Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ISIS Brutality Rooted in an Apocalyptic Vision - USNI News

ISIS Brutality Rooted in an Apocalyptic Vision - USNI News: The extreme radical beliefs and brutal actions that caused al Qaeda in Iraq to fail earlier remain the heart of the success of today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), all because the political context of a decade ago and today have changed, a leading scholar on Islamic terrorism said Monday.

William McCants, the author of the ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State, said the emphases “on state-building now” and “don’t put off the caliphate” because “we are waging he final battles of the apocalypse” are attractive to many young Islamic men across the globe.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think-tank, he said the political context of the early 2000s, when AQI took the field against a large American army in Iraq and a Shi’ite dominated government in Baghdad, has changed. AQI’s incredible brutality—public beheadings and other executions of anyone who did not believe as they believed or act in accord with their view of Islamic law—drove a number of tribes to link arms with the Americans in what is known as the “Sunni Awakening” and fight back.

Even core al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden then, were appalled by AQI’s actions and disowned it, McCants, a historian of religion at Brookings, said.