ISISis currently the largest terrorist group in the world. The groupcomprising of Al Qaeda remnants and other extremists boasts of over10,000 members including 300 Americans (Bergen). The group hasdominated headlines in the recent past over mass killings, beheadingsand brutal punishments regions under its control in Iraq, Syria andeven Libya. The militant group under the leadership of Abu Bakral-Baghdadi since 2010 has been fighting governments in Syria, Iraqand Afghanistan. Its origin is well connected to other terror groups,US military activities in the Middle East and extremist Islamism.This paper seeks to portray to explain the origins of ISIS, theagenda of the group and its impact and possible way to suppress it.

Thegroup’s name stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).Alternative names include Islamic State (IS) or Islamic State of Iraqand the Levant (ISIL). The group first came into the limelight inApril 2013. However, its history goes deeper to 1999 under adifferent name, &quotThe Organization of Monotheism and Jihad&quot(JTJ). This group operated in Jordan under the leadership of formerAl Qaeda strongman, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in 2006 byUS forces. The group pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda and changed thename to “The Organization of Jihad`s Base in Mesopotamia&quot(Larsen). The name ‘ISIS’ was adapted after the militants enteredIraq and Syria where they sought to establish an independent Islamicstate carved out of Iraq and Syria. Currently, the group occupies anarea larger than the UK along the Syria-Iraq border and threatens tooccupy the whole of Iraq and Syria (Larsen).

Theagenda of ISIS has changed with group declaring itself a caliphate.By a caliphate the group claims to have control over all Muslims inthe world and all Islamic territories. The US and the UN have deniedthis term and have even failed to use it retaining the label as‘terrorist group.’ The group has remained very effective in itsoperations as it has retained the approach used by Al Qaeda and theglobal approach in terror activities all over the world seeks toprove its legitimacy as a caliphate. Again, same as Al Qaeda, thegroup was created by the US. Majority of these ISIS fighters wereonce freedom fighters in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya funded andarmed by the US. Only recently, “President (Obama) was requesting$500 million to help the “freedom fighters” in Syria topple theAssad regime. The majority of these “freedom fighters” now go bythe name ISIS” (Larsen) and are fighting their former allies.

Themain targets of the group’s extremist violence are Christians andmoderate Muslims in the region. To capture global attention and callfor withdrawal of US forces in the region and abolition of Israel,the group has targeted westerners in the region. Expatriates andjournalists from US, Britain and other countries have been kidnappedfor ransom or publicly beheaded and the videos circulated on theinternet to spread fear. Such animosity has won the group enemies andfriends alike. As of today, over 30 militant groups all over theworld have pledged allegiance to the group (Bergen). Boko Haram, anIslamic militant group operating in northern Nigeria which gainednotoriety after kidnapping over 200 school girls and killing entirevillages is the latest group to pledge allegiance to ISIS.Previously, Boko Haram has shown its admiration of ISIS by mimickingtheir tactics such as public beheadings, kidnappings, and territoryoccupation (Lister). Again, the group targets foreign fightersespecially from the west to join the war against their governmentwith the most famous foreign fighter being a British man nicknamedJihadi John.

Itis thus clear that ISIS as a militant group poses a threat to globalpeace. Efforts by the US and her allies to contain its threat shouldbe supported wholly by those who stand for peace. The role of the USin creating ISIS is also very clear. It is therefore a high time thatthe US adapted a different approach from military interventions inaddressing enforcing peace and democracy around the world. Militaryinterventions have created failed states and better armed terrorists.It is highlight recommended the US government should address theideological appeals of ISIS and other terror groups as moresustainable options to fight terrorism.


Bergen,P. (2015). ISISgoes global.CNN. 8thMar 2015. Web. 9thMar 2015


Thearticle confirms the worries expressed by Lister that Boko Haram isimitating ISIS. The fact that many terror groups have aligned withISIS shows that the group appeals to many people which makes it moredangerous. Thus, the article will be used in this research tohighlight the threat of ISIS and the urgency of the matter.

Larsen,Richard. ISIS:new face of global terror and how we helped create it.Sep 1 2014. Web.

9thMar 2015. &lt

Thearticle provides incriminating statements against the US government.It states that the ISIS is a product of the contradictions of the USforeign policy. The origins of ISIS lies in Al Qaeda which was fundedand trained by the US as an ally to counter Soviet influence inAfghanistan. Some of the militants armed by the US in Syria to fightPresident Assad have also joined ISIS. The source will help thecurrent research show the deeper origins of ISIS and offersuggestions on the best way forward.

Lister,Tim. BokoHaram + ISIS = Marriage from Hell.CNN. 24thFeb 2015. Web. 9thMar


Thearticle notes that by Boko Haram mimicking ISIS, the West Africanterror group is becoming more dangerous. The article notes that theinfluence of ISIS is not limited to the Middle East. This shows thatthe best way to tackle terrorism is to address the ideologicalfactors that bring such terror groups together rather than usemilitary options which often backfire. The article will thus be usedto show the urgency of the matter and call for new approaches toaddress global terrorism.


Bergen,P. (2015). ISISgoes global.2015. Web. 9thMar 2015


Larsen,Richard. ISIS:new face of global terror and how we helped create it.Sep 1 2014. Web.

9thMar 2015. &lt

Lister,Tim. BokoHaram + ISIS = Marriage from Hell.24thFeb 2015. Web. 9thMar 2015.