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Everything you need to know about the turmoil caused by ISIS

ISIS, also known as ISIL or Islamic State, is a jihadist (Islamic militant) group that was formed last April. Stemming from al-Qaeda, ISIS has become one of the most dangerous militant groups in the world.

ISIS has gained members from Germany, France, the Arab world and the United States. Ignoring international borders, ISIS currently is in control of hundreds of square miles. Its presence stretches from Syria’s Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad, Iraq, and is ruled by Sharia law, a strict moral code adhering to Islamic standards.

The goal of ISIS, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is to create a caliphate, an Islamic state led by one religious or political leader called a caliph.

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, ISIS released a video of the decapitation of James Foley, an American journalist who had been missing since 2012.

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, ISIS released a video of the decapitation of another American journalist: Steven Sotloff. ISIS has claimed the beheading of Sotloff was in reaction to U.S. airstrikes.

 

In the video, the executioner, who is alleged to be the same as the executioner of Foley, said, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State. Just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

In a news conference following the release of the second video, President Obama said, “Our objective is clear: … to degrade and destroy ISIL so it’s no longer a threat.”

What are your thoughts? Are we damned if we do, damned if we don’t? Leave me a comment.​ TAS

About Megan McCann, News Editor

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