Islamic State fighters with covered faces.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX USA (2642870a) Hayat Boumeddiene, far right Hayat Boumeddiene ‘appears in Islamic State film’ – 06 Feb 2015 The latest video released by French-speaking Islamic state (ISIS), fighters may be Hayat Boumeddiene, who is believed to have knowledge about the deadly January 9, 2015 attack on a Paris kosher grocery,The video, titled “Blow Up France 2,” was released Tuesday and shows an ISIS fighter praising previous attackers in France and calling for new attacks. The video shows a woman standing next to the speaker, wearing camouflage clothing and holding a weapon. French authorities are investigating the possibility this woman could be Hayat Boumeddiene. Her husband, Amedy Coulibaly, killed four hostages January 9 at a kosher grocery in Paris, authorities said. He was killed by police in a rescue and the remaining hostages fled to safety.

ISIS has taken over the news headlines everywhere in the world. They have successfully become the newest and biggest current terrorist threat in the world. Their rise has seemed rapid and world changing.

Where did ISIS come from?

ISIS has been around for over ten years. At first, it was known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq (2004), later changing to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2006. In the beginning, Al-Qaeda and ISIS were allies working together to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East. But, differences started emerging and Al-Qaeda disowned ISIS in February of 2014.

How is ISIS different?

ISIS is much more brutal than other terrorist groups. They also seem to have better control over regions they have taken over. ISIS has replaced the current governments in Syria and Iraq with their own. ISIS is also much more organized both militarily, financially, and politically.

What is the structure of the ISIS government?

The new government structures actually has similarities to the Western governments they pledge to fight. There are seven councils total and twelve governors each in Syria and Iraq. The councils cover the follwing areas: financial, leadership, military, legal, fighters assistance, security, and intelligence. But, the differences far outweigh the similarities. ISIS is not a democracy and, last time I looked, the government of the United States does not have a council to decide who loses their head, literally.

How is ISIS funded?

Oil. Reduce it all down and it mostly comes to oil. It is based in Raqqa, Syria and now ISIS owns over half of the Syrian oil. With oil fields in Iraq, ISIS is releasing oil onto the black market. According to several sources, ISIS could be earning between $1 and $3 million dollars PER DAY!

Recent Targets – Individuals

In the summer of 2014, American journalist James Foley was the first to be executed on camera. Since then, he has been followed by others, totaling nine individuals in less than a year.

Recent Targets – Russia

On October 31st, 2015, a bomb on the Russian Metrojet Airbus A321 exploded over Egypt, killing all 224 people on board. The plane was full of vacationers and crew.

Recent Targets – France

On November 13th, 2015, a wave of suicide bombing swept Paris, which was responsible for 129 deaths. In all, six different locations were selected, including the Bataclan Theater and the Stade du France national stadium. The theater was hosting the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. The stadium was hosting the soccer match between Germany and France. The other targets were restaraunts.

ISIS goal?

Isis intends to create a caliphate (country) that covers the entire Middle East. It will have to overcome over its fellow Muslim countries to do so. Al-Qaeda has already divorced themselves of ISIS. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria, Iran, and Kurdistan all have ISIS on their no-no list.

Does this mean there is nothing to worry about and the problem will eventually fade away? Of course not. Even though the objectives seem extremely difficult and very improbable for ISIS, keep in mind another long-term goal in the Middle East is achieving and maintaining peace. In comparison, peace would seem nearly impossible.


How far do you think ISIS will go?