Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Lua error: callParserFunction: function "PENDINGCHANGELEVEL" was not found. Lua error: callParserFunction: function "PENDINGCHANGELEVEL" was not found.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام (language?)
ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fīl-ʿIrāq wash-Shām
Participant in: the Syrian Civil War, Iraq War (2003–2011), Iraqi insurgency, Second Libyan Civil War, Boko Haram insurgency, War in North-West Pakistan, War in Afghanistan, Yemeni Civil War, and other conflicts
|Motto: باقية وتتمدد
"Remaining and Expanding"
|Anthem: أمتي قد لاح فجر
Ummatī, qad lāha fajrun
"My Nation, A Dawn Has Appeared"
Military situation as of 28 May 2015, in the Iraqi and Syrian conflicts. Controlled by Iraqi government forces Controlled by Syrian Government forces Controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Controlled by Iraqi Kurdistan forces Controlled by Syrian Kurdistan forces Controlled by Syrian Opposition forces Controlled by al-Nusra Note: Iraq and Syria contain large desert areas with limited population. These areas are mapped as under the control of forces holding roads and towns within them. Detailed map of the Syrian Civil WarDetailed map of the Iraqi insurgencyDetailed map of the Lebanese insurgencyDetailed map of the Libyan Civil WarDetailed map of the Yemeni Civil War
Military situation as of 28 May 2015, in the Iraqi and Syrian conflicts.
Detailed map of the Syrian Civil War
Controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Detailed map of the Iraqi insurgency
Detailed map of the Lebanese insurgency
Detailed map of the Libyan Civil War
Detailed map of the Yemeni Civil War
|Administrative center||Ar-Raqqah, Syria</tr>
(de facto capital)
|Largest city</th>||Mosul, Iraq</tr>|
|Type||Rebel group controlling territory
Current control in
Template:Country data Iraq
|Military strength & operation areas||Inside Syria and Iraq
200,000 (Kurdish claim)
20,000–31,000 (CIA estimate)
Outside Syria and Iraq
32,600–57,900 (See Military of ISIL for more-detailed estimates.)
|-||Leader||Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi</tr>|
|-||Deputy leader||Abu Ala al-Afri †</tr>|
|-||Deputy leader in Syria||Abu Ali al-Anbari</tr>|
|-||Deputy leader in Iraq||Abu Muslim al-Turkmani †</tr>|
|-||Military Chief||Abu Suleiman al-Naser</tr>|
|-||Governor of South & Central Euphrates||Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi</tr>|
|-||Chief Spokesperson||Abu Mohammad al-Adnani</tr>|
|-||Chief of Syrian military operations||Abu Omar al-Shishani</tr>|
|-||Formation (as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād)||1999</tr>|
|-||Joined al-Qaeda||October 2004</tr>|
|-||Declaration of an Islamic state in Iraq||13 October 2006</tr>|
|-||Claim of territory in the Levant||8 April 2013</tr>|
|-||Separated from al-Qaeda||3 February 2014</tr>|
|-||Declaration of Caliphate||29 June 2014</tr>|
|-||Claim of territory in Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan||13 November 2014|
|23x15px United Nations||18 October 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)
30 May 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
|United Nations Security Council|||
|23x15px European Union||2004||EU Council (via adoption of UN al-Qaida Sanctions List)|||
|23x15px United Kingdom||March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)
20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
|Home Secretary of the Home Office|||
|23x15px United States||17 December 2004 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)||United States Department of State|||
|23x15px Australia||2 March 2005 (as al-Qaeda in Iraq)
14 December 2013 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
|Attorney-General for Australia|||
|23x15px Canada||20 August 2012||Parliament of Canada|||
|23x15px Turkey||30 October 2013||Grand National Assembly of Turkey|||
|23x15px Saudi Arabia||7 March 2014||Royal decree of the King of Saudi Arabia|||
|Template:Country data Indonesia||1 August 2014||National Counter-terrorism Agency BNPT|||
|23x15px United Arab Emirates||20 August 2014||United Arab Emirates Cabinet|||
|23x15px Malaysia||24 September 2014||Ministry of Foreign Affairs|||
|23x15px Egypt||30 November 2014||The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters|||
|Template:Country data India||16 December 2014||Ministry of Home Affairs|||
|23x15px Russia||29 December 2014||Supreme Court of Russia|||
|Template:Country data Kyrgyzstan||25 March 2015||Kyrgyz State Committee of National Security|||
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. 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. On 2 June 2014, the group was added to its listing under the name "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant". The European Union adopted the UN Sanctions List in 2002.
Many world leaders and government spokespeople have called ISIL a terrorist group or banned it, without their countries having formally designated it as such. Some examples:
The Government of Germany banned ISIL in September 2014. 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. “The terror organisation Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well,” de Mazière said. “Today’s ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals.” The ban does not mean ISIL has been outlawed as a foreign terrorist organisation, as that requires a court judgement.
In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL, after arresting the operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account.
Human rights abuse and war crime findings
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." By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war and over 1,000 civilians. In August 2014, the UN accused ISIL of committing "mass atrocities" and war crimes, including the mass killing of up to 250 Syrian Army soldiers near Tabqa Air base. Other known killings of military prisoners took place in Camp Speicher, where 1,095–1,700 Iraqi soldiers were shot and "thousands" more went "missing", and the Shaer gas field, where 200 Syrian soldiers were shot. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that they were performing "widespread ethnic and religious cleansing in the areas under their control."
In early September 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council agreed to send a team to Iraq and Syria to investigate the abuses and killings being carried out by the ISIL on "an unimaginable scale". Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad, the newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged world leaders to step in to protect women and children suffering at the hands of ISIL militants, who he said were trying to create a "house of blood". He appealed to the international community to concentrate its efforts on ending the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity. 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. 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. 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. 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."
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".
Religious and minority group persecution
ISIL compels people in the areas that it controls to declare Islamic creed and live according to its interpretation of Sunni Islam and sharia law. There have been many reports of the group's use of death threats, torture and mutilation to compel conversion to Islam, and of clerics being killed for refusal to pledge allegiance to the so-called "Islamic State". ISIL directs violence against Shia Muslims, indigenous Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac and Armenian Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks and Mandeans in particular.
Amnesty International has held ISIL responsible for the ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minority groups in northern Iraq on a "historic scale". In a special report released on 2 September 2014, it describes how ISIL has "systematically targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014". Among these people are Assyrian Christians, Turkmen Shia, Shabak Shia, Yazidis, Kaka'i and Sabean Mandeans, who have lived together for centuries in Nineveh province, large parts of which are now under ISIL's control.
Among the known killings of religious and minority group civilians carried out by ISIL are those in the villages and towns of Quiniyeh (70–90 Yazidis killed), Hardan (60 Yazidis killed), Sinjar (500–2,000 Yazidis killed), Ramadi Jabal (60–70 Yazidis killed), Dhola (50 Yazidis killed), Khana Sor (100 Yazidis killed), Hardan (250–300 Yazidis killed), al-Shimal (dozens of Yazidis killed), Khocho (400 Yazidis killed and 1,000 abducted), Jadala (14 Yadizis killed) and Beshir (700 Shia Turkmen killed), and others committed near Mosul (670 Shia inmates of the Badush prison killed), and in Tal Afar prison, Iraq (200 Yazidis killed for refusing conversion). The UN estimated that 5,000 Yazidis were killed by ISIL during the takeover of parts of northern Iraq in August 2014. In late May 2014, 150 Kurdish boys from Kobani aged 14–16 were abducted and subjected to torture and abuse, according to Human Rights Watch. In the Syrian towns of Ghraneij, Abu Haman and Kashkiyeh 700 members of the Sunni Al-Shaitat tribe were killed for attempting an uprising against ISIL control. The UN reported that in June 2014 ISIL had killed a number of Sunni Islamic clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to it.
Christians living in areas under ISIL control who want to remain in the "caliphate" face three options: converting to Islam, paying a religious levy—jizya—or death. "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword", ISIL said. ISIL had already set similar rules for Christians in Ar-Raqqah, once one of Syria's more liberal cities.
On 23 February 2015, in response to a major Kurdish offensive in the Al-Hasakah Governorate, ISIL abducted 150 Assyrian Christians from villages near near Tal Tamr (Tell Tamer) in northeastern Syria, after launching a large offensive in the region.
Treatment of civilians
During the Iraqi conflict in 2014, ISIL released dozens of videos showing its ill treatment of civilians, many of whom had apparently been targeted on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned of war crimes being committed in the Iraqi war zone, and disclosed a UN report of ISIL militants murdering Iraqi Army soldiers and 17 civilians in a single street in Mosul. The UN reported that in the 17 days from 5 to 22 June, ISIL killed more than 1,000 Iraqi civilians and injured more than 1,000. After ISIL released photographs of its fighters shooting scores of young men, the UN declared that cold-blooded "executions" by militants in northern Iraq almost certainly amounted to war crimes.
ISIL's advance in Iraq in mid-2014 was accompanied by continuing violence in Syria. On 29 May, ISIL raided a village in Syria and at least 15 civilians were killed, including, according to Human Rights Watch, at least six children. A hospital in the area confirmed that it had received 15 bodies on the same day. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that on 1 June, a 102-year-old man was killed along with his whole family in a village in Hama province. According to Reuters, 1,878 people were killed in Syria by ISIL during the last six months of 2014, most of them civilians.
In Mosul, ISIL has implemented a sharia school curriculum which bans the teaching of art, music, national history, literature and Christianity. Although Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has never been taught in Iraqi schools, the subject has been banned from the school curriculum. Patriotic songs have been declared blasphemous, and orders have been given to remove certain pictures from school textbooks. Iraqi parents have largely boycotted schools in which the new curriculum has been introduced.
After capturing cities in Iraq, ISIL issued guidelines on how to wear clothes and veils. ISIL warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or face severe punishment. A cleric told Reuters in Mosul that ISIL gunmen had ordered him to read out the warning in his mosque when worshippers gathered. ISIL ordered the faces of both male and female mannequins to be covered, in an order which also banned the use of naked mannequins. In Ar-Raqqah the group uses its two battalions of female fighters in the city to enforce compliance by women with its strict laws on individual conduct.
ISIL released 16 notes labelled "Contract of the City", a set of rules aimed at civilians in Nineveh. One rule stipulated that women should stay at home and not go outside unless necessary. Another rule said that stealing would be punished by amputation. In addition to the Muslim custom of banning the sale and use of alcohol, ISIL has banned the sale and use of cigarettes and hookah pipes. It has also banned "music and songs in cars, at parties, in shops and in public, as well as photographs of people in shop windows".
According to The Economist, dissidents in the ISIL capital of Ar-Raqqah report that "all 12 of the judges who now run its court system ... are Saudis". 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 of Christian churches and non-Sunni mosques or their conversion to other uses.
ISIL carried out executions on both men and women who were accused of various acts and found guilty of crimes against Islam such as homosexuality, adultery, watching pornography, usage and possession of contraband, rape, blasphemy, renouncing Islam and murder. Before the accused are executed their charges are read toward them and the spectators. Executions take various forms, including stoning to death, crucifixions, beheadings, burning people alive, and throwing people from tall buildings.
ISIL has recruited Iraqi children as young as nine to its ranks, who can be seen with masks on their faces and guns in their hands patrolling the streets of Mosul. According to a report by the magazine Foreign Policy, children as young as six are recruited or kidnapped and sent to military and religious training camps, where they practise beheading with dolls and are indoctrinated with the religious views of ISIL. Children are used as human shields on front lines and to provide blood transfusions for Islamic State soldiers, according to Shelly Whitman of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. The second instalment of a Vice News documentary about ISIL focused on how the group is specifically grooming children for the future. A spokesman told VICE News that those under the age of 15 go to sharia camp to learn about religion, while those older than 16 can go to military training camp. Children are also used for propaganda. According to a UN report, "In mid-August, ISIL entered a cancer hospital in Mosul, forced at least two sick children to hold the ISIL flag and posted the pictures on the internet." Misty Buswell, a Save the Children representative working with refugees in Jordan, said, "It's not an exaggeration to say we could lose a whole generation of children to trauma."
Sexual violence and slavery
There are many reports of sexual abuse and enslavement in ISIL controlled areas of women and girls, predominantly from the minority Christian and Yazidi communities. According to one report, ISIL's capture of Iraqi cities in June 2014 was accompanied by an upsurge in crimes against women, including kidnap and rape. The Guardian reported that ISIL's extremist agenda extended to using women as sex slaves and that women living under their control were being captured and raped. Fighters are told that they are free to have sex with or rape non-Muslim captive women. A Baghdad-based women's rights activist, Basma al-Khateeb, said that a culture of violence existed in Iraq against women generally and felt sure that sexual violence against women was happening in Mosul involving not only ISIL but all armed groups. During a meeting with Nouri al-Maliki, British Foreign Minister William Hague said with regard to ISIL: "Anyone glorifying, supporting or joining it should understand that they would be assisting a group responsible for kidnapping, torture, executions, rape and many other hideous crimes". According to Martin Williams in The Citizen, some hard-line Salafists apparently regard extramarital sex with multiple partners as a legitimate form of holy war and it is "difficult to reconcile this with a religion where some adherents insist that women must be covered from head to toe, with only a narrow slit for the eyes".
Haleh Esfandiari from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has highlighted the abuse of local women by ISIL militants after they have captured an area. "They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try to sell them. The younger girls ... are raped or married off to fighters", she said, adding, "It's based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters." Speaking of Yazidi women captured by ISIL, Nazand Begikhani said, "These women have been treated like cattle... They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They've been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags." This evidence contradicts a report from Vice News documenting the lives of citizens within Raqqa. Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, a 22-year-old resident, and member of the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, dismissed the notion of Yazidi girls brought as sex slaves to Raqqa as propaganda. However, in February 2015, the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently reported on the subjugation of women, including the presence sex slaves within the city of Ar-Raqqah.
A United Nations report issued on 2 October 2014, based on 500 interviews with witnesses, said that ISIL took 450–500 women and girls to Iraq's Nineveh region in August, where "150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves". In mid-October, the UN confirmed that 5,000–7,000 Yazidi women and children had been abducted by ISIL and sold into slavery. In November 2014 The New York Times reported on the accounts given by five who escaped ISIL of their captivity and abuse. In December 2014, the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights announced that ISIL had killed over 150 women and girls in Fallujah who refused to participate in sexual jihad. Non-Muslim women have reportedly been married off to fighters against their will. ISIL claims the women provide the new converts and children necessary to spread ISIL's control. Shortly after the death of US hostage Kayla Mueller was confirmed on 10 February 2015, several media outlets reported that the US intelligence community believed she may have been given as a wife to an ISIL fighter. Yazidi girls in Iraq allegedly raped by ISIL fighters have committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar, as described in a witness statement.
In its digital magazine Dabiq, ISIL explicitly claimed religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women. According to The Wall Street Journal, ISIL appeals to apocalyptic beliefs and claims "justification by a Hadith that they interpret as portraying the revival of slavery as a precursor to the end of the world". ISIL appeals to the Hadith and Qur'an when claiming the right to enslave and rape captive non-Muslim women. According to Dabiq, "enslaving the families of the kuffar and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia's that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narration of the Prophet ... and thereby apostatizing from Islam." Captured Yazidi women and children are divided among the fighters who captured them, with one fifth taken as a tax. ISIL has received widespread criticism from Muslim scholars and others in the Muslim world for using part of the Qur'an to derive a ruling in isolation, rather than considering the entire Qur'an and Hadith. According to Mona Siddiqui, ISIL's "narrative may well be wrapped up in the familiar language of jihad and 'fighting in the cause of Allah', but it amounts to little more than destruction of anything and anyone who doesn't agree with them"; she describes ISIL as reflecting a "lethal mix of violence and sexual power" and a "deeply flawed view of manhood". Dabiq describes "this large-scale enslavement" of non-Muslims as "probably the first since the abandonment of Shariah law".
In late 2014, ISIL released a pamphlet that focused on the treatment of female slaves. It claims that the Quran allows fighters to have sex with captives, including adolescent girls, and to beat slaves as discipline. The pamphlet's guidelines also allow fighters to trade slaves, including for sex, as long as they have not been impregnated by their owner. Charlie Winter, a researcher at the counter-extremist think tank Quilliam, described the pamphlet as "abhorent". In response to this document Abbas Barzegar, a religion professor at Georgia State University, said Muslims around the world find ISIL's "alien interpretation of Islam grotesque and abhorrent". Muslim leaders and scholars from around the world have rejected the validity of these claims, claiming that the reintroduction of slavery is un-Islamic, that they are required to protect 'People of the Scripture' including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Yazidis, and that ISIL's fatwas are invalid due to their lack of religious authority and the fatwas' inconsistency with Islam.
The Independent reported in 2015 that the usage of Yazidi sex slaves was creating friction among fighters within ISIL. Sajad Jiyad, a Research Fellow and Associate Member at the Iraqi Institute for Economic Reform, told The Independent that many ISIL supporters and fighters had been in denial about the trafficking of kidnapped Yazidi women until a Dabiq article justifying the practice was published. According to The Independent, the practice is still continuing to polarize members among the ranks of the extremist group.
Attacks on members of the press
The Committee to Protect Journalists states: "Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable." ISIL has tortured and murdered local journalists, creating what Reporters Without Borders calls "news blackholes" in areas controlled by ISIL. ISIL fighters have reportedly been given written directions to kill or capture journalists.
In December 2013, two suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of TV station Salaheddin and killed five journalists, after accusing the station of "distorting the image of Iraq's Sunni community". Reporters Without Borders reported that on 7 September 2014, ISIL seized and on 11 October publicly beheaded Raad al-Azzawi, a TV Salaheddin cameraman from the village of Samra, east of Tikrit. As of October 2014, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, ISIL is holding nine journalists and has nine others under close observation in Mosul and Salahuddin province.
During 2013 and part of 2014, an ISIL unit nicknamed the Beatles acquired and held 12 Western journalists hostage, along with aid workers and other foreign hostages, totalling 23 or 24 known hostages. A Polish journalist Marcin Suder was captured in July 2013 but escaped four months later. The unit executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and released beheading videos. Eight of the other journalists were released for ransom: Danish journalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, French journalists Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin, and Pierre Torres, and Spanish journalists Marc Marginedas, Javier Espinosa, and Ricardo García Vilanova. The unit continues to hold hostage British journalist John Cantlie and a female aid worker.
Cyber-security group the Citizen Lab released a report finding a possible link between ISIL and a digital attack on the Syrian citizen media group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RSS). Supporters of the media group received an emailed link to an image of supposed airstrikes, but clicking on the link introduced malware to the user's computer that sends details of the user's IP address and system each time it restarts. That information has been enough to allow ISIL to locate RSS supporters. "The group has been targeted for kidnappings, house raids, and at least one alleged targeted killing. At the time of that writing, ISIL was allegedly holding several citizen journalists in Raqqa," according to the Citizen Lab report.
On 8 January 2015, ISIL members in Libya claimed to have executed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari who disappeared in September 2014. Also in January 2015, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto Jogo was captured after travelling to Raqqah and displayed on video with another Japanese citizen with a demand for $200 million ransom.
Beheadings and mass executions
An unknown number of Syrians and Iraqis, several Lebanese soldiers, at least ten Kurds, two American journalists, one American and two British aid workers, and three Libyans have been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIL uses beheadings to intimidate local populations and has released a series of propaganda videos aimed at Western countries. They also engage in public and mass executions, sometimes forcing prisoners to dig their own graves before shooting lines of prisoners and pushing them in. ISIL was reported to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters who tried to leave Raqqa.[not in citation given]
Destruction of cultural and religious heritage
UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova has warned that ISIL is destroying Iraq's cultural heritage, in what she has called "cultural cleansing". "We don't have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history", she said. Referring to the ancient cultures of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, she said, "This is a way to destroy identity. You deprive them of their culture, you deprive them of their history, their heritage, and that is why it goes hand in hand with genocide. Along with the physical persecution they want to eliminate – to delete – the memory of these different cultures. ... we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable." Saad Eskander, head of Iraq's National Archives said, "For the first time you have cultural cleansing... For the Yazidis, religion is oral, nothing is written. By destroying their places of worship ... you are killing cultural memory. It is the same with the Christians – it really is a threat beyond belief."
To finance its activities, ISIL is stealing artefacts from Syria and Iraq and sending them to Europe to be sold. It is estimated that ISIL raises US$200 million a year from cultural looting. UNESCO has asked for United Nations Security Council controls on the sale of antiquities, similar to those imposed after the 2003 Iraq War. UNESCO is working with Interpol, national customs authorities, museums, and major auction houses in attempts to prevent looted items from being sold. ISIL occupied Mosul Museum, the second most important museum in Iraq, as it was about to reopen after years of rebuilding following the Iraq War, saying that the statues were against Islam and threatening to destroy the museum's contents.
ISIL considers worshipping at graves tantamount to idolatry, and seeks to purify the community of unbelievers. It has used bulldozers to crush buildings and archaeological sites. Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism", saying, "For Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself". The destruction by ISIL in July 2014 of the tomb and shrine of the prophet Yunus—Jonah in Christianity—the 13th-century mosque of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qassimin, the 14th-century shrine of prophet Jerjis—St George to Christians—and the attempted destruction of the Hadba minaret at the 12th-century Great Mosque of Al-Nuri have been described as "an unchecked outburst of extreme Wahhabism". "There were explosions that destroyed buildings dating back to the Assyrian era", said National Museum of Iraq director Qais Rashid, referring to the destruction of the shrine of Yunus. He cited another case where "Daesh (ISIL) gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square". In March 2015, ISIL reportedly bulldozed the 13th-century BC Assyrian city of Nimrud, believing its sculptures to be idolatrous. UNESCO head Irina Bokova deemed this to be a war crime.
There is also the fear that warfare waged on any side will harm cultural heritage. "The worst thing about wars is that they do not distinguish between the past and the future", Mosul calligrapher and conservationist Abdallah Ismail told a local correspondent for the German-funded publication Niqash.org. He suggested that ISIL was "taking the pulse" of the local population to see how it would react to their appetite for destruction. Philippe Lalliot, France's ambassador to UNESCO gave this perspective: "When people die in their tens of thousands, must we be concerned about cultural cleansing? Yes, definitely yes ... It's because culture is a powerful incentive for dialogue that the most extreme and the most fanatical groups strive to annihilate it." According to the London Charter and several Hague Conventions, the deliberate destruction of historical sites and places of worship, unless such destruction is a necessity during war, is a war crime.
ISIL has received severe criticism from other Muslims, especially religious scholars and theologians. In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned the Islamic State and al-Qaeda saying, "Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims". 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 Qur'an and hadith, used by it to justify its actions. "[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. 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". 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". 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. Other scholars have described the group as not Sunnis, but Khawarij.
The group's declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups, and Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian 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.
Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. 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". French president François Hollande said Gourdel's beheading was "cowardly" and "cruel", and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. 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.
The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. 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. They should more fittingly be called the 'Un-Islamic Non-State'." The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan.
Criticism of the name "Islamic State" and "caliphate" declaration
The declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists inside and outside the territory it controls. In a speech in September 2014, President Obama said that ISIL is not "Islamic" on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents and that no government recognises the group as a state, and many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. 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". France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.'" Retired general John Allen, the US envoy to co-ordinate the coalition, US military Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group, and Secretary of State John Kerry have all shifted toward the term DAESH by December 2014.
In late August 2014, a leading Islamic educational institution, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah in Egypt, advised Muslims to stop calling the group "Islamic State" and instead refer to it as "Al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria" or "QSIS", because of the militant group's "un-Islamic character". When addressing the United Nations Security Council in September 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott summarised the widespread objections to the name "Islamic State" thus: "To use this term [Islamic State] is to dignify a death cult; a death cult that, in declaring itself a caliphate, has declared war on the world". The group is very sensitive about its name. "They will cut your tongue out even if you call them ISIS – you have to say 'Islamic State'", said a woman in ISIL-controlled Mosul.
In mid-October 2014, representatives of the Islamic Society of Britain, the Association of British Muslims and the UK's Association of Muslim Lawyers proposed that "'Un-Islamic State' (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda", further stating, "We need to work together and make sure that these fanatics don't get the propaganda that they feed off." The "Islamic State" is mocked on social media websites such as Twitter and YouTube, with the use of hashtags, mock recruiting ads, fake news articles and YouTube videos. One parody, by a Palestinian TV satire show, portrays ISIL as "buffoon-like hypocrites", and has had more than half a million views on YouTube.
Even Osama bin Laden was opposed to the heedless creation of a caliphate.
Views of ISIL as un-Islamic
Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist, said in the New Statesman, "Whether Sunni or Shia, Salafi or Sufi, conservative or liberal, Muslims – and Muslim leaders – have almost unanimously condemned and denounced Isis not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic."
Views of ISIL as Islamic
The British historian Tom Holland, writing for the New Statesman said, "Islamic State, in its conceit that it has trampled down the weeds and briars of tradition and penetrated to the truth of God’s dictates, is recognisably Salafist. When Islamic State fighters smash the statues of pagan gods, they are following the example of the Prophet; when they proclaim themselves the shock troops of a would-be global empire, they are following the example of the warriors of the original caliphate; when they execute enemy combatants, and impose discriminatory taxes on Christians, and take the women of defeated opponents as slaves, they are doing nothing that the first Muslims did not glory in. Such behaviour is certainly not synonymous with Islam; but if not Islamic, then it is hard to know what else it is."
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".
In mid-February 2015, Graeme Wood, a lecturer in political science at Yale University, said in The Atlantic, "Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, 'embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion' that neglects 'what their religion has historically and legally required.' Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an 'interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.'" Wood further states, "The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. 'Very' Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam."
In the media
By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia rather than as a terrorist group. 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 as "not a terrorism problem anymore", but rather "an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they are taking terrain. They have shadow governments in and around Baghdad, and they have an aspirational goal to govern. I don't know whether they want to control Baghdad, or if they want to destroy the functions of the Iraqi state, but either way the outcome will be disastrous for Iraq." Lewis has called ISIL "an advanced military leadership". She said, "They have incredible command and control and they have a sophisticated reporting mechanism from the field that can relay tactics and directives up and down the line. They are well-financed, and they have big sources of manpower, not just the foreign fighters, but also prisoner escapees."
While officials[which?] fear that ISIL may either inspire attacks in the United States by sympathisers or by those returning after joining ISIL, US intelligence agencies find there is no immediate threat or specific plots. Former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sees an "imminent threat to every interest we have", but former top counter-terrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin has derided such alarmist talk as a "farce" that panics the public.
Some news commentators, such as international newspaper columnist Gwynne Dyer, and samples of American public opinion, such as surveys by NPR, have advocated a strong but measured response to ISIL's recent provocative acts.
Allegations of Turkish support
Turkey has been accused of supporting or colluding with ISIL, especially by Syrian Kurds. According to journalist Patrick Cockburn, there is "strong evidence for a degree of collaboration" between the Turkish intelligence services and ISIL, although the "exact nature of the relationship ... remains cloudy". David L. Phillips of Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, who compiled a list of allegations and claims accusing Turkey of assisting ISIL, writes that these allegations "range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services". Several ISIL fighters and commanders have claimed Turkey supports ISIL. Within Turkey itself, ISIL is believed to have caused increasing political polarisation between secularists and Islamists.
Turkey has been further criticised for allowing individuals from outside the region to enter its territory and join ISIL in Syria. With many Islamist fighters passing through Turkey to fight in Syria, Turkey has been accused of becoming a transit country for such fighters and has been labelled the "Gateway to Jihad". Turkish border patrol officers are reported to have deliberately overlooked those entering Syria upon the payment of a small bribe. A report by Sky News exposed documents showing that passports of foreign Islamists wanting to join ISIL by crossing into Syria had been stamped by the Turkish government. An ISIL commander stated that "most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies", adding that ISIL fighters received treatment in Turkish hospitals.
Also, authorities in Turkey have confirmed social media reports that an injured Islamic State commander is being treated in a Denizli hospital, saying the militant has every right to receive medical care as he is a Turkish citizen.
Allegations of Qatari support
The State of Qatar has long been accused of acting as a conduit for funding towards the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. While there is no proof that the Qatari government is behind the movement of funds from the LNG-rich nation to ISIL, the government has been criticized for not doing enough to stem the flow of financing. Private donors within Qatar, sympathetic with the aims of radical groups such as al-Nusra Front and ISIL, are believed to be channeling their resources to support these organisations.
In August 2014, a German minister Gerd Müller accused Qatar of having links with ISIL, stating "You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar". Qatar has denied that it supports Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq. Qatari foreign minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah reiterated this stance when he stated "Qatar does not support extremist groups, including [ISIL], in any way. We are repelled by their views, their violent methods and their ambitions." Diplomats and opposition sources say that while Qatar supports relatively moderate rebels also backed by Saudi Arabia and the West, it also has backed more hardline factions seeking to set up a strict Islamic state. Qatar has also strongly backed Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed since the Egyptian military overthrew an elected Islamist president in 2013, and has given refuge to many foreign Islamists including from Hamas and the Taliban.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, a number of terrorist financiers have been operating in Qatar. Qatari citizen Abd al Rahman al Nuaymi has served as an interlocutor between Qatari donors and leaders of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI, later renamed ISIS). Nuaymi reportedly oversaw the transfer of two million dollars per month to AQI for a period of time. Nuaymi is also one of several of Qatar-based, Al Qaeda financiers sanctioned by Treasury in recent years. According to some reporting, U.S. officials believe the largest share of private donations supporting ISIS and al-Qaeda–linked groups now come from Qatar rather than Saudi Arabia.
Allegations of Saudi Arabian support
Although Saudi Arabia's government rejected these claims, the Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia of funding ISIL. Some media outlets like NBC, BBC, and The New York Times and the US-based think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy have written of individual Saudi donations to the group, and the Saudi state's decade-long sponsorship of Salafism around the world, but have concluded that there is no evidence of direct Saudi state support for ISIL.
Allegations of Syrian support
During the Syrian Civil War, multiple parties in the conflict have accused the Syrian government of some form of collusion with ISIL, whose dominance in the opposition against the Bashar al-Assad government, would give that government a basis for its claim to being under attack by "terrorists" and "a secular bulwark against al-Qaida and jihadi fanaticism". Several sources have claimed that ISIL prisoners were strategically released from Syrian prisons at the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. The Syrian government has bought oil directly from ISIS, and in March 2015 a European Union report brought to light that the Syrian government and ISIL jointly run a HESCO gas plant in Tabqa, central Syria; the facility continues to supply government-held areas, and electricity continues to be supplied to ISIL-held areas from government-run power plants. United States Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the Syrian government has tactically avoided Isis forces in order to weaken moderate opposition such as the Free Syrian Army, as well as "even purposely ceding some territory to them [ISIS] in order to make them more of a problem so he can make the argument that he is somehow the protector against them". A IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center database analysis confirmed that only 6% of Syrian government forces attacks were targeted at ISIL in Jan 1–Nov 21, 2014, while in the same period only 13% of all ISIS attacks targeted government forces. The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has stated that the Syrian government has operatives inside ISIS, as has the leadership of Ahrar ash-Sham. ISIS members captured by the FSA have claimed that they were directed to commit attacks by Syrian government operatives.
Allegations of United States support
Rand Paul, the junior Senator from Kentucky, accused the US government of indirectly supporting ISIL in the Syrian Civil War by arming their allies and fighting their enemies in that country. A Syrian rebel spokesmen rejected the statements, saying “The Free Syrian Army has been fighting ISIS since January and continues to do so at great cost and risk. Thousands of Syrian freedom fighters have died fighting this terrorist threat”.
Abu Yusaf, a commander of the ISIL, said in August 2014 that Free Syrian Army members who had been trained by United States' and Turkish and Arab military officers had subsequently joined ISIL. In September 2014, some US-backed Syrian rebels and ISIL reportedly signed a "non-aggression" agreement. These reports were denied by the Islamic Front, the Syria Revolutionaries Front, and other rebel groups, and the fighting between these groups and ISIL continued.
Iranian allegations of United States support
Iran is notable as both the leader of the Shi'ite axis in the region and the only state whose leaders have consistently advanced allegations of secret US-ISIS coordination.
Following a widely-publicized diplomatic spat in which Defense Secretary Ashton Carter publicly questioned the will of the Iraqi people to defend Iraq, Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, questioned "How is it possible for the US troops to be present in Ramadi under the pretext of supporting Iraqi nation and yet do nothing to stop the killings there? Can this fact mean anything other than their involvement in the conspiracy?"
General Soleimani is understood to be extremely close to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei. While Khamenei does not travel outside of Iran or grant interviews to the foreign press, he uses Twitter to communicate directly to Westerners. He often refers to the United States, UK and Israel as "arrogant" powers and has stated that ISIS was created and is funded by the US in order to destroy Islam. For example, Khamenei tweeted a condemnation of the ISIS beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts, while cautioning against "allowing the arrogants 2 [sic] introduce their mercenaries as representatives of Islam."
While most experts believe the Iranian clerical regime is far more reactionary than are the Iranian public, many ordinary Iranians believe that an alliance of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia is directly responsible for the creation of ISIS. The New York Times profiled several Iranians in September 2014, finding that "the claim that ISIS is a creation of the Obama administration has gained wide traction" in Iran, where many normally-skeptical Iranians reason that "creating a terrorist organization opposed to Iranian interests is the obvious thing for a superpower to do."
Conspiracy theorists in the Arab world have advanced rumours that the US is secretly behind the existence and emboldening of ISIL, as part of an attempt to further destabilise the Middle East. After such rumours became widespread, the US embassy in Lebanon issued an official statement denying the allegations, calling them a complete fabrication. Others[which?] are convinced that ISIL leader al-Baghdadi is an Israeli Mossad agent and actor called Simon Elliot. The rumours claim that NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal this connection. Snowden's lawyer has called the story "a hoax."
Countries and groups at war with ISIL
ISIL's expanding claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups. 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.
Opposition within Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other nations
American-led Coalition to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
The Global Coalition to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Daesh), 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". According to a joint statement issued by 59 national governments and the European Union, participants in the Counter-ISIL Coalition are focused on multiple lines of effort:
- Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;
- Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
- Cutting off ISIL/Daesh's access to financing and funding;
- Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and
- Exposing ISIL/Daesh's true nature (ideological delegitimisation).
Operation Inherent Resolve is the operational name given by the US to military operations against ISIL and Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates. Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is co-ordinating the military portion of the response.
The following multi-national organisations are part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition:
23x15px European Union – declared to be part, most members are participating;
23x15px NATO – all 28 members are taking part;
23x15px Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf or GCC – all six current members and the two pending members, Jordan and Morocco, are taking part.
|Military operations in or over Iraq and/or Syria
airstrikes, air support, and ground forces performing training
|Supplying military equipment to opposition forces
within Iraq and/or Syria in co-operation with EU/NATO/partners
|Humanitarian and other contributions |
to identified coalition objectives
Part of the anti-ISIL coalition engaged in anti-ISIL military operations within their own borders
Note: Listed countries in this box may also be supplying military and humanitarian aid, and contributing to group objectives in other ways.
23x15px European Union members (not in NATO)
Note: These countries may also be supplying humanitarian aid and contributing to group objectives in other ways.
23x15px European Union members (not in NATO)
Other state opponents
23x15px Russia – arms supplier to Iraqi and Syrian Governments. In June 2014, the Iraqi army received Russian Sukhoi Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft to combat the Islamic State.
Other non-state opponents
- 23px al-Nusra Front—with localised truces and co-operation at times
- 23px al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
23x15px Kurdistan Workers' Party of Turkey—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Syrian Kurdistan
File:Flag placeholder.svg Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Syrian Kurdistan
23x15px Houthis—Shia faction in Yemen, fighting for control of the country
According to a March 2015 report to the UN Security Council, some 22,000 foreign fighters from 100 nations have traveled to Syria and Iraq, most to support Islamic State (IS). The report to UN Security Council filed in late March 2015 warned that Syria and Iraq had become a "finishing school for extremists". (In mid-2014, IS leader Abu Bakr had issued a call, "Rush O Muslims to your state ...")
Groups with expressions of support
One source (Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC)) has identified 60 jihadist groups in 30 countries that have pledged allegiance or support to ISIL as of mid-November 2014. Many of these groups were previously affiliated with al-Qaeda, indicating a shift in global jihadist leadership toward ISIL.
Memberships of the following groups have declared support for ISIL, either fully or in part.
- 23x15px Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
- 23x15px Jemaah Islamiyah
- Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia
- 23x15px Abu Sayyaf (Philippines)
- 23x15px Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem
- 23x15px Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid - (pledged support to ISIL; the majority of the group split off after its leader pledged allegiance to ISIL)
Military and resources
Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq
As of early 2015, journalist Mary Anne Weaver estimates that half of ISIS fighters are made up of foreigners. A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries in ISIL's ranks as of November 2014. US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015, including 3,400 from Western countries.
Statistics gathered by nation indicate up to: 3,000 from Tunisia, 2,500 from Saudi Arabia, 1,700 from Russia, 1,500 from Jordan, 1,500 from Morocco, 1,200 from France, 1,000 from Turkey, 900 from Lebanon, 650 from Germany, 600 from Libya, 600 from the United Kingdom, 500 from Uzbekistan, 500 from Pakistan, 440 from Belgium, 360 from Turkmenistan, 360 from Egypt, 350 from Serbia, 330 from Bosnia, 300 from China, 300 from Kosovo, 300 from Sweden, 250 from Australia, 250 from Kazakhstan, 250 from the Netherlands, 200 from Austria, 200 from Algeria, 190 from Tajikistan, 180 from the United States, 150 from Norway, 150 from Denmark, 140 from Albania, 130 from Canada, 110 from Yemen, 100 from Sudan, 100 from Kyrgyzstan, 100 from Spain, 80 from Italy, 70-80 from Palestine, 70 from Somalia, 70 from Kuwait, 70 from Finland, 50 from Ukraine, 40-50 from Israel, 40 from Switzerland, 30 from Ireland, 18 from India, and 10-12 from Portugal.
According to a statement of a former senior leader of IS, these fighters receive food and housing but have not received payment.
ISIL relies mostly on captured weapons. Major sources are 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. 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.
The group has a long history of using truck and car bombs, suicide bombers, and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to turn them into weapons.
ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda. It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world.
In November 2006, shortly after the group's rebranding as the "Islamic State of Iraq", the group established the Al-Furqan Foundation for Media Production, which produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products and official statements. A second media wing, Al-I'tisam Media Foundation, which was formed in March 2013 and distributes through the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF). Later that year in August, ISIL announced Ajnad Foundation for Media Production which specializes in Nasheeds and audio content. When ISIL announced it's 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.
In late 2014, ISIL established the Al-Hayat Media Center, which targets Western audiences and produces material in English, German, Russian and French. In December 2014, FBI Director James Comey stated that ISIL's "propaganda is unusually slick. They are broadcasting... in something like 23 languages". In April 2015 hackers claiming allegiance to ISIL managed to black out 11 global television channels belonging to TV5Monde for several hours, and take over the company's social media pages for nearly a day.
From July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English. According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in a hadith about Armageddon. 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.
ISIL's use of social media has been described by one expert as "probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies". It regularly takes advantage of social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its message by organising hashtag campaigns, encouraging Tweets on popular hashtags, and utilising software applications that enable ISIL propaganda to be distributed automatically via its supporters' accounts. Another comment is that "ISIS puts more emphasis on social media than other jihadi groups... They have a very coordinated social media presence." In August 2014, Twitter administrators shut down a number of accounts associated with ISIL. ISIL recreated and publicised new accounts the next day, which were also shut down by Twitter administrators. The group has attempted to branch out into alternative social media sites, such as Quitter, Friendica and Diaspora; Quitter and Friendica, however, almost immediately worked to remove ISIL's presence from their sites.
In a switch from its former practices, ISIL's media arm imposed a social media blackout on 27 September 2014, fearing that tweets and posts would give away military positions. ISIL has also attempted to present a more "rational argument" in its series of "press release/discussions" performed by hostage/captive John Cantlie and posted on YouTube. In one "Cantlie presentation", various current and former US officials were quoted, such as US President Barack Obama and former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer.
ISIL has been flexible in using numerous sources of funding to sustain its operations. According to a 2015 study by the Financial Action Task Force, its five primary sources of revenue are as followed (listed in order of significance):
- Illicit proceeds from the occupation of territory (including control of banks, oil and gas reservoirs, taxation, extortion, and robbery of economic assets);
- Kidnapping for ransom;
- Donations, including through non-profit organizations;
- Material support provided by foreign fighters;
- Fundraising through modern communication networks;
The contribution of such sources was also analyzed in a 2014 study by the RAND Corporation using 200 documents — personal letters, expense reports and membership rosters — which had been captured from Islamic State of Iraq (al-Qaeda in Iraq). It found that from 2005 until 2010, outside donations amounted to only 5% of the group's operating budgets, with the rest being raised within Iraq. In the time period studied, cells 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. Higher-ranking commanders would then redistribute the funds to provincial or local cells that were in difficulties or needed money to conduct attacks. The records show that the Islamic State of Iraq was dependent on members from Mosul for cash, which the leadership used to provide additional funds to struggling militants in Diyala, Salahuddin and Baghdad.
In mid-2014, Iraqi intelligence obtained information from an ISIL operative which revealed that the organisation had assets worth US$2 billion, making it the richest jihadist group in the world. About three-quarters of this sum is said to be represented by assets seized after the group captured Mosul in June 2014; this includes possibly up to US$429 million looted from Mosul's central bank, along with additional millions and a large quantity of gold bullion stolen from a number of other banks in Mosul. 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 bank robberies had actually occurred.
On 11 November 2014, ISIL announced its intent to mint its own gold, silver, and copper coins, based on the coinage used by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century. Following the announcement, the group began buying up gold, silver, and copper in markets throughout northern and western Iraq, according to precious metal traders in the area. Members of the group also reportedly began stripping the insulation off electrical power cables to obtain the copper wiring. The announcement included designs of the proposed coins, which displayed imagery including a map of the world, a sword and shield, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and a crescent moon. Economics experts, such as Professor Steven H. Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, were sceptical of the plans. See also Modern gold dinar.
Exporting oil from oilfields captured by ISIL brought in tens of millions of dollars. One US Treasury official had estimated that ISIL earns US$1 million a day from the export of oil. Much of the oil is sold illegally in Turkey. In 2014 Dubai-based energy analysts put the combined oil revenue from ISIL's Iraqi-Syrian production as high as US$3 million per day.
In 2014, the majority of the group's funding came from the production and sale of energy controlling around 300 oil wells in Iraq alone. At its peak, it operated 350 oil wells in Iraq, but lost 45 to foreign airstrikes. It had captured 60% of Syria's total production capacity. About one fifth of its total capacity had been in operation. ISIL earned US$2.5 million a day by selling 50,000–60,000 barrels of oil daily. Foreign sales rely on a long-standing black market to export via Turkey. Many of the smugglers and corrupt Turkish border guards who helped Saddam Hussein to evade sanctions are helping ISIL to export oil and import cash.
Other energy sales include selling electric power from captured power plants in northern Syria; some of this electricity is reportedly sold back to the Syrian government.
Sale of antiques and artefacts
Sales of artefacts may be the second largest source of funding for ISIL, according to an article in Newsweek. More than a third of Iraq's important sites are under ISIL's control. It looted the 9th century BC grand palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II at Kalhu. Tablets, manuscripts and cuneiforms were sold, worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Stolen artefacts are smuggled into Turkey and Jordan. Abdulamir al-Hamdani, an archaeologist from SUNY Stony Brook, has said that ISIL is "looting... the very roots of humanity, artefacts from the oldest civilizations in the world".
Taxation and extortion
ISIL extracts wealth through taxation and extortion. Regarding taxation, Christians and foreigners are at times required to pay a tax known as a "Jizya." In addition, the group routinely practices extortion, by demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, for example. Robbing banks and gold shops has been another source of income. The Iraq government indirectly finances ISIS, as they continue to pay the salaries of the thousands of government employees who continue to work in areas controlled by ISIS, which then confiscates as much as half of those Iraqi government employees' pay.
ISIL is widely reported as receiving funding from private donors in the Gulf states, and the governments of Iraq and Iran have repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of financing and supporting the group. Ahead of the conference of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition held in Paris in September 2014, France's foreign minister acknowledged that a number of countries at the table had "very probably" financed ISIL's advances.
Although Iran and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding the group, there is reportedly no evidence that this is the case. However, according to The Atlantic, ISIL may have been a major part of Saudi Arabian Bandar bin Sultan's covert-ops strategy in Syria.
Unregistered charity organisations are used as fronts to pass funds to ISIL. As they use aliases on Facebook's WhatsApp and Kik, the individuals and organisations are untraceable. Donations transferred to fund ISIL's operations are disguised as "humanitarian charity". Saudi Arabia has imposed a blanket ban on unauthorised donations destined for Syria as the only means of stopping such funding.
Timeline of recent events
- Index to main: 2013 events; 2014 events: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December; 2015 events: January, February, March, April.
- 1 May: The Guardian reported that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL, was recovering in a part of Mosul from severe injuries he received during a March 2015 airstrike. It was reported that due to al-Baghdadi's incapacitation from his spinal injury, he may never be able to resume direct control of ISIL again.
- 5 May: ISIL claims that it was related to the Curtis Culwell Center attack in Garland, Texas on 3 May.
- 7 May: ISIL-backed Taliban forces launched a major offensive against the north-eastern Afghan city of Kunduz, triggering a humanitarian crisis and a wave of fleeing refugees.
- 10 May: British actor Michael Enright announced by mobile phone to the Daily Mail he had volunteered to fight ISIL.
- 13 May: ISIL claimed responsibility for the killing of 43 Shia Ismaili Muslims in a bus in Karachi, Pakistan. On the same day, the Iraqi Defense Ministry reported that Abu Alaa Afri, ISIL's Deputy Leader, had been killed in a US-led Coalition airstrike on a mosque in Tel Afar, on 12 May 2015, which also killed dozens of other ISIL militants present. Akram Qirbash, ISIL's top judge, was also killed in the airstrike. ISIL had issued statements in which they vowed to retaliate for al-Baghdadi's injury, which Iraqi forces believed would happen through ISIL attacks in Europe.
- 14 May: An Al-Mourabitoun commander called Adnan Abu Walid Sahraoui pledged the group's allegiance to ISIL, expanding ISIL's area of operation into Mali. The group's founder, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, later issued a statement rejecting Sahraoui's announcement.
- On night of 15 May, ISIL militants entered the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, using six near-simultaneous car bombs. ISIL also released an audio tape message, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calling all Muslims to fight against the Iraqi Government, in the Salahuddin, and Al Anbar Provinces, claiming that this is their duty as Muslims. The message breaks the rumors of his death.
- 15–16 May: U.S. Special Operations forces killed a senior ISIL commander named "Abu Sayyaf," during a raid intended to capture him in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria overnight.
- 17 May: ISIL forces captured the city of Ramadi, the former capital of Islamic State of Iraq, after Iraqi government forces abandoned their posts; more than 500 people were killed.
- 18 May: Turkey's Peoples' Democratic Party, which has strong ties with Syrian Kurdish militants fighting against ISIL, were attacked, offices of the party in Adana and Mersin were bombed and 3 people were wounded. Although the party accused ISIL, Turkish Police has not ascertained the attackers' identities yet. 
- 21 May: ISIL forces captured the Syrian town of Tadmur and the ancient city of Palmyra, beheading dozens of Syrian soldiers. Two gas fields also fell into ISIL hands. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIL had by then seized 95,000 square kilometers of land, nearly half of Syria's territory. ISIL also reportedly kidnapped a Syriac Catholic priest, Fr. Jacques Mourad, in the area between Palmyra and Homs. 
- 22 May: Al-Walid, the last border crossing between Syria and Iraq that was held by the Syrian Army, fell to ISIL. ISIL also carried out its first terror attack in Saudi Arabia, when a suicide bomber killed at least 21 people in a Shiite mosque in the city of Qatif.
- 27 May: ISIL seizes the Khunayfis phosphate mines Script error: No such module "convert". south of Palmyra, depriving the Assad regime of a key source of revenue. 
- 28 May: ISIL claims the seizure of Sirte Airport.
- 31 May: ISIL launched an assault on the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah, with ISIL clashing with government forces on the southern periphery and Kurdish forces announcing their intent to protect their portion of the city. Kurdish forces execute at least 20 civilians accused of being ISIL and burn homes of suspected ISIL supporters near Ras al-Ayn and Tal Tamr.
- "Colonial Caliphate: The Ambitions of the 'Islamic State'". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "How ISIS got its anthem". The Guardian. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Islamic State". Australian National Security. Australian Government. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "The Islamic State". Stanford University. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Islamic State: The Changing Face of Modern Jihadism" (PDF). Quilliam Foundation. November 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Crooke, Alastair (5 September 2014). "You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia". The Huffington Post.
- "You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia". Huffington Post. August 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- Kirkpatrick, David (24 September 2014). "ISIS Harsh Brand of Islam Is Rooted in Austere Saudi Creed". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Ishaan Tharoor (16 July 2014). "This Canadian jihadist died in Syria, but his video may recruit more foreign fighters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
The Islamic State has de facto control of a whole swathe of territory stretching from eastern Syria to the environs of Baghdad and last month declared a caliphate...
- Paul Cruickshank; Nic Robertson; Tim Lister; Jomana Karadsheh (18 November 2014). "ISIS comes to Libya". CNN. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- "Boko Haram swears formal allegiance to ISIS". Associated Press. Fox News. March 8, 2015.
- Cockburn, Patrick (16 November 2014). "War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims senior Kurdish leader". The Independent.
- Rubin, Alissa J. (5 July 2014). "Militant Leader in Rare Appearance in Iraq". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli". Rewards for Justice. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- Blown to pieces: Iraqi military reveal the moment Islamic State's second-in-command was killed alongside dozens of his followers in coalition air strike on mosque
- "Inside the leadership of Islamic State: how the new 'caliphate' is run". The Daily Telegraph. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Matt Bradley and Ghassan Adnan in Baghdad, and Felicia Schwartz in Washington (10 November 2014). "Coalition Airstrikes Targeted Islamic State Leaders Near Mosul". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Islamic State Senior Leadership: Whos Who" (PDF). Brookings. 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Masi, Alessandria. "If ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Killed, Who Is Caliph Of The Islamic State Group?". ibtimes.com.
- "Here's What We Know About the 'Caliph' of the New Islamic State". Business Insider. Agence France-Presse. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- "ISIS Spokesman Declares Caliphate, Rebrands Group as Islamic State". SITE Institute. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili". Rewards for Justice. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- "The War between ISIS and al-Qaeda for Supremacy of the Global Jihadist Movement" (PDF). Washington Institute for Near East Policy. June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Pool, Jeffrey (16 December 2004). "Zarqawi's Pledge of Allegiance to Al-Qaeda: From Mu'Asker Al-Battar, Issue 21". Terrorism Monitor 2 (24): The Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Al-Qaeda disavows ISIS militants in Syria". BBC News. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Tharoor, Ishaan (18 June 2014). "ISIS or ISIL? The debate over what to call Iraq's terror group". The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "What is Islamic State?". BBC News. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State". Reuters. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- Zavadski, Katie (23 November 2014). "ISIS Now Has a Network of Military Affiliates in 11 Countries Around the World". New York. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Withnall, Adam (29 June 2014). "Iraq crisis: Isis changes name and declares its territories a new Islamic state with 'restoration of caliphate' in Middle East". The Independent. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "ISIS announces formation of Caliphate, rebrands as 'Islamic State'".
- "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The man who would be caliph". The Week. 13 September 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
- Sly, Liz (23 July 2013). "Islamic law comes to rebel-held Syria". The Washington Post.
- Sly, Liz (3 February 2014). "Al-Qaeda disavows any ties with radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Khalid al-Taie (13 Feb 2015). "Iraq churches, mosques under ISIL attack". Al-Shorfa. Retrieved 27 Feb 2015.
- "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 1 February 2015. (subscription required (. ))
- Uppsala Data Conflict Programme: Conflict Encyclopaedia (Iraq). (See One-sided violence – ISIS-civilians – Actor information-ISIS.) Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Whitlock, Craig (10 June 2006). "Death Could Shake Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Around the World". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Knights, Michael (29 May 2014). "The ISIL's Stand in the Ramadi-Falluja Corridor". Combating Terrorism Center. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- Fishman 2008, pp. 48–9, noting that this was little more than a media exercise and an attempt to give the group a more Iraqi flavour and perhaps to distance al-Qaeda from some of al-Zarqawi's tactical errors, notably the 2005 bombings by AQI of three hotels in Amman.
- "The Rump Islamic Emirate of Iraq". The Long War Journal. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Fishman 2008, pp. 49–50
- "ISI Confirms That Jabhat Al-Nusra Is Its Extension in Syria, Declares 'Islamic State of Iraq And Al-Sham' As New Name of Merged Group". MEMRI. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Key Free Syria Army rebel 'killed by Islamist group'". BBC News. 12 July 2013.
- "Al-Qaeda in Iraq confirms Syria's Nusra Front is part of its network". Al Arabiya. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Profile: Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)". BBC News. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Saxena, Vivek (18 June 2014). "ISIS vs ISIL – Which One Is It?". The Inquisitr. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Terrorist Designations of Groups Operating in Syria". United States Department of State. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- "Isis, Isil or Da'ish? What to call militants in Iraq". BBC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- Schwartz, Felica (23 December 2014). "One More Name for Islamic State: Daesh". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- Randal, Collin. "why-does-a-simple-word-like-daesh-disturb-extremists-so-much". thenational.ae/. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Abouzeid, Rania (16 January 2014). "Syria's uprising within an uprising". European Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- Keating, Joshua (16 June 2014). "Who Is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?". Slate. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "ISIL renames itself 'Islamic State' and declares Caliphate in captured territory". Euronews. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Khosla, Simran (30 June 2014). "This Is What The World's Newest Islamic Caliphate Might Look Like". Business Insider (GlobalPost). Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Moore, Jack (2 July 2014). "Iraq Crisis: Senior Jordan Jihadist Slams Isis Caliphate". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Mandhai, Shafik (7 July 2014). "Muslim leaders reject Baghdadi's caliphate". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- Goodenough, Patrick (6 July 2014). "Self-Appointed 'Caliph' Makes First Public Appearance". CNS News. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "United Nations Official Document". United Nations. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Details about the Canadian government's motion about going to war against ISIL". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Australia says ready to strike ISIL in Iraq". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Statement by the President on ISIL". The White House. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Zarqawi pledges allegiance to Osama". Dawn. Agence France-Presse. 18 October 2004. Archived from the original on 29 December 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
- "Al-Zarqawi group vows allegiance to bin Laden". NBC News. Associated Press. 18 October 2004. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
- Whitaker, Brian (13 October 2005). "Revealed: Al-Qaida plan to seize control of Iraq". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Fishman 2008, pp. 48–9.
- "Al-Qaeda in Iraq names new head". BBC News. 12 June 2006.
- Tran, Mark (1 May 2007). "Al-Qaida in Iraq leader believed dead". The Guardian.
- "al Qaeda's Grand Coalition in Anbar". The Long War Journal. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Jihad Groups in Iraq Take an Oath of Allegiance". MEMRI. 17 October 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Stephen Negus: "Call for Sunni state in Iraq". Financial Times, 15 October 2006. Retrieved 15 January 2015. (Free) registration required.
- "Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI)". <span />Dudley Knox Library<span />. Naval Postgraduate School. Archived from the original on 1 April 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "Islamic State of Iraq Announces Establishment of the Cabinet of its First Islamic Administration in Video Issued Through al-Furqan Foundation". SITE Institute. 19 April 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Mahnaimi, Uzi (13 May 2007). "Al-Qaeda planning militant Islamic state within Iraq". The Sunday Times (London). Archived from the original on 24 May 2011.
- Ricks, Thomas E. (11 September 2006). "Situation Called Dire in West Iraq". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- Linzer, Dafna; Ricks, Thomas E. (28 November 2006). "Anbar Picture Grows Clearer, and Bleaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- Engel, Richard (27 December 2006). "Reporting under al-Qaida control". MSNBC. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- Engel, Richard (17 January 2007). "Dangers of the Baghdad plan". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- Targeting al Qaeda in Iraq's Network, The Weekly Standard, 13 November 2007
- Ricks, Thomas; DeYoung, Karen (15 October 2007). "Al-Qaeda in Iraq Reported Crippled". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Samuels, Lennox (20 May 2008). "Al Qaeda in Iraq Ramps Up Its Racketeering". Newsweek. Retrieved 13 February 2015.(subscription required) Accessible via Google.
- Phillips 2009, p. 65.
- Kahl 2008.
- Christie, Michael (18 November 2009). "Al Qaeda in Iraq becoming less foreign-US general". Reuters.
- Arango, Tim (22 August 2014). "Top Qaeda Leaders in Iraq Reported Killed in Raid". The New York Times.
- Shanker, Thom (4 June 2010). "Qaeda Leaders in Iraq Neutralized, US Says". The New York Times.
- "US says 80% of al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq removed". BBC News. 4 June 2010.
- "Attacks in Iraq down, Al-Qaeda arrests up: US general". Google News. Agence France-Presse. 4 June 2010. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015.
- Shadid, Anthony (16 May 2010). "Iraqi Insurgent Group Names New Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Islamic State's driving force". BBC World News. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- Sly, Liz (5 April 2015). "How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis". Independent (United Kingdrom). Retrieved 21 April 2015.
But American officials didn't anticipate that they would become not only adjuncts to al-Qaeda, but core members of the jihadist group.
They were instrumental in the group’s rebirth from the defeats inflicted on insurgents by the US military, which is now back in Iraq bombing many of the same men it had already fought twice before.
Sly, Liz (4 April 2015). "The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s.". Washington Post (United States). Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "U.S. Actions in Iraq Fueled Rise of a Rebel". The New York Times. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- "Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS". The New York Times. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Smith, Samuel (21 April 2015). "ISIS' Rise in Iraq Masterminded by Former Saddam Hussein Intelligence Officer, Recently Published Caliphate 'Blueprint' Documents Reveal". The Christian Post. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
"Former Saddam Hussein spy masterminded the rise of Isis, says report". The Guardian (United Kingdom). Reuters. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
Bryan Suits (19 April 2015). "Dark Secret Place 04/18". KFI (Podcast). iHeartRadio. Event occurs at 8:50. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
Dettmer, Jamie; Siegel, Jacob (21 April 2015). "What Saddam Gave ISIS". The Daily Beast (United States). Retrieved 21 April 2015.
Reuter, Christoph (18 April 2015). "The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State". Spiegel (Germany). Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Al-Qaida: We're returning to old Iraq strongholds". Associated Press. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Al Qaeda in Iraq Resurgent" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War. September 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Abouzeid, Rania (14 March 2014). "Syria: The story of the conflict". Politico. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Abouzeid, Rania (23 June 2014). "The Jihad Next Door". Politico. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Jabhat al-Nusra A Strategic Briefing" (PDF). Quilliam Foundation. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Qaeda in Iraq confirms Syria's Nusra is part of network". GlobalPost. Agence France-Presse. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Al-Nusra Commits to al-Qaida, Deny Iraq Branch 'Merger'". Naharnet Agence France-Presse. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Atassi, Basma (9 June 2013). "Qaeda chief annuls Syrian-Iraqi jihad merger". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Iraqi al-Qaeda chief rejects Zawahiri orders". Al Jazeera. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "Al Qaeda says it freed 500 inmates in Iraq jail-break". Reuters. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Zawahiri disbands main Qaeda faction in Syria". The Daily Star. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- Birke, Sarah (27 December 2013). "How al-Qaeda Changed the Syrian War". New York Review of Books.
- Vladimir Platov (18 January 2014). "Growth of International Terrorist Threat from Syria". New Eastern Outlook. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "Chechen-led group swears allegiance to head of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham". The Long War Journal. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- "Syria crisis: Omar Shishani, Chechen jihadist leader". BBC News. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "U.S. training Syrian rebels; White House 'stepped up assistance'". Los Angeles Times. 21 June 2013.
- Saad, Hwaida; Gladstone, Rick (4 January 2014). "Qaeda-Linked Insurgents Clash With Other Rebels in Syria, as Schism Grows". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- Casey, Mary Joshua Haber (7 January 2014). "Rebel factions continue fight against ISIL in Northern Syria". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "ISIS-rebel clashes resume in Deir al-Zor". The Daily Star. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Syrian branch of al Qaeda vows loyalty to Iraq's ISIS" France 24. 25 June 2014.
- "Al Nusra pledges allegiance to Isil". Gulf News. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- Gaouette, Nicole; Ajrash, Kadhim; Sabah, Zaid (23 June 2014). "Militants Seize Iraq-Jordan Border as Kerry Visits Baghdad". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Arango, Tim; Gordon, Michael R. (23 June 2014). "Iraqi Insurgents Secure Control of Border Posts". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Abuqudairi, Areej (5 July 2014). "Anger boils over in the 'Fallujah of Jordan'". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Carey, Glen; Almashabi, Deema (16 June 2014). "Jihadi Recruitment in Riyadh Revives Saudi Arabia's Greatest Fear". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Solomon, Erika; Kerr, Simeon (3 July 2014). "Saudi Arabia sends 30,000 troops to Iraq border". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 July 2014. (subscription required)
- Lawrence, Jessica. "Iraq crisis: Could an ISIS caliphate ever govern the entire Muslim world?". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "What does ISIS' declaration of a caliphate mean?". Al Akhbar English. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Spencer, Richard (3 July 2014). "Saudi Arabia sends 30,000 troops to Iraq border". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Syrians adjust to life under ISIS rule". The Daily Star. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Senior Abu Sayyaf leader swears oath to ISIS". Rappler.
- Philip Oltermann. "Islamists in Philippines threaten to kill German hostages". The Guardian.
- Arango, Tim (3 August 2014). "Sunni Extremists in Iraq Seize 3 Towns From Kurds and Threaten Major Dam". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- "Statement by the President". The White House. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "CNN Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- Laura Smith-Spark, Ben Wedeman and Greg Botelho, "Leaders of Iraq's Anbar province call for U.S. ground forces to stop ISIS," CNN, 11 October 2014
- Mary Grace Lucas, "ISIS nearly made it to Baghdad airport, top U.S. military leader says," CNN, 13 October 2014
- "Libyan city declares itself part of Islamic State caliphate". CP24.
- "AP sources: IS, al-Qaeda reach accord in Syria". 13 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Master. "Negotiations failed between the IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic battalions". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights.
- "Egypt jihadists vow loyalty to IS as Iraq probes leader's fate". Agence France-Presse. 10 November 2014.
- Report: Water and Violence Link: http://strategicforesight.com/publication_pdf/63948150123-web.pdf
- "ISIS gaining ground in Yemen, competing with al Qaeda". CNN. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Officials confirm ISIL present in Afghanistan". Al Jazeera.
- "ISIS Reportedly Kills Afghan Taliban Commander; Modi to Visit China; Pakistan Tests Cruise Missile". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "ISIS active in south Afghanistan, officials confirm for first time". 12 January 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Afghanistan drone strike 'kills IS commander Abdul Rauf'". BBC News. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- sohranas. "EXCLUSIVE: ‘It is not the end of fighting in Kobani’ – expert fears IS could return". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights.
- Mike Giglio, Munzer al-Awad. "ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe". BuzzFeed.
- David Von Drehle. "What Comes After the War on ISIS". TIME.com.
- Omar Fahny and Yara Bayoumy (16 February 2015). "Egypt bombs Islamic State targets in Libya after 21 Egyptians beheaded". Reuters. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Nima Elbagir, Paul Cruickshank and Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN (7 March 2015). "Boko Haram purportedly pledges allegiance to ISIS". CNN.
- "Jonathan tasks Defence, Foreign Ministers of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Benin on Boko Haram's defeat". sunnewsonline.com.
- "Uzbek militants in Afghanistan pledge allegiance to ISIS in beheading video". khaama.com.
- "Ansar al Sharia Libya relaunches social media sites". Long War Journal. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- Daragahi, Borzou (March 12, 2015). "Iraqi forces advance further into Tikrit". Financial Times.
- Zack Beauchamp (2 September 2014). "17 things about ISIS and Iraq you need to know". Vox. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Abu Mohammad. "Letter dated 9 July 2005" (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Retrieved 22 July 2014. See page 2 onwards.
- Johnson, M. Alex (3 September 2014). "'Deviant and Pathological': What Do ISIS Extremists Really Want?". NBC News. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Laith Kubba (7 July 2014). "Who is the U.S. targeting in Iraq air strikes?". Al Jazeera.
- Tran, Mark; Weaver, Matthew (30 June 2014). "Isis announces Islamic caliphate in area straddling Iraq and Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- McGrath, Timothy (2 July 2014). "Watch this English-speaking ISIS fighter explain how a 98-year-old colonial map created today's conflict". Los Angeles Times. GlobalPost. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Romain Caillet (27 December 2013). "The Islamic State: Leaving al-Qaeda Behind". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- Hassan, Hassan (25 January 2015). "The secret world of Isis training camps – ruled by sacred texts and the sword". Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Bradley, Matt (1 February 2015). "Islamic State Affiliate Takes Root Amid Libya's Chaos". Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group, Time.com article by Ilene Prusher, 9 September 2014
- Endtimes Brewing Huffington Post (UK) article by Anne Speckhard, 29 August 2014
- Hussain, Ghaffar (30 June 2014). "Iraq crisis: What does the Isis caliphate mean for global jihadism?". The Independent. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Kirkpatrick, David D. (24 September 2014). "ISIS' Harsh Brand of Islam Is Rooted in Austere Saudi Creed". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- Fernholz, Tim (1 July 2014). "Don't believe the people telling you to freak out over this "ISIL" map". Quartz. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- al-Ibrahim, Fouad (22 August 2014). "Why ISIS is a threat to Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism’s deferred promise". Al Akhbar (Lebanon). Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- Mamouri, Ali (29 July 2014). "Why Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- Wood, Graeme. "What ISIS Really Wants". The Atlantic. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Paraszczuk, Joanna (7 February 2014). "Syria: Umar Shishani's Second-in-Command in ISIS Slams Scholars Who "Sow Discord" & Don't Fight". EA WorldView. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- "The slow backlash – Sunni religious authorities turn against Islamic State". The Economist. 6 September 2014.
- Charles C. Caris; Samuel Reynolds (July 2014). "ISIS Governance in Syria" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War.
- Harleen GambHir (February 18, 2015). ISIS Global Intelligence Summary January 7 - February 18, 2015 (PDF) (Report). Institute for the Study of War.
- Rita Katz (17 February 2015). "Interactive Map: The Islamic State’s Global Network of Pledged and Supporting Groups". SITE Intelligence Group.
- "Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base". The New York Times. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "ISIS atrocity in Libya demonstrates its growing reach in North Africa". CNN. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (18 November 2014). "Islamic State Expanding into North Africa". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "ISIS comes to Libya". CNN. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Jethro Mullen, CNN (16 February 2015). "Egyptian warplanes bomb ISIS targets in Libya after killings of Christians". CNN. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- "Middle East updates / ISIS kills 14 Libyan soldiers, official government says". Haaretz. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "ISIS Fighters Kill 14 Soldiers in Southern Libya". News From Antiwar.com. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Sinai-based jihadist group rebranded as Islamic State's official arm". Long War Journal. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "The Islamic State's Archipelago of Provinces". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "IS claims responsibility for Gaza's French Cultural Centre blast, reports". Middle East Eye. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Egyptian militant group pledges loyalty to Islamic State in audio clip". Reuters. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Interior Ministry analyzes Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis statement over assassination attempt". State Information Services. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- Fadel, Leila (18 November 2014). "With Cash And Cachet, The Islamic State Expands Its Empire". NPR.
- "Islamic State builds on al-Qaeda lands". 30 January 2015. Retrieved February 2015.
- "Taliban splinter group in Pakistan vows allegiance to ISIS". al-akhbar. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "Pakistani splinter group rejoins Taliban amid fears of isolation". Reuters. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "IS announces expansion into AfPak, parts of India". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- "Pakistani Taliban emir for Bajaur joins Islamic State". longwarjournal.org.
- "Afghanistan drone strike 'kills IS commander Abdul Rauf'". BBC News.
- "Afghanistan drone strike 'kills IS commander Abdul Rauf'". 9 February 2015. Retrieved March 2015.
- Al-Masdar News. "Afghan Army Kills Commander of ISIL Affiliate". Al-Masdar News.
- "Militant commander Hafiz Saeed killed in Khyber blast". ARY NEWS. 17 April 2015.
- "Gale Cengage Product Failure". galegroup.com.
- "ISIS Global Intelligence Summary March 1 - May 7, 2015" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "Nigeria's Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State". BBC news (BBC). 2015-03-07. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
- Adam Chandler (March 9, 2015). "The Islamic State of Boko Haram? :The terrorist group has pledged its allegiance to ISIS. But what does that really mean?". The Atlantic.
- "IS welcomes Boko Haram allegiance: tape". AFP. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- [dead link]
- Caucasus Emirate and Islamic State Split Slows Militant Activities in North Caucasus, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 29. 13 February 2015 
- "Afghanistan forces defend Kunduz from Taliban". BBC. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "ISIS reportedly moves into Afghanistan, is even fighting Taliban". 12 January 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "ISIS, Taliban announced Jihad against each other". Khaama Press. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "Taliban leader: allegiance to ISIS ‘haram’". Rudaw. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "The Islamic State" (PDF). Soufan Group. November 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "ISIS Replace Injured Leader Baghdadi With Former Physics Teacher". Newsweek. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- Thompson, Nick; Shubert, Attika (18 September 2014). "The anatomy of ISIS: How the 'Islamic State' is run, from oil to beheadings". CNN. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- "How Saddam Hussein's former military officers and spies are controlling Isis". The Independent. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Military Skill and Terrorist Technique Fuel Success of ISIS". August 2014. Retrieved February 2015.
- "Foreign Recruits Are Islamic State's Cannon Fodder". February 2015. Retrieved February 2015.
- "Iraqis, Saudis call shots in Raqa, ISIL's Syrian 'capital'". June 2014. Retrieved February 2015.
- "Splits in Islamic State Emerge as Its Ranks Expand". The Wall Street Journal. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "In Islamic State Stronghold of Raqqa, Foreign Fighters Dominate". The Wall Street Journal. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "The Islamic State: How Its Leadership Is Organized". YouTube.
- Ben Hubbard (24 July 2014). "Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (13 June 2014). "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Has a Consumer Protection Office". The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Gardner, Frank (9 July 2014). "'Jihadistan': Can Isis militants rule seized territory?". BBC News. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- Flick, Maggie (30 September 2014). "Special Report: Islamic State uses grain to tighten grip in Iraq". Reuters.
- "'ISIS made me clean the toilets... and my iPod didn't work': How disenchanted Islamic fanatics are returning home because jihad isn't as glamorous as they hoped". 1 December 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "Isis now targeting women with guides on how to be the 'ultimate wives of jihad'". 31 October 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "Al-Qaida Sanctions List". United Nations. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- United Nations Web Services Section. "The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee - 1267". United Nations.
- Wahlisch, Martin (2010). "EU Terrorist Listing - An Overview about Listing and Delisting Procedures" (PDF). Berghof Foundation. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Proscribed Terrorist Organisations, pp.13-15" (PDF). Home Office. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". Bureau of Counterterrorism. United States Department of State. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Listed terrorist organisations". Australian National Security. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "Currently listed entities". Public Safety Canada. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Kaplan, Hilal (3 September 2014). "Charging Turkey for ISIS". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Mahcupyan, Etyen (20 September 2014). "ISIS, Turkey and the US". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Saudi Arabia designates Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group". Reuters. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- "BNPT Declares ISIS a Terrorist Organization". Tempo. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "List of terror groups published by United Arab Emirates".
- "Malaysia designates ISIS as terrorist group, vows tough action: Report". The Straits Times. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Court affirms ISIS' 'terrorist group' designation - Daily News Egypt". Daily News Egypt.
- "Egypt brands jihadist ISIL a 'terrorist group'". Hürriyet Daily News. 30 November 2014.
- "Banned Organisations". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "India bans IS". The Hindu. Press Trust of India. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Russia calls on all states to put Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra on terrorist lists". Russian News Agency "TASS". Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Paraszczuk, Joanna. "Kyrgyzstan Bans IS, Designates It As Terror Group". rferl.com. Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Manal. "Syria condemns terrorist acts in Iraq, expresses solidarity with Iraqi government, army and people". sana.sy.
- "Resolution 1267 (1999) Adopted by the Security Council at its 4051st meeting on 15 October 1999". UNHCR.
- Janette Roberts. "ISIL banned in Germany". Sixth Sense.
- Anadolu Ajansı (c) 2011. "Switzerland bans ISIL".
- "India Bans ISIS After Government Raises Concerns Over Group's Online Presence". International Business Times. 16 December 2014.
- McCoy, Terrence (13 June 2013). "ISIL, beheadings and the success of horrifying violence". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Lister, Tim (13 June 2014). "ISIS: The first terror group to build an Islamic state?". CNN. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Roula Khalaf and Sam Jones (17 June 2014). "Selling terror: how Isis details its brutality". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- "UN 'may include' Isis on Syrian war crimes list". BBC News. 26 July 2014
- "Video shows Islamic State executes scores of Syrian soldiers". Reuters. 28 August 2014.
- "ISIL Militants Killed More Than 1000 Civilians in Recent Onslaught in recent Onslaught in Iraq: UN". RT News. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "Iraq violence: UN confirms more than 2000 killed, injured since early June". UN News Centre. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "UN warns of war crimes as ISIL allegedly executes 1,700". Today's Zaman. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "UN accuses Islamic State group of war crimes" Al Jazeera 27 August 2014
- "Syria conflict: Islamic State 'committed war crimes'". BBC News. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Syria fights to free gas field from Islamic State". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Harding, Luke (25 August 2014). "Isis accused of ethnic cleansing as story of Shia prison massacre emerges". The Guardian. Irbil. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Nebehay, Stephanie (8 September 2014). "New U.N. rights boss warns of 'house of blood' in Iraq, Syria". Reuters. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Staff writer, "ISIS accused of crimes against humanity," Al Arabiya, 14 November 2014
- Nina Larson, "UN probe: ISIS committing 'crimes against humanity' in Syria," The Daily Star, 14 November 2014
- "Libya: Extremists Terrorizing Derna Residents". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- "Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria" (PDF). United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- Bulos, Nabih (20 June 2014). "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria aims to recruit Westerners with video". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- Zarocostas, John (8 July 2014). "U.N.: Islamic State executed imam of mosque where Baghdadi preached". McClatchyDC. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Abi-Habib, Maria (26 June 2014). "Iraq's Christian Minority Feels Militant Threat". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 July 2014 – via Google. (subscription required (. ))
- "Iraq crisis: Islamic State accused of ethnic cleansing". BBC News. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "DOCUMENT – IRAQ: ETHNIC CLEANSING ON HISTORIC SCALE: THE ISLAMIC STATE'S SYSTEMATIC TARGETING OF MINORITIES IN NORTHERN IRAQ". Amnesty International. September 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
- Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 6 July – 10 September 2014 (PDF). ohchr.org (Report) (Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq).
- "UN: ISIS Massacred 700 Turkmen--Including Women, Children, Elderly". CNS News. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "UN confirms 5,000 Yazidis men were executed and 7,000 women are now sex slaves". Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- LUCAS, RYAN (4 November 2014). "ISIS Tortured Kurdish Children Captured in Kobani: Group". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Islamic State group 'executes 700' in Syria". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Liz Sly (20 October 2014). "Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored, fueling resentment". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Van, FERNANDE (7 August 2014). "Isis takes Iraq's largest Christian town as residents told – 'leave, convert or die'". The Independent. Beirut. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Jadallah, Ahmed (18 July 2014). "Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians". Reuters. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians". The Guardian. Reuters. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Abedine, Saad; Mullen, Jethro (28 February 2014). "Islamists in Syrian city offer Christians safety – at a heavy price". CNN. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Hubbard, Ben. "Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Oliver Holmes (23 February 2015). Tom Heneghan, ed. "Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians". Reuters. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Islamic State 'abducts dozens of Christians in Syria'". BBC. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Spencer, Richard (16 June 2014). "Iraq crisis: UN condemns 'war crimes' as another town falls to Isis". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Syria: ISIS Summarily Killed Civilians". Human Rights Watch. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- "Syria conflict: Amnesty says ISIS killed seven children in north". BBC News. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- "NGO: ISIS kills 102-year-old man, family in Syria". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Islamic State executed nearly 2,000 people in six months: monitor". Reuters.
- Bacchi, Umberto. "ISIS Medieval School Curriculum: No Music, Art and Literature for Mosul Kids". International Business Times.
- Spencer, Richard (16 September 2014). "Islamic State issues new school curriculum in Iraq". The Telegraph.
- "ISIS eradicates art, history and music from curriculum in Iraq". CBS News. 15 September 2014.
- Zaid Sabah; Khalid Al-Ansary (17 September 2014). "Mosul Schools Go Back in Time With Islamic State Curriculum". Bloomberg News.
- Catherine Philp (17 September 2014). "Parents boycott militants' curriculum". The Times.
- "Islamic State says women in Mosul must wear full veil or be punished". The Irish Times. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "Islamic State tells Mosul shopkeepers to cover up naked mannequins". The Telegraph.
- "ISIS Is Actively Recruiting Female Fighters To Brutalize Other Women". Business Insider.
- Taylor, Adam (12 June 2014). "The rules in ISIS' new state: Amputations for stealing and women to stay indoors.". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "ISIS bans music, imposes veil in Raqqa". Al-Monitor. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "The other beheaders". The Economist. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Saul, Heather (22 January 2015). "Isis publishes penal code listing amputation, crucifixion and stoning as punishments – and vows to vigilantly enforce it". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Withnall, Adam (18 January 2015). "Isis throws 'gay' men off tower, stones woman accused of adultery and crucifies 17 young men in 'retaliatory' wave of executions". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Rush, James (3 February 2015). "Images emerge of 'gay' man 'thrown from building by Isis militants before he is stoned to death after surviving fall'". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Daragahi, Borzou (25 February 2015). "Isis brutality in Iraq reawakens Sunni resistance". ft.com. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Armed Children as Young as 9 Patrolling Streets of Mosul". The Clarion Project. 3 July 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Brannan, Kate. "Children of the Caliphate". foreignpolicy.com/. Foreign Policy Magazine. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- Wood, Paul. "Islamic State: Yazidi women tell of sex-slavery trauma". BBC News. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- Nebehay, Stephanie (2 October 2014). "Islamic State committing 'staggering' crimes in Iraq: U.N. report". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "Surging Violence Against Women in Iraq". Inter Press Service. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- Winterton, Clare (25 June 2014). "Why We Must Act When Women in Iraq Document Rape". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Susskind, Yifat (3 July 2014). "Under Isis, Iraqi women again face an old nightmare: violence and repression". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "Det jag har bevittnat i al-Raqqa kommer alltid förfölja mig (What I have witnessed in al-Raqqa will always haunt me)". Nyheter Världen (in svenska). 23 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Giglio, Mike (27 June 2014). "Fear of Sexual Violence Simmers in Iraq As ISIL Advances". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Sherlock, Ruth (26 June 2014). "Hague urges unity as Iraq launches first counter-attack". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- Williams, Martin (25 September 2013). "Sexual jihad is a bit much". The Citizen. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Brekke, Kira (8 September 2014). "ISIS Is Attacking Women, And Nobody Is Talking About It". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Ivan Watson, "'Treated like cattle': Yazidi women sold, raped, enslaved by ISIS," CNN,30 October 2014
- "Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, And These Guys Are Risking Their Lives To Document It". September 26, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
I have seen reports of women brought in from Iraq as slaves, mainly Yezidi girls." "That's not true, it's just propaganda.
- "ISIS fighters". Daily Mail. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Steve Hopkins, "Full horror of the Yazidis who didn’t escape Mount Sinjar: UN confirms 5,000 men were executed and 7,000 women are now kept as sex slaves," Daily Mail, 14 October 2014
- Spencer, Richard (14 October 2014). "Isil carried out massacres and mass sexual enslavement of Yazidis, UN confirms". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Kirk Semple, "Yazidi Girls Seized by ISIS Speak Out After Escape," The New York Times, 14 November 2014
- "ISIS Just Executed More Than 150 Women in Fallujah". Business Insider. NOW News. 17 December 2014.
- Chastain, Mary (17 December 2014). "ISIS Slaughters 150 Females in Iraq for Refusing to Marry, Have Sex with Them". Breitbart News.
- Siddiqui, Mona (24 August 2014). "Isis: a contrived ideology justifying barbarism and sexual control". The Observer. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Peter Foster, "US female hostage held by Isil is dead, confirms Obama," The Daily Telegraph, 10 February 2015
- "Kayla Mueller, American ISIL hostage, is dead,", Al Jazeera America, 10 February 2015
- Rukmini Callimachi, "Death of Kayla Mueller, ISIS Hostage, Confirmed by Family and White House,", New York Times, 10 February 2015
- Doug Stanglin; Jim Michaels; Jessica Estepa; Shaun McKinnon (7 February 2015). "Officials: No proof U.S. hostage killed in airstrike". USA Today. (Arizona) Republic, Associated Press. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- "U.S. believes hostage was given to ISIS fighter as bride," CBS News, 11 February 2015
- JAMES GORDON MEEK and RHONDA SCHWARTZ, "Officials: Kayla Mueller May Have Been Given to ISIS Commander," ABC News, 10 February 2015
- Meg Wagner and Corky Siemaszko, "Kayla Jean Mueller, American aid worker held hostage, may have been forced to marry ISIS leader: report," Daily News|location=New York, 10 February 2015
- Ahmed, Havidar (14 August 2014). "The Yezidi Exodus, Girls Raped by ISIS Jump to their Death on Mount Shingal". Rudaw Media Network. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Abdelaziz, Salma (13 October 2014). "ISIS states its justification for the enslavement of women". CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Spencer, Richard (13 October 2014). "Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves 'for theological reasons', says Isil". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Slavery in Islam: To have and to hold". The Economist.
- Nour Malas, "Ancient Prophecies Motivate Islamic State Militants: Battlefield Strategies Driven by 1,400-year-old Apocalyptic Ideas," The Wall Street Journal, 18 November 2014 (accessed 22 November 2014)
- Sypher, Ford (28 August 2014). "Rape and Sexual Slavery Inside an ISIS Prison". The Daily Beast. Horror. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Kumar, Anugrah (13 October 2014). "ISIS Claims Islam Justifies Making 'Infidel' Women Sex Slaves". The Christian Post. CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "ISIL seeks to justify enslaving Yazidi women and girls in Iraq". Today's Zaman. abril. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- Amelia Smith, "ISIS Publish Pamphlet On How to Treat Female Slaves," Newsweek, 12 September 2014
- Abul Taher (13 December 2014). "Our faith condones raping underage slaves: ISIS publishes shocking guidebook telling fighters how to buy, sell and abuse captured women". Daily Mail.
- Adam Withnall, "Isis releases 'abhorrent' sex slaves pamphlet with 27 tips for militants on taking, punishing and raping female captives," The Independent, 10 December 2014
- Carey Lodge, "Islamic State issues abhorrent sex slavery guidelines about how to treat women,",Christianity Today, 15 December 2014
- Greg Botelho, "ISIS: Enslaving, having sex with 'unbelieving' women, girls is OK," CNN, 13 December 2014
- "Letter to Baghdadi - Open Letter to Baghdadi". Open Letter to Baghdadi.
- "Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology". The Huffington Post.
- "Yazidi sex slaves 'gang-raped in public' by Isis fighters, harrowing accounts reveal". The Independent. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Isis infighting: Tensions rise over use of Yazidi sex slaves, loss of Kobani and poor services in areas controlled by group". The Independent. 21 February 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "aboutcpj". Committee to Protect Journalists.
- Al Fares, Zaid (5 September 2014). "The Forgotten Isis Beheadings: The World Mourns Steven Sotloff, but who Remembers Bassam al-Rayes?". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- Kestler-D'Amours, Jillian (6 October 2014). "Syria journalists 'on the margins of history'". aljzeera.com. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
- "Areas controlled by Islamic State are news 'black holes' - Reporters Without Borders".
- Agencies. "ISIL 'publicly executes Iraqi journalist'".
- "ISIS Hostages Endured Torture and Dashed Hopes, Freed Cellmates Say". The New York Times.
- KAREN YOURISH. "The Fates of 23 ISIS Hostages in Syria". The New York Times.
- Johnston, Chris. "Islamic State suspected of cyber-attack on Raqqa opponents". theguardian.com. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "Libya's ISIS branch claims execution of two Tunisian journalists". Al Akhbar English.
- "A Short History Of ISIS Propaganda Videos". The Huffington Post.
- "FBI – Help Identify Individuals Traveling Overseas for Combat". FBI.
- "Syrian Soldiers Digging Their Own Graves Before Being Executed by ISIS". YouTube.
- Erika Solomon (19 December 2014). "Isis morale falls as momentum slows and casualties mount". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- "Iraq's heritage needs protection from Islamic State - UNESCO". Reuters.
- "Islamic State seeking to 'delete' entire cultures, UNESCO chief warns in Iraq". The Christian Science Monitor.
- Franklin Lamb. "SYRIA: "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently"". Retrieved 28 December 2014.
transcript of an interview conducted by the author at the National Museum of Syria with an employee of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM). The gentleman had been working in the governorate of Raqqa, in eastern Syria, when armed groups were looting museums and conducting illegal excavations of heritage sites.
- "The Plight of Mosul's Museum: Iraqi Antiquities At Risk Of Ruin". NPR. 9 July 2014.
- Christopher Dickey, "ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq,", The Daily Beast, 7 July 2014 (accessed 1 December 2014)
- Al-Alawi, Irfan. "Extreme Wahhabism on Display in Shrine Destruction in Mosul". Gatestone Institute. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Islamic State: Jihadists destroying and looting Iraqi heritage sites for artefacts, UNESCO warns". ABC News.
- "Nimrud: Outcry as IS bulldozers attack ancient Iraq site". BBC News. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- Gary D. Solis (15 February 2010). The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War. Cambridge University Press. pp. 301–303, 556–560. ISBN 978-1-139-48711-5.
- "Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti denounces Islamic State group as un-Islamic". Reuters. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Amad Shaikh (1 October 2014). missed-opportunity/ "Muslim Scholars Letter to al-Baghdadi of ISIS or ISIL – A Missed Opportunity". Muslim Matters. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- Lauren Markoe (24 September 2013). "Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter to Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology". The Huffington Post. Religious News Service. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Smith, Samuel (25 September 2014). "International Coalition of Muslim Scholars Refute ISIS' Religious Arguments in Open Letter to al-Baghdadi". The Christian Post. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Open Letter to Al-Baghdadi". September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Isis is 'an offence to Islam', says international coalition of major Islamic scholars". independent. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
More than 120 Sunni imams and academics, including some of the Muslim world's most respected scholars, signed the 18-page document which outlines 24 separate grounds on which the terror group violates the tenets of Islam.
- "Another battle with Islam's 'true believers'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- ""They're delusional": Rivals ridicule ISIS declaration of Islamic state". CBS News. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Strange, Hannah (5 July 2014). "Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Halleck, Thomas (26 September 2014). "Thousands of French Muslims Protest Herve Gourdel Beheading". International Business Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "'Not in my name': French Muslims rally to denounce ISIS beheadings". RT. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Ban Ki-Moon (24 September 2014). "LATEST STATEMENTS New York, 24 September 2014 - Secretary-General's remarks to Security Council High-Level Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters". United Nations. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Hassan, Steven. "ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy". The World Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- "Iraq's Baghdadi calls for 'holy war'". Al Jazeera. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Statement by the President on ISIL". White House. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Turkish government files motion to Parliament to fight ISIL". Andalou Agency. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Russia urges Iran's participation in anti-ISIL battle". presstv.ir/. Press TV. 28 September 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "ISIL: UK government response". Gov.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "France is ditching the 'Islamic State' name—and replacing it with a label the group hates". 17 September 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "US general rebrands Isis 'Daesh' after requests from regional partners Leader of operations against group uses alternative name – a pejorative in Arabic that rejects fighters' claims on Islam". 19 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Taylor, Adam (27 August 2014). "Meet 'QSIS': A new twist in what to call the extremist group rampaging in Iraq and Syria". The Washington Post.
- Meky, Shounaz (24 August 2014). "Egypt's Dar al-Ifta: ISIS extremists not 'Islamic State'". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- Vincent, Michael (25 September 2014). "Islamic State: PM Tony Abbott tells UN Australia's response to terrorist group will be 'utterly unflinching'". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Islamic State crisis: Mother fears for son at Mosul school". BBC News. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Isis should be called the 'Un-Islamic State': British Muslims call on David Cameron to stop spread of extremist propaganda". 14 September 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Islamic State: Call Them 'Unislamic State,' Leading Muslims Plead, As Terror Group Murders David Haines". 14 September 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Muslims Around The World Are Making Parody Videos To Mock ISIS". Countercurrent News. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Watan ala Watar (7 July 2014). Palestinian Parody about ISIS (YouTube video). MEMRITVVideos.
- Groll, Elias; Francis, David (20 May 2015). "Osama bin Laden Would Not Have Taken Ramadi". foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
Islamic State has carved out for itself the caliphate that the dead terrorist repeatedly urge[d] […] not to declare.
- Hasan, Mehdi (10 March 2015). "How Islamic is Islamic State?". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- Holland, Tom (17 March 2015). "We must not deny the religious roots of Islamic State". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- Hassan Hassan. "The secret world of Isis training camps – ruled by sacred texts and the sword". the Guardian.
- Wood, Graeme (15 February 2015). "What ISIS Really Wants". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Vick, Karl; Baker, Aryn (11 June 2014). "Extremists in Iraq Continue March Toward Baghdad". Time. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Mazzetti, Mark; Schmitt, Eric; Landler, Mark (10 September 2014). "Struggling to Gauge ISIS Threat, Even as U.S. Prepares to Act". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Porter, Tom. "Iraq War Created Isis, Concedes David Miliband". International Business Times. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Gwynne Dyer: Terrorism 101 offers lessons in how to respond to ISIS Straight.com by Gwynne Dyer, 5 October 2014
- Do Americans Support President Obama's ISIS Plan? NPR by Scott Horsley, 12 September 2014
- Zaman, Amberin (10 June 2014). "Syrian Kurds continue to blame Turkey for backing ISIS militants". Al-Monitor.
- Wilgenburg, Wladimir van (6 August 2014). "Kurdish security chief: Turkey must end support for jihadists". Al-Monitor.
- Cockburn, Patrick (6 November 2014). "Whose side is Turkey on?". London Review of Books 36 (21): 8–10.
- Phillips, David L. (9 November 2014). "Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List". The Huffington Post.
- Guiton, Barney (7 November 2014). "'ISIS Sees Turkey as Its Ally': Former Islamic State Member Reveals Turkish Army Cooperation". Newsweek.
- Ben-Solomon, Ariel (30 July 2014). "Islamic State fighter: 'Turkey paved the way for us'". The Jerusalem Post.
- Faiola, Anthony; Mekhennet, Souad (12 August 2014). "In Turkey, a late crackdown on Islamist fighters". The Washington Post.
- Lauren Williams (4 January 2015). "ISIS Has Polarized Turkey Domestically". Daily Star, Lebanon.
- Tattersall, Nick; Karouny, Mariam (26 August 2014). "Turkey's 'Open Border' Policy With Syria Has Backfired As ISIS Recruitment Continues". Business Insider.
- Schanzer, Jonathan (25 September 2014). "Boosting Turkey as it backs terror". New York Post.
- Greenhill, Sam (25 August 2014). "How seven radicalised young Britons a week are taking the Gateway to Jihad". Daily Mail.
- "New report further exposes Turkey links to ISIL militants". Press TV. 21 October 2014.
- "Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List". The Huffington Post.
- "Qatar and ISIS Funding: The U.S. Approach". The Washington Institute. August 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Islamic State: Where does jihadist group get its support?". BBC. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "German minister accuses Qatar of funding Islamic State fighters". Reuters. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Qatar allows money to flow to Islamic State, other terrorists: report". Washington Times. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Who funds ISIS? Qatar and state-sponsoring allegations". Security Observer. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Qatar denies backing Islamic State group". Al-Jazeera. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Qatar Is a U.S. Ally. They Also Knowingly Abet Terrorism. What's Going On?". New Republic. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- Ian Black. "Saudi Arabia rejects Iraqi accusations of Isis support". The Guardian.
- "Iraqi PM Maliki says Saudi, Qatar openly funding violence in Anbar". Reuters.
- "ISIS Atrocities Started With Saudi Support For Salafi Hate". The New York Times.
- "Saudi Funding of ISIS". washingtoninstitute.org.
- Vinograd, Cassandra; Omar, Ammar Cheikh (11 December 2014). "Syria, ISIS Have Been 'Ignoring' Each Other on Battlefield, Data Suggests". NBC. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Black, Ian (14 July 2015). "Bashar al-Assad is west's ally against Isis extremists, says Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Cordall, Simon Speakwell (21 June 2014). "How Syria's Assad Helped Forge ISIS". Newsweek. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Kelley, Michael, B (21 January 2014). "It's Becoming Clear That Assad Fueled The Al-Qaeda Surge That Has Kept Him in Power". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Blair, David (7 March 2015). "Oil middleman between Syria and Isil is new target for EU sanctions". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Baker, Aryn (21 June 2014). "Is the Assad Regime in League with al-Qaeda?". Time. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Kerry: There Is Evidence That Assad Has Played "Footsie" With ISIL". Real Clear Politics. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
JOHN KERRY: Regrettably Congressman, no we're not going to be undercut, because. If Assad's forces indeed do decide to focus on ISIL significantly, which they haven't been doing throughout this period, one of our judgements is there is evidence that Assad has played footsie with them, and he has used them as a tool of weakening the opposition. He never took on their headquarters, which were there and obvious, and other assets that they have. So we have no confidence that Assad is either capable of or willing to take on ISIL."
- "Has Assad infiltrated rebel forces inside Syria?". Channel Four News. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Ridley, Yyonne (22 September 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: Shaikh Hassan Abboud's final interview". Middle East Monitor. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Al-Qaeda detainees reveal ties with Assad". Al Arabiya News. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Rand Paul: US arming ISIS terrorists". Press TV. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Shabad, Rebeca (22 June 2014). "Paul: ISIS emboldened after US armed its allies in Syria". The Hill.
- "Syrian Opposition Blasts Reports It Signed a Truce With ISIS". The Daily Beast. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "The terrorists fighting us now? We just finished training them.". The Washington Post. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Masi, Alessandria (12 September 2014). "US-Backed Moderate Group in Syria Signs Truce With ISIS: Reports". International Business Times.
- "Gen. Soleimani: US in league with ISIL". MEHR News. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei Condemns ISIS Beheading of Christians". NC News. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- "For Many Iranians, the ‘Evidence’ Is Clear: ISIS Is an American Invention". The New York Times. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- The US, IS and the conspiracy theory sweeping Lebanon. BBC
- Hassan, Mehdi (5 September 2014). "Inside jobs and Israeli stooges: why is the Muslim world in thrall to conspiracy theories?". New Statesman. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Ezidi Press: IS-Terror in Shingal: Wer kämpft gegen wen? Ein Überblick, Abruf am 13. Oktober 2014
- Aljazeera (17 October 2014): After repelling ISIL, PKK fighters are the new heroes of Kurdistan. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- VICE News (22 August 2014): Meet the PKK 'Terrorists' Battling the Islamic State on the Frontlines of Iraq. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- "In Pictures: Tension in Kirkuk". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- "Shabak Community forms military force of 1500 fighters to fight ISIS in Nineveh". IraqiNews. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- Karam, Zeina (19 August 2014). "Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds". The Independent.
- Mulcaire, Jack (22 April 2014). "Aleppo: Syria's Stalingrad?". The National Interest. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Al-Qaeda-linked Isis under attack in northern Syria". BBC News. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- Muslim, Hana (13 May 2014). "Syria rebels struggle for control over ISIL-held Raqqa". ARA News. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- "Al-Qaeda-linked Isis under attack in northern Syria". BBC. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- "Islamist militias unite under ‘code of honor’". The Daily Star. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "ISIL, Nusra Clash Fiercely on Qalmoun Barrens: 25 Killed, Injured". Al-Manar News. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- Ahmed, Raman (8 July 2014). "ISIL struggles for control over Syrian Kurdish areas". ARA News. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Presence of the MFS at the border of Iraq". Syriac International News Agency. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Steinbach, Peter. "Die Christen in Syrien ziehen in die Schlacht". Die Welt. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Duell, Mark (14 October 2014). "Now ISIS is under attack from guerrillas itself: Ultra-secret White Shroud group strike fear into terrorists by picking off fighters one by one". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Islamic State seizes territory inside Lebanon". The Daily Telegraph. 4 August 2014.
- Mortada, Radwan (19 May 2014). "Hezbollah fighters and the "jihadis": Mad, drugged, homicidal, and hungry". Al Akhbar. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Thomas Joscelyn (15 November 2014). "Murder Vids Help ISIS Lure More Monsters". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
- Paul Cruickshank, Nic Robertson, Tim Lister and Jomana Karadsheh, CNN (18 November 2014). "ISIS comes to Libya". CNN.
- Libya Herald reporter (27 April 2015). "Two Libyan National Forces Killed as IS attacks checkpoint". Libya Herald.
- Aaron Y. Zelin (10 October 2014). "The Islamic State's First Colony in Libya". washingtoninstitute.org/. Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- Deaton, Jennifer Z.; Hanna, Jason (23 December 2014). "Algeria: Leader of group that beheaded French hiker is killed". CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "ISIS active in south Afghanistan, officials confirm for first time". CBS News. 12 January 2015.
- "Syria, Iraq... and now Afghanistan: Isis advance enters Helmand province for the first time, Afghan officials confirm". The Independent.
- "Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech". Reuters.
- Martin Williams. "African leaders pledge 'total war' on Boko Haram after Nigeria kidnap". The Guardian.
- "Chadian Forces Deploy Against Boko Haram". VOA. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- Gov't allays ISIS threat
- "Coalition commanders seek plan to counter Daesh advance".
- "Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting". state.gov. US State Dept. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- Cooper, Helene (5 September 2014). "Obama Enlists 9 Allies". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Nicks, Denver (5 September 2014). "U.S. Forms Anti-ISIS Coalition at NATO Summit". Time. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Wintour, Patrick (5 September 2014). "US Forms 'core coalition' to fight ISIS militants in Iraq". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- Wordsworth, Araminta (26 September 2014). "Anti-ISIS coalition has mobilized up to 62 nations and groups". National Post. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Britain ready to supply Kurds with arms". Reuters. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Vedat Sevincer (19 September 2014). "Norway is Officially Part of the Military Coalition against ISIS". The Nordic Page.
- Nuno Ribeiro. "Portugal treina militares iraquianos contra o Estado Islâmico". PÚBLICO.
- "España enviará unos 300 militares a Irak para instruir a su Ejército". El País. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
- "Turkey trains Kurdish peshmerga forces in fight against ISIL". world bulletin.net. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Turkey launches air strike on Al Qaida convoy in N. Syria". World Tribune.
- "Jordan confirms its planes joined strikes on IS in Syria". The Jordan Times. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "U.S. Adds Planes to Bolster Drive to Wipe Out ISIS". The New York Times.
- "US Air Force's A-10 Warthogs and Reaper drones to blast ISIS from the skies - Daily Mail Online". Daily Mail.
- "John Key: Kiwi forces will help train Iraqis fight ISIS". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "نيوزيلندا تنضم الى التحالف ضد جهاديي تنظيم الدولة الاسلامية في العراق". www.alsharqiya.com.
- "نيوزيلاندا تشارك في تدريب الجيش العراقي". RT Arabic.
- Xue, Jianyue (3 November 2014). "Singapore to join fight against ISIS". Today (MediaCorp Press Ltd.). Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Besar Likmeta (27 August 2014). "Albania Starts Shifting Weapons to Iraqi Kurds". Balkan Insight.
- "До 2020 година 1.8 млрд. лв. ще бъдат вложени в армията (1.8 bln. lv will be invested in the military by 2020)" (in Bulgarian). Dir.bg. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
- "Hrvatska u borbi protiv islamista: Na zahtjev SAD-a šaljemo oružje za iračku vojsku". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 21 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Kalmouki, Nikoleta (25 September 2014). "Greece Participates in the War Against the Islamic State". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Jean Christou (6 October 2014). "Cyprus seeks to broaden role in IS fight". Cyprus Mail.
- "BH on Coalition List against IS Terrorists – Contributed by OSA and SIPA Efficiency". SIPA. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Sadq, Hoshmand (14 August 2014). "Seven Countries to sell weapons to Kurds". BasNews. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "Foreign Minister Tuomioja goes to the international Counter-ISIL Coalition meeting in Brussels". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- Dehghanpisheh, Babak (3 August 2014). "Iran's elite Guards fighting in Iraq to push back Islamic State". Reuters.
- "Iran Rushes Elite Quds Force Unit To Iraq To Help Government Stop ISIS Advance". weaselzippers.us. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- "Russia Tells Iraq It's 'Ready' to Support Fight Against ISIS". NBC News. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Nordland, Rod (29 June 2014). "Russian Jets and Experts Sent to Iraq to Aid Army". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Target ISIS: First batch of Russian fighter jets arrives in Iraq
- "Azerbaijan Arrests Alleged ISIS and Other Islamic Fighters". Eurasianet.org. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Azerbaijani media: Embassy increases security in Baku because of ISIS threatening". Panorama. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Nawaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia: Pakistan’s Leverage in the Gulf". Indian Express. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Now Pakistan cares about ISIS". NY Post. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Security forces arrest local Islamic State commander in Lahore: sources". Express Tribune. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Arab League issues proclamation on ISIS". CBS/AP. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "The War Between ISIS and al-Qaeda for Supremacy of the Global Jihadist Movement". Washington Institute. June 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- "ISIS reportedly moves into Afghanistan, is even fighting Taliban". January 2015. Retrieved 2015.
- Mohammed, A. Salih (1 September 2014). "PKK forces impress in fight against Islamic State". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- "UN says '25,000 foreign fighters' joined Islamist militants". BBC News. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- "Isis leader calls on Muslims to 'build Islamic state'". BBC News. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Burke, Jason (26 May 2015). "Islamist fighters drawn from half the world's countries, says UN". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "ISIS Beheads Another American As 60 New Terror Groups Join - The Fiscal Times". The Fiscal Times. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- "BIFF, Abu Sayyaf pledge allegiance to Islamic State jihadists | GMA News Online". Gmanetwork.com. 16 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Dean, Sarah (21 August 2014). "PM Tony Abbott warns Australians of threats from Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah group". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "allAfrica.com: Tunisia: Ansar Al-Sharia Tunisia Spokesman Backs Isis". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Abdallah Suleiman Ali (3 July 2014). [http://www.al- monitor.com/pulse/security/2014/07/syria-iraq-isis-islamic-caliphate-global-recognition.html# "Global jihadists recognize Islamic State"]. Al-Monitor. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Paterno Emasquel II (17 September 2014). "Philippines condemns, vows to 'thwart' ISIS". Rappler. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- "Gaza Salafists pledge allegiance to ISIS – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Witular, Rendi A. (13 August 2014). "Sons, top aides abandon Ba'asyir over ISIL, form new jihadist group". The Jakarta Post.
- Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, The Perpetual threat, Chris Rottenberg, Osgood Center for International Studies, 2012,http://www.osgoodcenter.org/PDF/JAT.pdf
- "Sons, top aides abandon Ba'asyir over ISIL, form new jihadist group". The Jakarta Post.
- "Sa është numri i xhihadistëve të ISIS-it? - Lajme - Top Channel". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- Weaver, Mary Anne (19 April 2015). "Her Majesty’s Jihadists". New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "UN Report on 15,000 Foreigners Joining ISIS Fighters in Syria And Iraq Will Shock You". International Business Times.
- "ISIS By the Numbers: Foreign Fighter Total Keeps Growing". NBC News. 28 February 2015.
- "The names: Who has been recruited to ISIS from the West". CNN. 25 February 2015.
- "Foreign fighter total in Syria/Iraq now exceeds 20,000; surpasses Afghanistan conflict in the 1980s". ICSR. 26 January 2015.
- "Nearly 1,700 Russians Fighting For ISIS in Iraq: Report". International Business Times. 20 February 2015.
- Yeginsu, Ceylan (15 September 2014). "ISIS Draws a Steady Stream of Recruits From Turkey". The New York Times.
- "650 Germans have joined Isis jihad: minister". The Local (de). 6 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Tomovic, Dusica (17 September 2014). "Hundreds of Balkan Jihadists Have Joined ISIS, CIA Says". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- "300 Chinese are fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq, Syria". The New York Post. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- "Kosovo Charges Seven With Islamist Terrorism". Balkan Insight. 3 March 2015.
- "Fears up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis". The Local (se). 23 November 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "HOW many? Authorities claim 'up to 250' Australians are linked to ISIS terrorists". Daily Mail. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- "Austria passes controversial reforms to Islam law banning foreign funding". The Telegraph. 25 February 2015.
- "New Norwegians take top roles in Isis jihadi group". The Local (no). 12 February 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Canadians have joined ISIS to fight -- and die -- in Syria". CNN. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- "Police arrest seven for recruiting women for Isis". The Local (es). 16 December 2014.
- Al-Jazeera. "The London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation estimates that just 120 people from Israel and the Palestinian territories are now fighting in Syria and Iraq." , "Israelis Are Joining ISIS". Vocativ. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015. "According to Israeli security service estimates, there are now 40 to 50 Arab-Israelis fighting in Syria and Iraq, most of them as part of ISIS. That’s not a huge number, given that there are 1.3 million Muslims living in Israel. "
- "India tracking 18 desi jihadis in Iraq, Syria". The Times of India Mobile Site. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Portugal Fails to Heed Warnings from Spain About Jihadis". The Clarion Project. 16 Sep 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- "Portugal’s Jihadists gain prominence". The Portugal News. 5 Feb 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- "World's Richest Terror Army". BBC. 24 April 2015. p. 25:06 - within a 59 minute programme.
excerpt from, interview with Abu Hajjar, a former "senior leader of IS": "How much money would a foreign fighter receive as a wage?" "A foreigner? They aren't given a salary. They are given food and housing, not money."
- "Insight into How Insurgents Fought in Iraq". The New York Times. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Not Just Iraq: The Islamic State Is Also on the March in Syria". The Huffington Post. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Cowell, Alan (10 July 2014). "Low-Grade Nuclear Material Is Seized by Rebels in Iraq, U.N. Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Sherlock, Ruth (10 July 2014). "Iraq jihadists seize 'nuclear material', says ambassador to UN". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Stone, Jeff (17 June 2014). "ISIS Attacks Twitter Streams, Hacks Accounts To Make Jihadi Message Go Viral". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- Prusher, Ilene (9 September 2014). "What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group". Time. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "US targets al Qaeda's al Furqan media wing in Iraq". The Long War Journal. 28 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Bilger 2014, p. 1.
- Zelin, Aaron Y. (8 March 2013). "New statement from the Global Islamic Media Front: Announcement on the Publishing of al-I'tiṣām Media Foundation – A Subsidiary of the Islamic State of Iraq – It Will Be Released Via GIMF". JIHADOLOGY. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "The Islamic State’s model". The Washington Post. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- Gertz, Bill (13 June 2014). "New Al Qaeda Group Produces Recruitment Material for Americans, Westerners". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "ISIS Declares Islamic Caliphate, Appoints Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi As 'Caliph', Declares All Muslims Must Pledge Allegiance To Him". MEMRI. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Sullivan, Kevin (8 December 2014). "Three American teens, recruited online, are caught trying to join the Islamic State". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- Joseph Steinberg (11 Apr 2015). "ISIS Blacks Out French Television Station Broadcasts". Forbes. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- "Dabiq: What Islamic State's New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction, Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine". The Jamestown Foundation. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Islamic State launches English-language radio bulletins". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- Berger, J. M. (16 June 2014). "How ISIS Games Twitter". The Atlantic. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "ISIS Propaganda Campaign Threatens U.S.". Anti-Defamation League. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Berger, J.M. (June 16, 2014). "How ISIS Games Twitter". The Atlantic. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- Sheera, Frenkel (16 June 2014). "Meet The 'ISIS Fanboys' Spreading The Message of Iraq's Most Feared Terror Group". BuzzFeed.
- Dan Friedman (17 August 2014). "Twitter stepping up suspensions of ISIS-affiliated accounts: experts". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "ISIS Faces Resistance From Social Media Companies". Anti-Defamation League. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Carlin, Brendan; Verkaik, Robert (27 September 2014). "PM: I'll hunt Jihadi John... even to Syria. Cameron prepared to send in SAS – and won't seek approval of MPs". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Walsh, Michael (23 September 2014). "ISIS releases second 'lecture video' of British hostage John Cantlie". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Financing of the Terrorist Organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (PDF). Financial Action Task Force. February 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Allam, Hannah (23 June 2014). "Records show how Iraqi extremists withstood U.S. anti-terror efforts". McClatchy News. Retrieved 25 June 2014.