From Terrorist Group to Self-Proclaimed State: The Origins and Evolution of IS

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Even if it seems that the Islamic State became headline news only recently, its roots run deeper in the transformations and mergers that have involved jihadist groups active in Iraq since the occupation by international coalition forces in 2003. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, takes the “merit” for having once again established and launched a project originally devised by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the first decade of the 21st century. He managed to tap into the widespread discontent among Iraq’s Sunni population in the face of Nouri al-Maliki’s Shia-led government and subsequently lead Daesh forces to a series of considerable military victories, which allowed him to expand his control over increasingly larger areas of Iraq and Syria. However, compared to his predecessors and other jihadist organisations, the self-proclaimed caliph raised the stakes by aiming to reconstruct the Caliphate not in the distant future but rather “here and now”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDaesh and the terrorist threat: from the Middle East to Europe
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Islamic State
  • Stato Islamico
  • Terrorismo
  • iraq
  • jihadism
  • jihadismo
  • sectarianism
  • terrorism


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