by TH Tønnessen · Cited by 4 — group’s self-declared Caliphate. establishment of the Islamic State and the Caliphate in June 2014. the-islamic-state-al-nabacc84_-newsletter-129.pdf.

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2˜e Islamic State a˚er the Caliphate by Truls Hallberg Tønnessen Abstract Following the Islamic State loss of most of its territorial control and the fall of its self-declared Caliphate, many have warned that it is too early to declare that the group is defeated. ˜e group has previously been able to come spectacularly back from defeat. However, this article will argue that while the Islamic State is roughly following the same strategy as last time when it was also weakened, it was speci˚c historical circumstances that then enabled the dramatic rise of the Islamic State. ˜e article will also argue that in order to be successful, the group is dependent on con˛icts and root causes that exist independently of the group, but which it can exploit. Keywords: Islamic State, Iraq, Syria, jihadism Introduction ˜e aim of this Special Issue of Perspectives on Terrorism is to discuss various aspects and potential developments for the Islamic State in particular and the jihadi movement in general following the fall of the group™s self-declared Caliphate. ˜e aim of this introductory article is to use the group™s history to highlight some factors that have been important for the evolution of IS and that might be important for its future trajectory. Since the group™s dramatic takeover of Mosul in mid-2014 and the subsequent declaration of the Islamic State and the Caliphate there has been an avalanche of publications on various aspects of the Islamic State.[7] Some of this literature is focused on factors that have been more or less constant throughout the existence of the group, including its ideology and overall strategy.[8] ˜e group currently known as the Islamic State (IS) has a long history and its origin is o˚en traced back to the training camp established by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Herat, Afghanistan in 1999.[1] ˜roughout its history, the group has gone through an almost cyclic process of rising and falling. ˜e group™s ˛rst rise culminated when al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), the group founded by al-Zarqawi, together with some lesser-known Sunni Arab insurgent groups established the so-called Islamic State of Iraq in October 2006. ˜e combination of a Sunni Arab uprising against the group (o˚en referred to as al-sawha or fi˜e awakeningfl) and improved U.S counterinsurgency strategies led to a gradual weakening of the group, and by 2008 both the U.S and Iraqi governments declared that the group was close to defeat.[2] It was, however, far too early to conclude that the group was defeated for good.[3] Not only did the Islamic State of Iraq make a comeback, it was able to establish what has been referred to as the most powerful jihadist group in modern history.[4] ˜e latest comeback started a long time before 2014 . A˚er Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in May 2010, the group gradually regained strength. ˜e comeback was to a large extent facilitated by the U.S withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and by the increasingly violent con˝ict in Syria from 2011 and onwards. ˜is period of rising prominence culminated with the group declaring the establishment of the Islamic State and the Caliphate in June 2014. ˜e group™s territorial expansion, its brutal violence against the Yazidis and other ethnic and religious groups in the region, and its threats against the West, all combined to trigger an multinational o˙ensive against the group. As a result of this o˙ensive the group has lost most of its territorial control, and Iraqi, Russian and U.S governments have declared that the group has been defeated.[5] However, many analysts have also cautioned that it is too early to declare victory

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3and indeed there are already signs of a resurgent Islamic State, especially in Iraq.[6] If we are to understand the cyclic process of rising and falling Šin other words, to explain the dynamics of change Šit is necessary to focus on those factors that have evolved over time. Although the group™s ideology is key to understanding its behavior, it does not explain changes in its behavior and why it succeeds during some periods of time and fails during others. ˜e three factors emphasized in this introductory article are: 1) leadership and recruitment dynamics, 2) the size and strength of the group, and 3) the opportunity structure within the operating environment. ˜e ˛rst two factors are internal to the group, while the third factor (the opportunity structure) refers to all the external factors that are outside the control of the group Šsuch as the overall security and political situation that the group has to operate inŠbut which the group can to some extent in˝uence and exploit through its armed activities. ˜roughout the group™s existence, these parameters have changed considerably, and as this article aims to illustrate, these variations have had important rami˛cations both for the group™s behavior and its potential for success. ˜ey can also suggest potential future developments for the group. ˜e article will argue that in the past changes in the opportunity structure the group has operated in have been most consequential for the group™s potential for success. It will illustrate that although the group never went away and has roughly been following the same overall strategy and ideology, the impact of this strategy has varied considerably due to changes in the opportunity structure. Furthermore, the article will argue that the primary strength of the Islamic State is its ability and willingness to exploit con˝icts that exist independently of the group, and that speci˛c historical circumstances enabled the dramatic rise of the Islamic State. Leadership and Recruitment Dynamics Leaders of terrorist organizations involved in violent con˝ict are frequently killed or arrested, and the Islamic State is by no means an exception. ˜roughout the history of the Islamic State, many of the top leaders have been killed and replaced with a new generation. ˜roughout its 20-year long history the group only had three or four paramount leaders (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi until 2006, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Umar al- Baghdadi 2006-2010, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from 2010), but among the leaders in the layer immediately below the top and in the surroundings of the paramount leader there have been frequent changes. For instance, most of those leaders who rose to the top together with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2010 have been killed during the latest o˙ensive, and as far as we know, there are few leaders within the group today who represent continuity.[9] At the same time, it is likely that a core of central but largely unknown leaders still remain within the organization, and might be in a position to replace the killed top leaders. ˜e articles by Vera Mironova and by Asaad Almohammad and Charlie Winter in this Special Issue both demonstrate how members of the Islamic State™s security-intelligence apparatus ( amni) can be vital for the survival of the group.[10] As Mironova points out, amni was a secret organization within IS and its members o˚en used masks in public, making it more diˆcult to identify them. ˜us, if al-Baghdadi is killed his replacement might be someone whom few observers have heard about but who climbed the ranks within the group, not unlike when al- Baghdadi became the new leader of the group in 2010. Very few outsiders knew much about this individual until around 2014, when he was declared a Caliph. In contrast to (for instance) Jabhat al-Nusra, which operated more as a small elite organization, the Islamic State was joined by a very large number of recruits. ˜e estimates on the number of ˛ghters in the ranks of Islamic State a˚er 2014 varies widely, from 9,000 up to 200,000. ˜e high estimate of 200,000 members also includes personnel who joined its police and security-intelligence apparatus.[11] Although it is diˆcult to get a correct estimate of how many joined the Islamic State, all estimates agree that the number was in the thousands.

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4As Mironova illustrates in her article in this Special Issue, the recruits to the Islamic State joined for di˙erent reasons. Some joined the group for ideological reasons, others for personal gains .[12] ˜e article by Cole Bunzel further demonstrates that there have been ideological tensions and disagreements within the group. [13] ˜is underscores the fact that the Islamic State was far from a monolithic organization, and that many joined (or at least cooperated with) the group simply because the Islamic State was the dominating actor in large chunks of territory in Syria and Iraq, and because joining the group could potentially provide recruits with access to money, power and protection. Now that the group has lost most of its territorial control and clearly has been on the losing side, it is reasonable to assume that those who still remain as members of the group are a combination of a hardcore of the most ideologically motivated members, along with those who have no other option than to remain. ˜is also indicates that the group might splinter into di˙erent factions. ˜e composition of the recruits has also changed over time. For instance, there have been huge variations in the number and the in˝uence of foreign ˛ghters within the group. AQI, the predecessor of the Islamic State, was founded mainly by Jordanian and Syrians, but over time the leadership became more and more dominated by Iraqis, culminating in 2010 with the appointment of al-Baghdadi as the top leader of the group. Despite the in˝ux of a large number of foreign ˛ghters, and despite that most of the known Iraqis in the top echelon have been killed, there are few known examples of foreigners who have risen to the top ranks of the group. Two important exceptions are the Georgian Chechen Abu Umar al-Shishani, who was killed in 2016, and the Tajik Gulmurod Khalimov, who was killed in 2017. ˜ey both reportedly served as the group™s Minister of War.[14] Another important exception is the group™s current spokesperson Abu al-Hasan al- Muhajir.[15] Why and how might the composition of the top leadership and the recruits be important for the potential future development of IS? ˜e history of the group indicates the importance of a common background for establishing new units or networks, such as a common nationality or sharing a common experience or acquaintances from a particular recent con˝ict. For example, while several of the founders of AQI were veterans of the con˝ict in Afghanistan before 2001, the leaders of IS a˚er 2010 were almost exclusively veterans of the con˝ict in Iraq, who had never been to Afghanistan nor met the top leadership of al-Qaida. On the other hand, the Syria-based al-Qaida aˆliate Jabhat al-Nusra was mainly established by the Shami (Levantine) members of ISI.[16] Although there are several other reasons, the lack of deep historical ties between the leadership of the Islamic State and al-Qaida helps explain the con˝ict between the two groups. When Jabhat al-Nusra announced in July 2016 that it split from al-Qaida and rebranded itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a small group of mainly Jordanian Afghan-veterans with historical ties to the al-Qaida leadership broke away and established a group that pledged allegiance to al-Qaida™s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. In March 2018, this break-away faction announced that it took the name Hurras al-Din (Guardians of Religion). [17] Interestingly, this pro-al-Qaida faction included close associates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, such as the Jordanian Khalid al- ˜Aruri, Zarqawi™s childhood friend, brother-in-law and one of the original founders of the Herat camp in Afghanistan in 1999.[18] What the leaders of this groupŠwith veterans of both al-Qaida™s and Zarqawi™s networksŠhad in common was that they roughly belonged to the same generation, had been to Afghanistan and had a long history of interaction with central members of the al-Qaida network. ˜is group (which included several close associates of Zarqawi, o˚en referred to as the Godfather of the Islamic State) was described by IS as fiapostatesfl ( murtaddin ) and mockingly referred to as Hurras al-Shirk (Guardians of Polytheism).[19] ˜e networks and connections established during the recent con˝ict in Iraq and Syria will most likely also a˙ect the international terrorist threat against Europe. As Petter Nesser has demonstrated, many of the terrorist cells in Europe trace their origins back to networks established in Afghanistan during the 1980s and 1990s.[20] Given the historically high number of foreign ˛ghters who have fought in Iraq and Syria, it is likely that some of the connections made and experiences gained during the con˝ict will provide the basis for future terrorist groups and networks.

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5˜ere are also indications that the nationalities of the top leaders have had implications on their target selection and agenda. ˜ere was, for instance, an increase in threats and plots against Sweden following the promotion of the Swedish-Moroccan Mohamed Moumou to the top ranks of the ISI in the late 2000s.[21] And one of the reasons why there have been so many plots and attacks by IS in France is that the French foreign ˛ghters within IS had important leadership positions in the group™s external operations branch (al- amn al-kharji ).[22]˜erefore it is relevant to note the in˝uence of ˛ghters from former Soviet states in the Caucasus and Central Asia, both within the Islamic State and amongst the Syrian jihadist groups in general. Combined with Russia™s central role in the ˛ght against IS and its support for the Assad regime, this helps explain why Russia has become a more important target for the jihadis.[23] Size and Strength ˜roughout its existence the size and strength of the group has also changed dramaticallyŠfrom being a handful of Arab-Afghan veterans arriving in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2002-2003, to establishing in 2014 something tantamount to a de-facto state, ruling a territory the size of the UK with an estimated population of 10 million people. ˜e group has also moved back and forth between operating as an underground terrorist group without territorial control and having various degrees of territorial control. As Ahmed Hashim illustrates in his contribution to this Special Issue, these developments had obvious implications for the group™s modus operandi.[24] ˜roughout the group™s history one of its key traditional strengths has been its mobility and ability to relocate to another area if the pressure was too much in one place.[25] A˚er the group succeeded in establishing territorial control of large cities like Mosul and Raqqa, it had to defend its territorial control from potential aggressors, and police the population internally in order to avoid a rebellion or uprising.[26] Since the Islamic State has lost almost all of its territory by early 2019, it has reverted back to its rootsŠoperating mainly as a terrorist organization with only sporadic attempted to re-establish territorial control. It is, a˚er all, easier to survive as an underground movement that does not need to defend a particular territory, but that instead can hide in areas that are diˆcult for the authorities to control. ˜e modus operandi of the group following its territorial losses is reminiscent of the tactics the group followed prior to 2014. It has, for instance, established sleeper cells in some of the territories that were liberated from the group.[27] ˜e group has also succeeded in establishing a presence in areas that are diˆcult for the authorities to patrol, such as rural and remote areas, especially in the border regions between territories controlled by the Iraqi federal forces and the Kurdish peshmerga.[28] IS has also systematically removed potential competitors for in˝uence in Sunni-Arab dominated areas of Iraq by eliminating local leaders and by intimidating the local populations.[29] ˜is has fostered fear among the locals and deters them from informing on the group to the authorities, while also creating power vacuums that the Islamic State can exploit.[30] ˜e variations in the group™s size and strength have also had an impact on the group™s behavior vis-à-vis potential allies, and helps explain its cyclic process of rising and falling. When the group is weak, it tends to take a less prominent role and instead concentrates on reorganizing and preparing for a comeback. For instance, there were several indications of improved cooperation between ISI and other Sunni Arab actors in 2009-2010, when the group was in a weak position.[31] ˜ere are also several examples in the history of the group when its presence initially was tolerated and even welcomed by other Sunni Arab actors as long as it did not seek to become the dominant actor, and as long as it contributed to the ˛ght against a common enemy. But each time the group has gained strength, it has

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6gradually attempted to establish a monopoly of violence by either co-opting or targeting competing actors and those who did not submit to the group™s authority.[32] ˜e group™s attempts to establish a monopoly of violence has, however, also o˚en back˛red and generated Sunni Arab resistance against the group. For instance, in January 2014 Sunni Arab rebels cooperated in successfully expelling the Islamic State from Western Syria. Similarly, one of the main reasons why Sunni Arab insurgent and tribal leaders turned against AQI in 2006 was the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq, as they claimed that the groupˇattacked insurgents and other Sunni Arabs who did not acknowledge the authority of their fistatefl. As many of the Sunni Arab insurgents in Iraq laid down their arms following the Sahwa process in 2007- 2008, the Islamic StateŠwhich had continued to maintain a presence in its core areasŠwas in a prime position to exploit the Sunni uprising against the Iraqi regime that escalated in 2012-2013.[33] Together with the in˝ux of foreign ˛ghters into the group, this was an important explanation for why it was able to establish itself as the dominant actor in large areas of Iraq and Syria. ˜e group also has a tendency to be expansive and tries to increase the size of the area it is controlling, as re˝ected in the oˆcial motto of firemain and expandfl (‚baqiyah wa tatammadad™). ˜is approach increases the risks of provoking a military o˙ensive against the group, which over time can jeopardize its territorial control.[34] However, despite the fact that the Islamic State is roughly following the same strategy as the last time it was weakened, it was speci˛c historical circumstances not created by the group that enabled its dramatic comeback, as the next section of this discussion will make clear. Opportunity Structure ˜e third factor that has changed signi˛cantly throughout the group™s history is the opportunity structure, de˛ned as all the exogenous factors outside the control of the group and the environment that the group had to operate in. ˜ese factors created constraints and limitations, but also opportunities that a group like the Islamic State could exploitŠfor instance, by triggering a sectarian con˝ict between Shiites and Sunnis by means of one of the most comprehensive suicide attack campaigns in history.[35] ˜e history of the group clearly illustrates that even if it has been roughly following the same overall strategy, the impact of this strategy has varied considerably due to changes in the opportunity structure. It also demonstrates that the primary strength of the Islamic State is its ability and willingness to exploit con˝icts that existed independently of the group. ˜ere is not room here for an exhaustive history of the origins of the Islamic State, but there is a general agreement that one of the most important roots of the group lies in the U.S invasion of Iraq and the toppling of the Sunni-Arab dominated regime of Saddam Hussein.[36] ˜e dissolution of the Baath party and the Iraqi army led to a historical transfer of power in Iraq from the Sunni-Arab minority to the Shia-majority and the Kurds. ˜e dissolution of the Iraqi army was particularly important for the rise of the Islamic State, as illustrated by the prominent role played by former Iraqi oˆcers within the group™s top leadership, especially a˚er 2010.[37] ˜is process resulted in the disenfranchisement of a Sunni Arab ruling elite and a feeling among Sunni Arabs of being politically and militarily marginalized by consecutive regimes which were all dominated by the Shia-majority. Although AQI initially was just a small group within a much larger Sunni Arab insurgency, this grievance has been a consistent recruitment tool for the group. AQI could exploit the fear and rage many Sunni Arabs felt towards U.S. forces and Shia militias, especially amongst those Sunnis who had been victims of atrocities committed by U.S. forces or Shia militias. Pollings of Iraqis illustrate how the Sunni community™s support for violent activities tends to be correlated with how the Sunni community perceived its security situation, and provides an indication of how IS has thrived in periods of insecurity. ˜e Sunni Arabs™ support for violence increased as the security situation deteriorated,

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7and conversely, when the security situation improved, the support for violence decreased. ˜is is illustrated by the fiWhere ˜ings Standfl (WTS) series, consisting of six polls conducted in Iraq from 2004 until 2009. [38] ˜e WTS series documents a continuously deteriorating security situation from March 2004 until March 2007, as a rapidly growing proportion of IraqisŠespecially among Sunni ArabsŠdescribed a diˆcult security situation.[39] However, from March 2007 to March 2008 the view among the Sunni Arabs turned dramatically more positive – a turnaround coinciding roughly with the fall of AQI.[40] ˜e relationship between the fall of AQI and this feeling of an improved security situation may have been spurious, as there were additional factors accounting for the reduction of violence during 2007-2008, such as Muqtada al-Sadr™s announcement of a cease-˛re in August 2007 and his e˙orts to rein in the violence of the Sadr-led Jaysh al-Mahdi.[41] However, the polls do at least indicate that the potential to mobilize Iraqis to participate in violent activities correlates with the Sunni community™s perception of their own security, and re˝ects how AQI thrived in a climate of fear and insecurity. Despite the group™s decline in the period 2008-2010, the group was responsible for several large and coordinated terrorist attacks throughout Iraq. Based on statistics from the U.S National Counterterrorism Center, Iraq led the world in the number of terrorist attacks and in the numbers of people killed from 2008 to 2010.[42] ˜e Global Terrorism Index ranked Iraq as the country most impacted by terrorism in 2011.[43] Based on empirical data, such as the number of attacks ISI were responsible for and the production of propaganda, the beginning of ISI™s ficomebackfl might speci˛cally be pinpointed to 21 July 2012, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the beginning of the so-called fiBreaking the Wallsfl campaign.[44] If we are to measure by the numbers of Iraqi civilians killed by violence, it was not the increased of ISI activity in 2012 that triggered the increase of violence in Iraq and the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Rather, it appears to have been the Maliki regime™s crackdown on a protest camp in Hawija, in April 2013.[45] Based on the Iraqi Body Count database of violent civilian deaths in Iraq, the level of violence against civilians in Iraq was fairly constant from 2009 until April 2013, despite the increase of activity from ISI. ˜e crackdown on the Hawija camp took place 23 April 2013, and from May 2013 there was a rapid increase in the number of civilians killed.[46] ˜is increase is also re˝ected in the United Nations casualty ˛gures from Iraq.[47] Incidentally, it was also in April 2013 that ISI announced its presence in Syria under the new name of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. ˜e relationship between the rise of the Islamic State and the escalating con˝icts in Iraq and Syria is detailed elsewhere, but the important point here is that the group initially played only a minor role in both of these con˝icts. ˜ere were primarily other Sunni Arab actors who led the uprising in Syria against Bashar al-Assad and in the demonstrations in Iraq against the regime of Nuri al-Maliki. But these two con˝icts eventually led to a breakdown of security and a fragmentation of the political and military authority in the traditional core areas of AQI/IS, the Sunni-Arab dominated areas in Northern Syria and Western Iraq. ˜is provided IS with an opportunity to use its long experience of organizing militant activity, access to resources and ability to recruit the incoming foreign ˛ghters in order to exploit the power vacuum and fragmentation, and to establish itself as one of the dominant actors in these areas.[48] ˜us, one of the most important reasons for the resurgence of the group was that it was one of the strongest and most organized actors in a highly chaotic environment of otherwise weak, uncoordinated and fragmented actors. ˜is means that the group operated within a vastly di˙erent opportunity structure compared to the years 2003-2011, when there were over 100,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq pursuing the stated mission of ˛ghting and defeating al-Qaida.[49] Concluding Remarks ˜is article has argued that speci˛c historical circumstances enabled the dramatic rise of the Islamic State.

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9To conclude, the Islamic State will most likely remain a security threat for many years, in one form or another. Despite its apparently rigid ideology, the group has shown a remarkable ability to survive and to adapt to changing circumstances. ˜is is one the most important reasons for the group™s resilience, and there are several indications that the group has adapted following its recent loss of territorial control. ˜ese measures are, however, primarily reactive measures that the deteriorating situation has forced the group to implement. Whether the group will also be able to do more than just firemainfl and fiexpandfl again is to a large degree dependent on factors beyond the control of the IS. Note : ˜e author wishes to thank Petter Nesser, Henrik Gråtud, Anne Stenersen and Brynjar Lia for their useful and insightful comments and input to earlier versions of this article. About the Author: Truls Hallberg Tønnessen is a Senior Research Fellow at Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, focusing on Sala˚-jihadi insurgent groups in Iraq and Syria. In 2016, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University. He obtained his PhD in history from the University of Oslo in 2015, with a dissertation on the rise of al-Qaida in Iraq in 2003-2006. He can be followed @ trulstonnessen Notes [1] See ,for instance, Bryan Price et al., fi˜e Group ˜at Calls Itself a State: Understanding the Evolution and Challenges of the Islamic State,fl Combating Terrorism Center , 16 December 2014, 8-9,19 and Charles Lister, fiPro˛ling the Islamic State,fl Brookings 2014,16. [2] See for instance fiAl-Qaeda Near Defeat in Iraq, on Defensive Globally: CIA Chief, fl AFP, 30 May 2008, ˜omas E. Ricks and Karen DeYoung: fiAl-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled,fl Washington Post , 15 October 2007. For a broader discussion of the factors accounting for the reduction of violence in Iraq in 2007, see, for instance, Stephen Biddle, Je˙rey A. Friedman and Jacob N. Shapiro, fiTesting the Surge Œ Why Did Violence Decline in Iraq in 2007?fl International Security , 1 (2012), 7-40 and fiCorrespondence: Assessing the Synergy ˜esis in Iraq ,fl International Security , 4 (2013): 173-198.[3] For a good overview of this period in the group™s history, see Brian Fishman, fiRede˛ning the Islamic State Œ ˜e Fall and Rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq,fl New America Foundation , August 2011. [4] William McCants, ˜e ISIS Apocalypse: ˜e History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State, (New York: St. Martin™s Press, 2015). [5] Margaret Coker and Falih Hassan, fiIraq Prime Minister Declares Victory Over ISIS,fl New York Times , 9 December 2017 and Alec Luhn,fiRussia Declares ‚Mission Accomplished™ against Islamic State in Syria,fl ˜e Telegraph , 7 December 2017. [6] See, for instance, Judit Neurink, fiIs the ‚Islamic State™ making a comeback in Iraq?,fl Deutsche Welle , 21 November 2018 and Krishnadev Calamur, fiISIS Never Went Away in Iraq,fl ˜e Atlantic , 31 August 2018. [7] For a comprehensive overview of the literature and an illustration of the magnitude of publications on the Islamic State see the 4-part bibliography compiled by Judith Tinnes and published in Perspectives on Terrorism . fiBibliography: Islamic State (Part 1),fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 9, No. 4 (2015), fiBibliography: Islamic State (Part 2),fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 10, No. 3 (2016), fiBibliography: Islamic State (Part 3),fl Perspectives on Terrorism Vol. 11, No. 3 (2017) and Bibliography: Islamic State ( IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh), [Part 4], Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2018) [8] See, for instance, Cole Bunzel, fiFrom Paper State to Caliphate: ˜e Ideology of the Islamic State,fl Brookings Institution , March 2015, 13, Erin Marie Saltman and Charlie Winter, fiIslamic State: ˜e Changing Face of Modern Jihadism,fl Quilliam Foundation (2014), 27-28, Howard J. Shatz and Erin-Elizabeth Johnson, fi˜e Islamic State We Knew: Insights before the Resurgence and ˜eir Implications,fl RAND , September 2015 and McCants, ˜e ISIS Apocalypse. [9] See, for instance, Martin Chulov, fi‚We will get him™: ˜e long hunt for Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,fl ˜e Guardian , 15 January 2018.

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10[10] Asaad Almohammad and Charlie Winter, fiFrom Directorate of Intelligence to Directorate of Everything: ˜e Islamic State™s Emergent Amni-Media Nexus,fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 13, No. 1 (February 2019), and Vera Mironova, fiWho are the ISIS people?,fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 13, No. 1 (February 2019). [11] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, fiHow Many Fighters Does the Islamic State Really Have?,fl War on the Rocks , 9 February 2015. [12] Vera Mironova, fiWho are the ISIS people?,fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 13, No. 1 (February 2019). See also Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (New York: Regan Arts, 2016), 160-172. [13] Cole Bunzel, fiIdeological In˛ghting in the Islamic State,fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 13, No. 1 (February 2019). [14] fiIslamic State™s ‚War Minister™ Omar al-Shishani ‚Clinically Dead™,fl ˜e Guardian, 14 March 2016 and fiIsis: US-trained Tajik special Forces Chief Gulmurod Khalimov Becomes Isis ‚War Minister™,fl International Business Times , 6 September 2016 [15] ˜e identity of Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir is unclear, but the name al-Muhajir (fithe immigrantfl) indicates that he is a foreign ˛ghter. For speculation on his identity, see Graeme Wood, fi˜e American Climbing the Ranks of ISIS,fl ˜e Atlantic, March 2017. [16] For details see Truls H. Tønnessen, fiHeirs of Zarqawi or Saddam? ˜e Relationship between al-Qaida in Iraq and the Islamic State,fl Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 9, No. 4 (August 2015). [17] For more on this group, see Tore Refslund Hamming and Pieter Van Ostaeyen, fi˜e True Story of al-Qaeda™s Demise and Resurgence in Syria,fl Lawfare , 8 April 2018. [18] For details, see Tore Hamming, fiAbu al-Qassam: Zarqawi™s right-hand man who stayed loyal to al-Qaida,fl Jihadica, 20 November 2017 and Hadi al-Salih, fiZarqawi™s Brother-in-Law from Iran to Latakiya,fl al-Arabiya , (in Arabic), 18 January 2017. [19] fiUntil you believe in God Alone,fl Al-Naba™ , Issue 129, 26 April 2018, p.3,; URL: https://azelin.˛ the-islamic-state-al-nabacc84_-newsletter-129.pdf [20] Petter Nesser, Islamist Terrorism in Europe, Second Edition, (London: Hurst, 2018). [21] Brian Fishman, fiAl Qaeda in Iraq™s Swedish Connections,fl Foreign Policy , 13 December 2010. [22] Nesser (2018), 308 and Jean-Charles Brisard and Kevin Jackson, fi˜e Islamic State™s External Operations and the French- Belgian Nexus,fl CTC Sentinel, Vol. 9, No. 11, (November 2016). [23] See, for instance, Colin P.Clarke, fiHow Russia Became the Jihadists™ No 1 Target,fl RAND , 3 April 2017. [24] Ahmed S. Hashim, fi˜e Islamic State™s Way of War in Iraq and Syria: From its Origins to the Post Caliphate Era,fl Perspectives on Terrorism , Vol. 13, No. 1 (February 2019). [25] See, for instance, Michael Knights, fiEndangered Species – al-Qaeda in Iraq Adapts to Survivefl, Jane™s Intelligence Review May 2008 and Carter Malkasian, fiDid ˜e United States Need More Forces in Iraq? ,fl Defence Studies , 1 (2008), 87-88, [26] For a good article on the resistance Islamic State faced from civilians, see Mathilde Becker Aarseth, fiResistance in the Caliphate™s Classrooms: Mosul Civilians vs IS,fl Middle East Policy , Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring 2018. [27] Hassan Hassan, fiISIL sleeper cells in Iraq are a warning sign the extremist group is already reforming,fl ˜e National , 28 March 2018.[28] Rhys Dubin, fiISIS 2.0 Is Really Just the Original ISIS,fl Foreign Policy , 3 April 2018. [29] Krishnadev Calamur, fiISIS Never Went Away in Iraq,fl ˜e Atlantic , 31 August 2018 and Ghazwan Hassan al-Jibouri, fiExtremists Intimidate, Harass, Dislocate Locals in Salahaddin, ˜en Take Over,fl Niqash , 12 July 2018. [30] ˜is is similar to how the group operated previously. See, for instance, Craig Whiteside, fiNine Bullets for the Traitors, One for the Enemy: ˜e Slogans and Strategy behind the Islamic State™s Campaign to Defeat the Sunni Awakening (2006- 2017),fl International Centre for Counter-terrorism , September 2018. [31] Andrea Plebani, fiNinawa Province: al-Qa`ida™s Remaining Stronghold,fl CTC Sentinel , Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2010, p.21 and Michael Knights, fial-Qa™ida in Iraq: Lessons from the Mosul Security Operation,fl CTC Sentinel , Vol. 1, No. 7 (June 2008), p.1. [32] For details, see Truls H.Tønnessen, fi˜e Group that Wanted Be a State: ˜e ‚Rebel™ Governance of the Islamic Statefl, in:

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