ISIS can be called the most brutal, violent terror group in modern history. It took them just a year to become one of the most feared extremist groups in the world. The important question however is how groups like ISIS emerge? How do they sustain?
The story of ISIS can be traced back to 2003, when US invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussain. This invasion completely destroyed Iraqi infrastructure and led to formation of a puppet government which further complicated the situation. ISIS actually began as a small insurgent group in Iraq in the year 2006. In 2009, ISIS shifted its focus from Iraq to Syria. By 2011, the Syrian civil war gave ISIS the opportunity to make inroads into certain parts. In June 2013, a northern general of the free Syrian army spoke to Aljazeera Qatar stating, “If International forces refrain from strengthening the rebels in the war against Basharul Azad’s regime, they will lose.” Within a matter of week, US, Saudi, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and Israel began providing weapons, training and money to so called rebel groups. By September 13, CNN reported that while the weapons were not American made they were funded and organized by the CIA. Within one year those weapon ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters. By June 2013, ISIS had extended their hold beyond Syria in parts of Iraq as well.
ISIS’s quick growth can be dedicated to the amount of wealth they have garnered. A lion’s share of that comes from seizing oil fields in Iraq and Syria. A research carried out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international agency that follows terror financing, shows that the terror group is making several dollars a week from producing and smuggling the oil resource to neighboring countries. ISIS controls a wide area of land in Iraq and Syria. About 6 million people are under them. A marginal amount of the oil is purchased by the residents for their cars, generators and businesses. The major portion of income comes from smuggling the oil outside. ISIS receives payment in cash and which makes the transaction very difficult to track. ISIS has been using the Anbar province, which shares its border with Jordan as a major smuggling hub according to Iraqi intelligence
Trained Iraqi army is not a big challenge to ISIS. Tens of thousands of military vehicles, tanks, bombs, weapons left by US is easily taken by ISIS. Veterans. After Saddam Hussain’s army was disbanded by US, many experienced soldiers were left unemployed. These men became the greatest assets for ISIS and their military wing.
The latest battleground of ISIS is Libya. Destabilized Libya is now a perfect breeding ground for this terror group. NATO who supports the armed groups instead of the peaceful demonstrators cannot wash off their hands from the creation of this Frankenstein monster. The rebels who were armed and financed by the NATO are currently ISIS fighters. The big brother diplomatic policy and democratic experiments by US and its allies are creating a political vacuum giving such terror groups loop holes to rise and flourish. ISIS is the latest example of it.