ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 29, 2015 - Political Science - 288 pages
4 Reviews
A revelatory look inside the world's most dangerous terrorist group.

Initially dismissed by US President Barack Obama, along with other fledgling terrorist groups, as a “jayvee squad” compared to al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in both countries and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law.

In ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, American journalist Michael Weiss and Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan explain how these violent extremists evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who behead Western hostages in slickly produced videos and have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain. Beginning with the early days of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of ISIS’s first incarnation as “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” Weiss and Hassan explain who the key players are—from their elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the former Saddam Baathists in their ranks—where they come from, how the movement has attracted both local and global support, and where their financing comes from.

Political and military maneuvering by the United States, Iraq, Iran, and Syria have all fueled ISIS’s astonishing and explosive expansion. Drawing on original interviews with former US military officials and current ISIS fighters, the authors also reveal the internecine struggles within the movement itself, as well as ISIS’s bloody hatred of Shiite Muslims, which is generating another sectarian war in the region. Just like the one the US thought it had stopped in 2011 in Iraq. Past is prologue and America’s legacy in the Middle East is sowing a new generation of terror.
 

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User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Radicals who fought under other names have reconstituted as ISIS, according to this book, which tracks a welter of confusing political alliances of convenience and otherwise. It’s cleverly bribed ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

This work is at its best in illustrating how ISIS emerged from a stew made of equal parts the international jihad, Iraqi sectarian conflict and the accelerating disintegration of the states created by ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
FOUNDING FATHER ABU MUSAB ALZARQAWIS JIHAD
SHEIKH OF THE SLAUGHTERERS ALZARQAWI AND ALQAEDA IN IRAQ
THE MANAGEMENT OF SAVAGERY BIRTH OF THE ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ
AGENTS OF CHAOS IRAN AND ALQAEDA
THE AWAKENING IRAQIS TURN ON
WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS ISI AND MALIKI WAIT OUT THE UNITED STATES 7 ASSADS PROXY SYRIA AND ALQAEDA
REBIRTH ISI UNDER ABU BAKR ALBAGHDADI
REVOLUTION BETRAYED JIHAD COMES TO SYRIA
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About the author (2015)

Michael Weiss is a Senior Editor at The Daily Beast and co-author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror. He also edits The Interpreter, an online translation and analysis journal devoted to all things Russian and Ukrainian.

Hassan Hassan is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa Programme, in London, and a non-resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, in Washington DC. He is also a columnist for The National newspaper, and his writing has appeared in The Guardian, Foreign Affairs, the Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times.

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