Islamic State : A Brief Introduction
An authoritative guide to the rise of the Islamic State and its senior leadership
How did the Islamic State grow from regional terrorist group to a brutal multinational bureaucratic machine? What are its goals? How can it be stopped? In 2014, the Islamic State seemingly appeared out of nowhere, routing Iraqi forces, conquering Iraq's second-largest city, boldly announcing the establishment of a caliphate, and declaring itself the Islamic State (IS). Today, IS controls thousands of square miles and is attempting to govern millions of people.
In this definitive guide to the Islamic State and its senior leadership, Charles R. Lister traces its roots from the release of its notorious father figure, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, from a Jordanian prison and the group's formation in Afghanistan in the late-1990s, and finally to its stunning maturation in Iraq and Syria.
The West knows IS through its unrelenting propaganda war. Behind the deft use of social media and the slick videos of despicable acts is what amounts to a proto-state. Lister shares details of IS's sophisticated revenue machine, attempts at governing, and its formidable military.
With IS knocking on the doors of Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, Lister's portrait helps us understand what to expect next and recommends a course of action to defeat IS, extinguish extremism, and encourage a tolerant Islam across the Middle East.
Foreword by Ahmed Rashid