Who are they?
ISIS or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a group of Islamic fundamentalists according to whom Islam must strictly follow the Sharia laws and disown Western culture and capitalistic greed. Their motto is Jihad which is to wage a war against everything un-Islamic for which the warrior is going to be rewarded in the heaven.
A brief history of ISIS
After American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Islamic fundamentalists collaborated with Al Qaeda and formed a group called ISIS aka Daesh. Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s militant group forged an alliance with Laden just after the capture of Saddam Hussein. During the war in Iraq, the American troops were not just fighting against Saddam’s army but also against a number of militant groups which had filled the vacuum caused by Saddam’s fall from power. One such group was called Al Qaeda in Iraq whose leader Zarqawi was replaced after his death by Abu Ayyub al Masri. When al-Masri was killed in 2010 the present leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, a former US prisoner of war, came to power. The leadership of the organization was thoroughly systematized after members of the Ba’ath party of Saddam joined their forces.
During the Arab Spring protests back in 2011, rebellions broke out all over Syria soon to be followed by a civil war. This was when Al Qaeda in Iraq entered Syria and named themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. The group was joined by both disgruntled Iraqis and foreigners who wanted to take revenge on the West for slaughtering the innocent Iraqi civilians. Eventually ISIS disentangled itself from Al Qaeda apparently because according to them Al Qaeda wasn’t radical enough. The brutal tactics of ISIS drew criticism even from the much dreaded Talibans. After separating themselves from Al Qaeda they started creating outposts all over Syria with the objective of ousting President Bashar al Assad so as to establish an Islamic Caliphate.
The present threat
In late 2012-2013, CIA is said to have furnished almost 600 tons of weapons to the so called ‘moderate rebels’ which in turn led to a massive takeover of huge territories by ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. ISIS started gaining more grounds by conquering other Islamist, rebel and Syrian military locations till they invaded Raqqa their present headquarters. Their stronghold in Iraq is the city of Mosul. With the 5th year of the civil war in Syria, ISIS is now stronger than ever and the exodus of Syrian refugees seems to be an endless crisis. While the American and European governments are trying to grapple with the influx of refugees and the terrorist threat making its way to the west, at the same time they are lock out the refugees who are fleeing their land to escape from the ravages of war. In this context it needs to be remembered that the majority of victims of ISIS are Muslims and their radical interpretation of Koran is not accepted by more than a billion adherents of the Islamic faith.