The power of ISIS has grown over the last three years, especially with the beginning of the Arab Spring, to such an extent that it has been able to directly challenge some governments within the Middle East and make significant territorial and strategic gains against them. These advancements have made it essential for studies to be conducted concerning this organization as well as its rise. ISIS came into existence because of diverse factors, which include political, economic and organizational factors that have turned it from a small jihadist force into a potential state.
ISIS was formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq and it was formed after the American invasion of Iraq as a means of opening an al Qaeda front within this country. As an al Qaeda franchise, this organization took most of its direction from the leadership of the latter and it is through financial support from al Qaeda that it was able to gain a lot of strength within Iraq (Fishman 46). Its founder, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, swore allegiance to al Qaeda and it as under his leadership that this organization was able to build a powerful network within Iraq. However, the United States and its Sunni allies were able to destroy this organization’s influence in Iraq and kill al Zarqawi, essentially eliminating it as a serious threat (Phillips 64). However, the Arab Spring gave this organization a new lease of life as it joined other jihadist groups in Syria in the fight against the Assad government. The result was that it increasingly took on a more radical approach and it came to a point where it came into direct conflict with another al Qaeda affiliate, the al Nusra Front. The conflict between these two groups showed the emerging cracks between al Qaeda in Iraq and the leadership of the al Qaeda organization and this relationship was broken abruptly when the latter broke off all associations because of the extreme and brutal nature of the former. It
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