beliefs originally released by its first leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in 2007 and subsequently updated since June 2014, ISIL defined its own creed as "a middle way between the extremist Kharijites and the lax Murji'ites". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_48

ISIL's ideology represents radical Salafi Islam, a strict, puritanical form of Sunni Islam. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_49

Muslim organisations like Islamic Networks Group (ING) in America have argued against this interpretation of Islam. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_50

ISIL promotes religious violence, and regards Muslims who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_51

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_52

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_53

ISIL adheres to global jihadist principles and follows the hard-line ideology of al-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups, which is closely related to Wahhabism. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_54

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_55

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_56

Bernard Haykel has described ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_57

Senior Saudi religious leaders have issued statements condemning ISIL and attempting to distance the group from official Saudi religious beliefs. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_58

ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupts its original spirit. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_59

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_60

Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi Arabian government in that category. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_61

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_62

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_63

Islamic eschatology Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_3

See also: Islamic eschatology Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_64

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_65

ISIL believes that it will defeat the army of "Rome" at the town of Dabiq. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_66

ISIL also believes that after al-Baghdadi there will be only four more legitimate caliphs. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_67

The noted scholar of militant Islamism Will McCants writes: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_68

Goals Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_4

Since at latest 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of a Sunni Islamic state. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_69

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_70

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_71

As caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide, according to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_72

ISIL has detailed its goals in its Dabiq magazine, saying it will continue to seize land and take over the entire Earth until its: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_73

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_74

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_75

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 the arrival of its troops to their areas." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_76

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_77

All non-Muslim areas would be targeted for conquest after the Muslim lands were dealt with, according to the Islamist manual Management of Savagery. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_78

Strategy Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_5

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_79

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_80

Following this surveillance and espionage would come murder and kidnapping – "the elimination of every person who might have been a potential leader or opponent". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_81

In Raqqa, after rebel forces drove out the Assad regime and ISIL infiltrated the town, "first dozens and then hundreds of people disappeared". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_82

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_83

Jason Burke, a journalist writing on Salafi jihadism, has written that ISIL's goal is to "terrorize, mobilize [and] polarize". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_84

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_85

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_86

Journalist Rukmini Maria Callimachi also emphasises ISIL's interest in polarisation or in eliminating what it calls the "grey zone" between the black (non-Muslims) and white (ISIL). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_87

"The gray is moderate Muslims who are living in the West and are happy and feel engaged in the society here." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_88

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_89

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_90

Organisation Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_6

Raqqa in Syria was under ISIL control from 2013 and in 2014 it became the group's de facto capital city. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_91

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_92

Leadership and governance Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_7

Further information: List of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant members Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_93

From 2013 to 2019, ISIL was headed and run by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State's self-styled Caliph. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_94

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_95

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_96

Beneath the leaders are councils on finance, leadership, military matters, legal matters (including decisions on executions) foreign fighters' assistance, security, intelligence and media. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_97

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_98

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_99

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_100

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_101

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_102

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_103

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_104

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_105

On 27 October 2019 al-Baghdadi was targeted by US military and died after he detonated a suicide vest in Barisha, Idlib, Northwest Syria. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_106

U.S. President Donald Trump stated in a televised announcement that Baghdadi had, in fact, died during the operation and that American forces used support from helicopters, jets and drones through airspace controlled by Russia and Turkey. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_107

He said that "Russia treated us great... Iraq was excellent. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_108

We really had great cooperation" and Turkey knew they were going in. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_109

He thanked Turkey, Russia, Syria, Iraq and the Syrian Kurdish forces for their support. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_110

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_111

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_112

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_113

Russia had previously claimed Baghdadi was killed in May 2019 by their airstrike. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_114

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_115

Analysts dismissed this statement as a fabrication, and relatives were reported as saying that Qardash died in 2017. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_116

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_117

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_118

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_119

On 31 October, ISIL named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi as Baghdadi's successor. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_120

Civilians in ISIL-controlled areas Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_8

Main article: Human rights in ISIL-controlled territory Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_121

Further information: Collaboration with ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_122

In 2014 The Wall Street Journal estimated that eight million people lived in the Islamic State. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_123

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_124

Civilians, as well as the Islamic State itself, have released footage of some of the human rights abuses. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_125

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_126

Al-Hisbah was led by Abu Muhammad al-Jazrawi. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_127

Military Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_9

Main articles: Military activity of ISIL and Military equipment of ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_128

Number of combatants Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_10

Estimates of the size of ISIL's military have varied widely, from tens of thousands up to 200,000. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_129

In early 2015, journalist Mary Anne Weaver estimated that half of ISIL fighters were foreigners. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_130

A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries were in ISIL's ranks in November 2014. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_131

US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015, including 3,400 from the Western world. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_132

In September 2015, the CIA estimated that 30,000 foreign fighters had joined ISIL. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_133

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_134

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_135

Conventional weapons Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_11

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_136

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_137

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_138

Ninety percent of the group's weapons ultimately originated in China, Russia or Eastern Europe according to Conflict Armament Research. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_139

Non-conventional weapons Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_12

The group uses truck and car bombs, suicide bombers and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_140

ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to convert them into weapons. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_141

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_142

ISIL has also used water as a weapon of war. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_143

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_144

Around 12,000 families lost their homes and 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) of villages and fields were either flooded or dried up. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_145

The economy of the region also suffered with destruction of cropland and electricity shortages. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_146

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_147

One ISIL drone base was struck and destroyed by two Royal Air Force Tornado using two Paveway IV guided bombs. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_148

Non-combatant recruits Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_13

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_149

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_150

Women Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_14

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_151

In 2015, it was estimated that western women made up over 550, or 10%, of ISIL's western foreign fighters. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_152

Until 2016, women were generally confined to a "women's house" upon arrival which they were forbidden to leave. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_153

These houses were often small, dirty and infested with vermin and food supply was scarce. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_154

There they remained until they either had found a husband, or the husband they had arrived with had completed his training. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_155

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_156

Mothers play an important role passing on ISIL ideology to their children. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_157

Widows are encouraged to remarry. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_158

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_159

Women should live a life of "sedentariness", fulfilling her "divine duty of motherhood" at home, with a few exceptions like teachers and doctors. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_160

Equality for women is opposed, as is education on non-religious subjects, the "worthless worldly sciences". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_161

Communications Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_15

See also: Amaq News Agency Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_162

Propaganda Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_16

ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_163

It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_164

Videos by ISIL are commonly accompanied by nasheeds (chants), notable examples being the chant Dawlat al-Islam Qamat, which came to be viewed as an unofficial anthem of ISIL, and Salil al-sawarim. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_165

ISIL, in a mid-March 2020 Al-Naba article, described the fearful reaction to COVID-19 as a divinely wrought "painful torment" against Western "crusader nations". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_166

An early February article praised God for the same against Iran's Shiites and China. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_167

Traditional media Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_17

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_168

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, established in January 2014, which specialises in acoustics production from a nasheed, quranic recitation. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_169

On 4 May 2016 Al-Bitar Foundation launched an application on Android called "Ajnad" that allows its users to listen to the songs of the Ajnad Foundation on their mobile phones. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_170

The foundation has many singers, the most famous of whom are Abu Yasir and Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir.) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_171

In mid-2014, ISIL established the Al Hayat Media Center, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_172

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_173

Then FBI Director James Comey said that ISIL's "propaganda is unusually slick," noting that, "They are broadcasting... in something like 23 languages". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_174

In July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_175

According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in a hadith about Armageddon. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_176

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_177

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_178

The group also runs a radio network called Al-Bayan, which airs bulletins in Arabic, Russian and English and provides coverage of its activities in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_179

Social media Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_18

Main article: Use of social media by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_180

ISIL's use of social media has been described by one expert as "probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_181

It regularly uses social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its messages. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_182

The group uses the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram to disseminate images, videos and updates. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_183

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_184

Journalist Abdel Bari Atwan described ISIL's media content as part of a "systematically applied policy". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_185

The escalating violence of its killings "guarantees" the attention of the media and public. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_186

Along with images of brutality, ISIL presents itself as "an emotionally attractive place where people 'belong', where everyone is a 'brother' or 'sister'". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_187

The "most potent psychological pitch" of ISIL media is the promise of heavenly reward to dead jihadist fighters. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_188

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_189

ISIL has also attempted to present a more "rational argument" in a series of videos hosted by the kidnapped journalist John Cantlie. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_190

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_191

It has encouraged sympathisers to initiate vehicle-ramming and attacks worldwide. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_192

Finances Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_19

Main article: Finances of ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_193

See also: Oil production and smuggling in ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_194

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): Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_195

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_unordered_list_0

  • proceeds from the occupation of territory (including control of banks, petroleum reservoirs, taxation, extortion, and robbery of economic assets)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_0_0
  • kidnapping for ransomIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_0_1
  • donations from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, often disguised as meant for "humanitarian charity"Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_0_2
  • material support provided by foreign fightersIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_0_3
  • fundraising through modern communication networksIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_0_4

Since 2012, ISIL has produced annual reports giving numerical information on its operations, somewhat in the style of corporate reports, seemingly in a bid to encourage potential donors. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_196

In 2014, the RAND Corporation analysed ISIL's funding sources from documents captured between 2005 and 2010. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_197

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_198

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 US$1.9 billion in 2014 to US$870 million in 2016. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_199

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_200

About three-quarters of this sum was said to looted from Mosul's central bank and commercial banks in the city. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_201

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_202

Monetary system Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_20

Main article: Modern gold dinar Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_203

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_204

Despite a propaganda push for the currency, adoption appeared to have been minimal and its internal economy is effectively dollarised, even with regards to its own fines. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_205

Education Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_21

The education in ISIL held territory was organised by the Diwan of Education. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_206

ISIL introduced its own curriculum which did not include lessons in history, music, geography or art, but included lectures in Islamic Law, Sharia, and Jihad. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_207

The Diwan of Education was often in competition with the Diwan of Outreach and Mosques which organised educational centers focused on the sharia. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_208

History Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_22

Main article: History of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_209

The group was founded in 1999 by Jordanian Salafi jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād (lit. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_210

'"The Organisation of Monotheism and Jihad"'). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_211

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 mobilise against assassinations carried out by Shia, specifically the Badr Brigade, against Ba'athists and Sunnis. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_212

Territorial control and claims Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_23

Main article: ISIL territorial claims Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_213

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_214

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_215

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_216

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_217

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, which they lost in September 2020. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_218

International reaction Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_24

International criticism Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_25

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_219

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_220

They should more fittingly be called the 'Un-Islamic Non-State'." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_221

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_222

Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL (see § Countries and groups at war with ISIL). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_223

The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_224

Twitter has removed many accounts used to spread IS propaganda, and Google developed a "Redirect Method" which identifies individuals searching for IS-related material and redirects them to content which challenges IS narratives. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_225

Islamic criticism Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_26

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_226

Religious leaders and organisations Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_27

See also: Khawarij Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_227

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_228

Extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century, to the Khawarijes. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_229

From their essentially political position, the Kharijites developed extreme doctrines which set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_230

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_231

Other scholars have also described the group not as Sunnis, but as Khawarij. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_232

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_233

ISIS has been excommunicated from Islam by a number of scholars. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_234

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi enumerated in his book, Refuting ISIS, that their form of Kharijism has removed them from Islam and fighting them is a religious duty, stating: "ISIS' leaders are people of unbelief and misguidance, and Muslims should not be lured by their jihad or deceived by their propaganda, as their actions speak louder than their words." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_235

Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, also stated that Kharijites are not Muslims, saying: "the majority are of the opinion that they are disobedient and misguided innovators, though they do not deem them unbelievers. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_236

However, the correct opinion is that they are unbelievers." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_237

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_238

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_239

"[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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_240

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_241

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_242

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_243

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_244

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_245

This is the disgrace for them in this world and in the hereafter, they will receive grievous torment." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_246

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_247

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_248

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_249

Approximately 1.5 million Sunni Muslim followers of this movement have formally decried violent extremists. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_250

Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist in the UK, said in the New Statesman, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_251

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_252

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_253

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_254

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_255

To this end, they pick and choose the evidences that corroborate their misguidance, despite being weak or abrogated." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_256

Academics Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel of The New Yorker have criticised 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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_257

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). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_258

Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_259

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_260

French president François Hollande said Gourdel's beheading was "cowardly" and "cruel", and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_261

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_262

Other jihadist groups Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_28

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_263

ISIL is widely denounced by a broad range of Islamic clerics, including Saudi and al-Qaeda-oriented clerics. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_264

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_265

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_266

An Islamic Front sharia court judge in Aleppo, Mohamed Najeeb Bannan, stated: "The legal reference is the Islamic Sharia. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_267

The cases are different, from robberies to drug use, to moral crimes. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_268

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_269

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_270

And to start off by killing, crucifying etc. That is not correct at all." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_271

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_272

This goes against the beliefs of religious scholars around the world. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_273

This is what [IS] did wrong. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_274

This is going to cause a lot of trouble. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_275

Anyone who opposes [IS] will be considered against Sharia and will be severely punished." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_276

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 they have the same aim of establishing sharia and a caliphate, but doing so in a more gradual manner. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_277

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_278

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_279

Al-Nusra and ISIL are both hostile towards the Druze. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_280

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_281

In February 2014, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, announced that his group Al-Qaeda had cut ties with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and denounced ISIL after being unable to reconcile a conflict between them and the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_282

In September 2015, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, called for consultation (shura) within the "prophetic method" to be used when establishing the caliphate, criticising al-Baghdadi for not following the required steps. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_283

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_284

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_285

The Jaysh al-Islam group within the Islamic Front criticised ISIL, saying: "They killed the people of Islam and leave the idol worshippers ... Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_286

They use the verses talking about the disbelievers and implement it on the Muslims". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_287

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_288

In one case, a supposed defector from ISIL executed two activists of a Syrian opposition group in Turkey who had sheltered them. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_289

Other commentaries Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_29

Scholar Ian Almond criticised the media commentators, the lack of balance in reporting, and the "way we are learning to talk about ISIS." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_290

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_291

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_292

In bombing ISIS and its would-be imperialism, we are really bombing a version of ourselves." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_293

Author and commentator Tom Engelhardt attributed the rise of ISIL and the destruction that followed to what he dubbed as America's drive to establish its own caliphate in the region. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_294

A leader article in the New Scientist magazine contextualised ISIL within the nation state construct. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_295

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_296

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_297

In a Middle East Institute in October 2020, Lobo Institute's Eric Oehlerich, Mick Mulroy, and Liam McHugh state "The international community has an ethical, moral, and practical security obligation to fully resolve the ISIS problem." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_298

They lay out a comprehensive approach to the situation in detention facilities and refugee camps. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_299

They also caution that the next generation of ISIS will be created if nothing is done. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_300

Designation as a terrorist organisation Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_30

See also: List of designated terrorist groups and Terrorism Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_301

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_table_general_1

OrganisationIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_1_0_0 DateIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_1_0_1 BodyIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_1_0_2 ReferencesIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_header_cell_1_0_3
Multinational organisationsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_1_0
United NationsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_2_0 18 October 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)

30 May 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_2_1

United Nations Security CouncilIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_2_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_2_3
European UnionIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_3_0 2004Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_3_1 EU Council (via adoption of UN al-Qaeda Sanctions List)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_3_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_3_3
NationsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_4_0
United KingdomIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_5_0 March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)

20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_5_1

Home OfficeIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_5_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_5_3
United StatesIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_6_0 17 December 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_6_1 United States Department of StateIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_6_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_6_3
AustraliaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_7_0 2 March 2005 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)

14 December 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_7_1

Attorney-General for AustraliaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_7_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_7_3
CanadaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_8_0 20 August 2012Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_8_1 Parliament of CanadaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_8_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_8_3
TurkeyIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_9_0 30 October 2013Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_9_1 Grand National Assembly of TurkeyIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_9_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_9_3
Saudi ArabiaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_10_0 7 March 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_10_1 Royal decree of the King of Saudi ArabiaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_10_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_10_3
IndonesiaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_11_0 1 August 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_11_1 Counter-Terrorism National Agency (BNPT)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_11_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_11_3
United Arab EmiratesIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_12_0 20 August 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_12_1 United Arab Emirates CabinetIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_12_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_12_3
MalaysiaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_13_0 24 September 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_13_1 Ministry of Foreign AffairsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_13_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_13_3
SwitzerlandIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_14_0 8 October 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_14_1 Swiss Federal CouncilIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_14_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_14_3
EgyptIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_15_0 30 November 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_15_1 The Cairo Court for Urgent MattersIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_15_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_15_3
IndiaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_16_0 16 December 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_16_1 Ministry of Home AffairsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_16_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_16_3
Russian FederationIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_17_0 29 December 2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_17_1 Supreme Court of RussiaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_17_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_17_3
KyrgyzstanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_18_0 25 March 2015Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_18_1 Kyrgyz State Committee of National SecurityIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_18_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_18_3
SyriaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_19_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_19_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_19_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_19_3
JordanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_20_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_20_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_20_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_20_3
IranIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_21_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_21_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_21_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_21_3
IraqIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_22_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_22_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_22_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_22_3
Trinidad and TobagoIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_23_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_23_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_23_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_23_3
PakistanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_24_0 29 August 2015Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_24_1 Ministry of InteriorIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_24_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_24_3
JapanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_25_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_25_1 Public Security Intelligence AgencyIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_25_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_25_3
Republic of China (Taiwan)Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_26_0 26 November 2015Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_26_1 National Security BureauIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_26_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_26_3
People's Republic of ChinaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_27_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_27_1 Ministry of Public SecurityIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_27_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_27_3
VenezuelaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_28_0 4 September 2019Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_28_1 National Assembly of VenezuelaIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_28_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_28_3
AzerbaijanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_29_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_29_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_29_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_29_3
BahrainIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_30_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_30_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_30_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_30_3
KuwaitIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_31_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_31_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_31_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_31_3
TajikistanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_32_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_32_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_32_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_32_3
KazakhstanIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_33_0 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_33_1 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_33_2 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_cell_1_33_3

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_302

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_303

On 2 June 2014, the group was added to its listing under the name "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_304

The European Union adopted the UN Sanctions List in 2002. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_305

Many world leaders and government spokespeople have called ISIL a terrorist group or banned it, without their countries having formally designated it as such. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_306

The following are examples: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_307

The Government of Germany banned ISIL in September 2014. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_308

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_309

"The terror organisation Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well", said German politician Thomas de Maizière. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_310

He added, "Today's ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_311

Being a member of ISIL is also illegal in accordance with § 129a and § 129b of the German criminal code. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_312

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_313

In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL after the arrest of an operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_314

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_315

Media sources worldwide have described ISIL as a terrorist organisation. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_316

Militia, cult, territorial authority, and other classifications Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_31

By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia in addition to a terrorist group and a cult. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_317

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 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_318

Lewis has called ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_319

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_320

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband concluded that the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused the creation of ISIL. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_321

Writing for The Guardian, Pankaj Mishra rejects the idea that the group is a resurgence of medieval Islam, saying instead: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_322

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_323

Supporters Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_32

Main article: Collaboration with ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_324

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_325

The article stated that the group had 40,000 fighters and 60,000 supporters across its two primary strongholds in Iraq and Syria. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_326

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_327

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_328

In most of these countries, concerns about Islamic extremism have been growing. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_329

There are at least 10,000 ISIL prisoners and more than 100,000 ISIL family members and other displaced persons in several camps across the Kurdish areas in Syria. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_330

Countries and groups at war with ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_33

ISIL's claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_331

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_332

Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_34

See also: Military intervention against ISIL § International coalitions against ISIL, and Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_333

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_334

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: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_335

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_ordered_list_1

  1. Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_1_5
  2. Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_1_6
  3. Cutting off ISIL/Daesh's access to financing and funding;Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_1_7
  4. Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; andIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_1_8
  5. Exposing ISIL/Daesh's true nature (ideological delegitimisation).Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_item_1_9

Operation Inherent Resolve is the operational name given by the US to military operations against ISIL and Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_336

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is co-ordinating the military portion of the response. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_337

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_338

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_339

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_340

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_341

The U.S. and UK-backed Lebanese Army succeeded in repulsing this invasion, killing or capturing over 1,200 ISIL fighters in the process. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_342

On 21 December 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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_343

Other state opponents not part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_35

See also: Russia–Syria–Iran–Iraq coalition and Axis of Resistance § Axis of resistance vs. ISIL Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_344

Iran – military advisors, training, ground troops, and air power in Iraq and Syria, beside Iranian borders (see Iranian intervention in Iraq) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_345

Russia – arms supplier to Iraqi and Syrian governments. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_346

In June 2014, the Iraqi army received Russian Sukhoi Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft to combat the ISIL. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_347

Security operations within state borders in 2015. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_348

Airstrikes in Syria (see Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War). Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_349

Azerbaijan – security operations within state borders Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_350

Pakistan – Military deployment over Saudi Arabia-Iraq border. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_351

Arresting ISIL figures in Pakistan. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_352

Yemen (Supreme Political Council) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_353

Other non-state opponents Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_36

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_unordered_list_2

Hezbollah Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_354

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_unordered_list_3

Al-Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_37

Al-Nusra Front is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_355

Al-Nusra has launched many attacks and bombings, mostly against targets affiliated with or supportive of the Syrian government. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_356

There have been media reports that many of al-Nusra's foreign fighters have left to join al-Baghdadi's ISIL. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_357

In February 2014, after continued tensions, al-Qaeda publicly disavowed any relations with ISIL. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_358

However, ISIL and al-Nusra Front still cooperate with each other occasionally when they fight against the Syrian government. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_359

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". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_360

This was described by some media outlets as a "declaration of war". Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_361

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_362

Human rights abuse and war crime findings Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_38

Main article: Human rights in ISIL-controlled territory Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_363

See also: Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL, Genocide of Shias by ISIL, Genocide of Christians by ISIL, and Mass executions in ISIL-occupied Mosul Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_364

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_365

By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war and over 1,000 civilians. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_366

In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_367

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_368

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_369

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. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_370

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." Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_sentence_371

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 and the Levant_sentence_372

See also Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_section_39

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant_unordered_list_4


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.