Islamic State (IS) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) is a declared terrorist organization collectively by the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Saudi Arabia and Russia. There are several other countries included in that list. IS primarily operates in Syria and Iraq. The group engages in all sorts of terrorist and extremist activities and is responsible for major terrorist attacks all around the word. The leader of IS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was proclaimed as the “State’s” Caliph. His real name is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai aka Abu Du’a. He was born in 1971 in the Iraqi city of Samarra.
The apparent ideology that IS follows is Islamism however, the terrorist organization has absolutely nothing to do with Islam or its teachings. IS is headquartered in the Syrian city of Raqqa and was founded in 2006. The origin of IS goes back 2006 in Iraq when 11 different terrorist organizations merged. The merger resulted in the formation of Islamic State. IS didn’t make rounds on the news until only a few years ago. Unfortunately, by the time they hit the limelight, they already had become very strong.
IS goes by several other names as well. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) being one. It is also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham, and Daesh. As of March 2015, the group had control over territory that is occupied by 10 million people in Iraq and Syria. It also has certain areas under control in Libya, Nigeria and Afghanistan. The terrorist group also operates in other parts of the world including South Asia and North Africa.