The terror machine
A historically sound account of the origin, growth and reach Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. of the
T border with Iran. By the time U.S. President George Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Zarqawi had built up a force of 3,000.
After fighting the U.S. forces in Afghanistan for a while, Zarqawi, through Iran, came over to Iraq where he found a favourable climate as the U.S. had destroyed the Ba’athist state there. The Shias, until then suppressed under Saddam, gained power, a development that corroborated Zarqawi’s thesis that Shias needed to be put down at any cost. Zarqawi wanted to establish a foothold in “Greater Syria” with a view to establishing a Sharia-ruled state. He “welcomed” the ongoing sectarian war in Iraq.
Unlike bin Laden, who carried out attacks from his hideout without seeking to control territory, Zarqawi wanted to carve out territorial havens. Although a U.S. air strike killed Zarqawi in June 2006, the organisation that he had built up survived.
CALIPH OF THE ISIS
The next important protagonist is Abu Bakr albaghdadi, a “low-level Islamic academic” who rose to be the Caliph of the ISIS. His original name was
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