Islamic State's time.
past decade, everything lined up for Islamic State to rise and unleash its
hellish brand of death and destruction on the world.
State (IS) needed the unrest of the Arab Spring. They needed the chaotic Syrian
civil war. They needed the festering scab of the US invasion of Iraq and
Afghanistan. They needed the tentacles of Silicon Valley's social media to
spread their propaganda. And they needed encrypted tech to recruit and instruct
lone wolves to attack Western cities.
had never seen a group like Islamic State before.
seemed to be the masters of the meticulously planned attack on symbolic
targets, like New York's Twin Towers or the USS Cole. But for most of us, the
threat of Al-Qaeda was unsettling yet distant.
State, also known as ISIS or Daesh, brought the terror right to us.
the extremist group was publishing a slick monthly magazine in multiple
languages which was dispersed to a growing worldwide fanbase.
magazine were regular sections, like detailing terror tactics for lone wolf
attacks in the West. The articles described what knives were most deadly, which
vehicles should be used to ram into pedestrians and how fake Gumtree ads could
lure innocent victims to their death.
magazine also celebrated the group's attacks in Western cities, and there were
many of those.
especially, was heavily targeted.
2015, 10 heavily armed gunmen turned downtown Paris into a warzone, killing 130
people at the Stade de France, bars, restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall.
Eight months later, on Bastille Day in Nice, a 19-tonne cargo truck fatally
mowed down 86 people and injured 458 others.
In the US,
a lone gunman who pledged allegiance to IS killed 49 people inside a gay
nightclub, while the UK was rocked when a suicide bomber targeted a
predominantly young audience at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing
terrible attacks in Belgium, Tunisia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other
European cities. Australia was also targeted, with Sydney's Lindt Cafe siege,
stabbing attacks in Melbourne and the killing of a NSW Police employee creating
most fear and attention.
attacks on the West grew in intensity from 2015, IS jihadists also killed
hundreds of fellow Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan in a series
of catastrophic bombings.
and The Beatles
State's now dead leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi aside, the group spawned several
high-profile individuals who became synonymous with Islamic State's savagery.
nicknamed Jihadi John was a chilling masked executioner who beheaded captured
journalists, aid workers and Westerners in carefully choreographed films made
to shock and recruit.
had three helpers who became known as the Beatles, dubbed after the iconic
English band by hostages because of their British accents.
John's real name was Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who
grew up in West London.
ways, Emwazi was typical of the thousands of young men and women who left their
homes to journey into Iraq and Syria, often entering across the porous
Turkey-Syria border, to join the building of the so-called caliphate.
of a self-declared caliphate set the group apart from Al-Qaeda, who had never
delivered on this shared ambition.
estimated 40,000 foreigners were seduced by Islamic State's siren call. Since
2012, around 230 Australians are thought to have travelled to Syria or Iraq.
The Department of Home Affairs estimates as many as 100 of that group have been
fall of The Caliphate
2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi entered a famous mosque in Mosul, Iraq and declared
the establishment of a caliphate.
rapidly seized large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, geographically the same
size as the United Kingdom. At its height, IS and al-Baghdadi governed 12
million people in a highly organised proto-state.
so-called caliphate was no ramshackle pipe dream. IS collected taxes, upheld
their version of law and order and performed all the typical tasks and
functions of any regular local council. At its height, IS was raking in $80
million a month through black market oil sales and the selling of priceless
was a group primed to rise in the modern age, their style of rule was medieval
and based on fear and subjugation.
limbs amputated, adulterers were stoned to death and suspected homosexuals were
thrown off high-rise buildings.
executions grew more and more barbaric. Underwater cameras sometimes filmed
victims being drowned in steel cages, while others were set alight and burned
State's religious police, the Hisbah, patrolled the streets and enforced strict
punishments on anyone who violated the group's strict interpretations of Shariah
world, provinces of the Islamic State caliphate, known as Wiliyats, sprang up
in Africa, Libya and the Philippines.
US-led coalition was formed and a sustained air and ground campaign lasting
several years eventually overthrew the caliphate.
to weed out IS from their defacto Syrian and Iraqi capitals, Raqqa and Mosul,
was brutal and bloody.
suicide bombers and block after block of booby-trapped homes, Iraq and Kurdish
forces were instrumental in the hard-fought urban victory.
At the end
of December, 2018 the last remaining stubborn pockets of the caliphate were
al-Baghdadi blows himself up
the caliphate has - at least for now - been destroyed, IS remains a worrying
A 2018 UN report
warned 30,000 IS fighters could be hiding in Iraq and Syria. Until October this
year, the fugitive IS leader al-Baghdadi was one of them.
26 President Donald Trump announced al-Baghdadi had blown himself up after US
special forces executed a daring raid on his hideout in Syria.
weeks later the group announced a new leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi
known about the new figurehead, who is now responsible for leading IS at what
is a crucial juncture.
believe IS will transition into a more traditional terror organisation, like Al
It would be
foolhardy to think we will not be discussing Islamic State or Al Qaeda in 10
Headline: The rise and fall of the Islamic State caliphate
Source: 9 News. com