Ironically, its most assiduous adherent seems to be a territory-capturing terrorist outfit that even seems to have left the Al Qaeda far behind and breaking out of the Middle East to leave a number of European, South Asian and African governments seriously concerned.
The IS, or ISIL, or Daesh came to widespread public attention for the first time in June 2014 when it declared a “caliphate” in the large expanse of Iraqi and Syrian territory it held.
There have been various works since late last year in seeking to understand the outfit’s genesis and motivations – mostly by Western analysts from Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow’s Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore, Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan’s incisive ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, Patrick Cockburn’s polemical The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution, and Jessica Stern and J M Berger’s ISIS: The State of Terror. With India also purportedly falling into ISIS’ sights, it was <g data-gr-id="21">time</g> that Indians focussed on the threat. A pioneer in the effort is Rasheed, a senior research fellow at the United Services Institute (and earlier with the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research), who offers a valuable distillation of available knowledge about the outfit.
Though he does not break much new ground in this work which brings together available information, the strength of Rasheed’s work is in presenting the backdrop for the emergence of Al Qaeda and ISIS.