The ISIS Apocalypse

The ISIS Apocalypse
Author: William McCants
Release: 2015-09-22
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781466892705
Language: en
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The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam-the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world-into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic-including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.

The ISIS Apocalypse

The ISIS Apocalypse
Author: William McCants
Release: 2016-08-09
Editor: Picador
Pages: 256
ISBN: 1250112648
Language: en
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The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag. How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors. The shrewd leaders of the Islamic State combined two of the most powerful yet contradictory ideas in Islam-the return of the Islamic Empire and the end of the world-into a mission and a message that shapes its strategy and inspires its army of zealous fighters. They have defied conventional thinking about how to wage wars and win recruits. Even if the Islamic State is defeated, jihadist terrorism will never be the same. Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic-including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.

The ISIS Apocalypse

The ISIS Apocalypse
Author: William McCants
Release: 2015-09-22
Editor: Macmillan
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781250080905
Language: en
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The so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, has inspired young men and women all over the world to commit horrible atrocities in its name. How has the Islamic State surpassed al-Qaeda to become the most popular jihadist group on the planet? Its goal is not only to revive the Islamic empire but also usher in the End of Times - a final battle that will restore the Muslim community to its medieval glory days. And they will not stop until they achieve their mission.

The Apocalypse and the End of History

The Apocalypse and the End of History
Author: Suzanne Schneider
Release: 2021-09-07
Editor: Verso Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781839762413
Language: en
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How the political violence of modern jihad echoes the crises of western liberalism In this authoritative, accessible study, historian Suzanne Schneider examines the politics and ideology of the Islamic State (better known as ISIS). Schneider argues that today’s jihad is not the residue from a less enlightened time, nor does it have much in common with its classical or medieval form, but it does bear a striking resemblance to the reactionary political formations and acts of spectacular violence that are upending life in Western democracies. From authoritarian populism to mass shootings, xenophobic nationalism, and the allure of conspiratorial thinking, Schneider argues that modern jihad is not the antithesis to western neoliberalism, but rather a dark reflection of its inner logic. Written with the sensibility of a political theorist and based on extensive research into a wide range of sources, from Islamic jurisprudence to popular recruitment videos, contemporary apocalyptic literature and the Islamic State's Arabic-language publications, the book explores modern jihad as an image of a potential dark future already heralded by neoliberal modes of life. Surveying ideas of the state, violence, identity, and political community, Schneider argues that modern jihad and neoliberalism are two versions of a politics of failure: the inability to imagine a better life here on earth.

The Great War of Our Time

The Great War of Our Time
Author: Michael Morell
Release: 2015-05-12
Editor: Twelve
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781455585687
Language: en
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New York Times Bestseller Like See No Evil and At the Center of the Storm, this is a vivid and gripping account of the Central Intelligence Agency, a life of secrets, and a war in the shadows. Called the "Bob Gates of his generation" by Politico, Michael Morell was a top CIA officer who played a critical role in the most important counterterrorism events of the past two decades. Morell was by President Bush's side on 9/11/01 when terrorists struck America and in the White House Situation Room advising President Obama on 5/1/11 when America struck back-killing Usama bin Ladin. From the subway bombings in London to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Morell always seemed to find himself on the cusp of history. A superb intelligence analyst and briefer, Morell now presents THE GREAT WAR OF OUR TIME, where he uses his talents to offer an unblinking and insightful assessment of CIA's counterterrorism successes and failures of the past twenty years and, perhaps most important, shows readers that the threat of terrorism did not die with Bin Ladin in Abbottabad. Morell illuminates new, growing threats from terrorist groups that, if unaddressed, could leave the country vulnerable to attacks that would dwarf 9/11 in magnitude. He writes of secret, back-channel negotiations he conducted with foreign spymasters and regime leaders in a desperate attempt to secure a peaceful outcome to unrest launched during the "Arab Spring." Morell describes how efforts to throw off the shackles of oppression have too often resulted in broken nation states unable or unwilling to join the fight against terrorism. Along the way Morell provides intimate portraits of the leadership styles of figures ranging from Presidents Bush and Obama, CIA directors Tenet, Goss, Hayden, Petraeus, Panetta, and Brennan, and a host of others.

Thirteen Days in September

Thirteen Days in September
Author: Lawrence Wright
Release: 2015
Editor: Vintage
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780804170024
Language: en
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"Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, in 2014"--Title page verso.

Apocalypse in Islam

Apocalypse in Islam
Author: Jean-Pierre Filiu
Release: 2012-03-06
Editor: Univ of California Press
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780520272644
Language: en
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Explores the belief in Muslim countries that the end of the world is at hand, uncovers the role of apocalypse in Islam, and examines the widespread fear of Christian Zionist domination as an impetus to jihad.

The Way of the Strangers

The Way of the Strangers
Author: Graeme Wood
Release: 2016-12-20
Editor: Random House
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780812988765
Language: en
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What does ISIS really want? This is the definitive account of the strategy, psychology, and fundamentalism driving the Islamic State. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FOREIGN AFFAIRS • “Worthy of Joseph Conrad . . . gripping, sobering and revelatory.”—Tom Holland, New Statesman The Islamic State inspired a wave of true believers to travel to Syria from Europe, America, and the Middle East, in numbers not seen since the Crusades. What compelled tens of thousands of men and women to leave comfortable, privileged lives to join a death cult in the desert? Steven Pinker called Graeme Wood’s analysis of this phenomenon in The Atlantic “fascinating, terrifying, occasionally blackly humorous.” In The Way of the Strangers, Wood uses character study, analysis, and original reporting to take us further into the Islamic State’s apocalyptic vision. Though the Islamic State has lost territory, it threatens to rise again, and its followers are plotting on every continent. From the streets of Cairo to the mosques of London, Wood meets with supporters, recruiters, and scholars and asks them why they believe that killing and dying for this cause is the only path to Paradise. With a new afterword, The Way of the Strangers uncovers the theology and emotional appeal of this resilient group and explores its idiosyncratic, coherent approach to Islam. Just as Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower explained the rise of Al Qaida, this book will shape our understanding of a new and deadlier generation of terrorists. Praise for The Way of the Strangers “The Way of the Strangers represents journalism at its best: vivid writing, indefatigable legwork, and fearless analysis.”—Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Return of Marco Polo’s World “Wood is a brilliant analyst and storyteller, and his firsthand reporting and language abilities make him the most reliable commentator on the Islamic State that I have read. His wit matches his intelligence (’Well-behaved Salafis seldom make history’)—you don't get through any two pages in his book without a good laugh.”—Peter Theroux, author of Sandstorms: Days and Nights in Arabia “Excruciatingly well observed and devastatingly honest . . . This is the first and only book about the Islamic State to expose, explain, and ultimately undermine its ideology with the relentless irony that comes from blending deep knowledge with hands-on experience. Wood makes it impossible not to laugh, despite the horrors.”—Elisabeth Kendall, senior research fellow in Arabic and Islamic studies, University of Oxford

The Future of ISIS

The Future of ISIS
Author: Feisal al-Istrabadi,Sumit Ganguly
Release: 2018-06-26
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9780815732174
Language: en
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Looking to the future in confronting the Islamic State The Islamic State (best known in the West as ISIS or ISIL) has been active for less than a decade, but it has already been the subject of numerous histories and academic studies—all focus primarily on the past. The Future of ISIS is the first major study to look ahead: what are the prospects for the Islamic State in the near term, and what can the global community, including the United States, do to counter it? Edited by two distinguished scholars at Indiana University, the book examines how ISIS will affect not only the Middle East but the global order. Specific chapters deal with such questions as whether and how ISIS benefitted from intelligence failures, and what can be done to correct any such failures; how to confront the alarmingly broad appeal of Islamic State ideology; the role of local and regional actors in confronting ISIS; and determining U.S. interests in preventing ISIS from gaining influence and controlling territory. Given the urgency of the topic, The Future of ISIS is of interest to policymakers, analysts, and students of international affairs and public policy.

The Terror Years

The Terror Years
Author: Lawrence Wright
Release: 2017-07
Editor: Vintage
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780804170031
Language: en
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Several "pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS ... They include an ... impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; [and] the 2006-11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in disparate values of human lives. Others continue to look into al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world"--

The Believer

The Believer
Author: William McCants
Release: 2015-09-01
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
Pages: 19
ISBN: 9780815728597
Language: en
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In The Believer, Will McCants tells the story of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS), a group so brutal and hardline that even al-Qaida deemed them too extreme. Baghdadi, an introverted religious scholar, with a passion for soccer, now controls large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria. McCants shows how Baghdadi became radicalized in the Saddam Hussein era and found his path to power after connecting with other radicals in an American prison during the Iraq War, culminating in his declaration of a reborn Islamic empire bent on world conquest.

Black Flags

Black Flags
Author: Joby Warrick
Release: 2016
Editor: Anchor Books
Pages: 353
ISBN: 9780804168939
Language: en
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"When he succeeded his father in 1999, King Abdullah of Jordan released a batch of political prisoners in the hopes of smoothing his transition to power. Little did he know that among those released was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a man who would go on to become a terrorist mastermind too dangerous even for al-Qaeda and give rise to an Islamist movement bent on dominating the Middle East. Zarqawi began by directing hotel bombings and assassinations in Jordan from a base in northern Iraq, but it was the American invasion of that country in 2003 that catapulted him to the head of a vast insurgency. By identifying him as the link between Saddam and bin Laden, the CIA inadvertently created a monster. Like-minded radicals saw him as a hero resisting the infidel occupiers and rallied to his cause. Their wave of brutal beheadings and suicide bombings continued for years until Jordanian intelligence provided the Americans with the crucial intelligence needed to eliminate Zarqawi in a 2006 airstrike. But his movement endured, first called al-Qaeda in Iraq, then renamed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seeking refuge in unstable, ungoverned pockets on the Iraq-Syria border. And as the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, ISIS seized its chance to pursue Zarqawi's dream of a sweeping, ultra-conservative Islamic caliphate. Drawing on unique access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Joby Warrick weaves together heart-pounding, moment-by-moment operational details with overarching historical perspectives to reveal the long trajectory of today's most dangerous Islamic extremist threat"--

Jihadist Preachers of the End Times

Jihadist Preachers of the End Times
Author: Bronislav Ostransky
Release: 2019-08-28
Editor: Edinburgh University Press
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781474439251
Language: en
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Focusing on apocalyptic manifestations found in ISIS propaganda, this book situates the group's agenda in the broader framework of contemporary Muslim thought and explains key topics in millennial thinking within the spiritual context of modern Islamic apocalypticism.Based on the group's primary sources as well as medieval Muslim apocalyptic literature and its modern interpretations, the book analyses the ways ISIS presents its message concerning the Last Days as a meaningful, inventive and frightening expression of collectively shared expectations relating to the supposedly approaching the End Times.

The Islamic State group on their apocalyptic vision

The Islamic State group on their apocalyptic vision
Author: J.D. Rockefeller
Release: 2016-02-09
Editor: J.D. Rockefeller
Pages: 26
ISBN: 9781523962723
Language: en
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The sudden emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or most commonly known as ISIS, is one of the most profound and alarming phenomenon in the Middle East awash in sheer violence. On this account, there is no doubt that ISIS is one of the most powerful jihadist groups in the modern world. This group brings a very tremendous level of fear not only in the Middle East but also on other parts of the world. Being one of the terrorist-insurgent groups in the world, the forces of ISIS have seized total control of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. The list of ISIS nightmarish deeds is indeed chilling. This includes the brutal persecution of native Christian people in Iraq and Syria, the nightmarish Genocide against the Yazidi people in Iraq, rape, beheadings, crucifixions, forced conversions and the massive execution of the Syrian tribe that failed to resist its conquest.

ISIS and the Pornography of Violence

ISIS and the Pornography of Violence
Author: Simon Cottee
Release: 2019-05-30
Editor: Anthem Press
Pages: 186
ISBN: 9781783089666
Language: en
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'ISIS and the Pornography of Violence' is a collection of iconoclastic essays on ISIS, spanning the four-year period from its ascendancy in late 2014 to its demise in early 2018. From a trenchant critique of the infantilization of jihadists to a probing examination of the parallels between gonzo porn and ISIS beheading videos, the pieces collected in this volume challenge conventional ways of thinking about ISIS and the roots of its appeal. Simon Cottee’s core argument is that Western ISIS recruits, far from being brainwashed or “vulnerable” dupes, actively responded to the group’s promise of redemptive violence and self-sacrifice to a total cause.

Islamic State

Islamic State
Author: Abdel Bari Atwan
Release: 2015-05-04
Editor: Saqi
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780863561016
Language: en
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In this timely and important book, Abdel Bari Atwan draws on his unrivalled knowledge of the global jihadi movement and Middle Eastern geopoliti to reveal the origins and modus operandi of Islamic State. Based on extensive field research and exclusive interviews with IS insiders, Atwan offers a comprehensive review of the group’s organisational structure and leadership, strategies, tacti and diverse methods of recruitment. He traces the salafi-jihadi lineage of IS, its ideological differences with al-Qa‘ida, and the deadly rivalry that has emerged between their leaders. Atwan also shows how the group’s rapid growth has been facilitated by its masterful command of social media platforms, the ‘dark web’, Hollywood ‘blockbuster’-style videos, and even jihadi computer games, producing a powerful paradox where the ambitions of the Middle Ages have re-emerged in cyber-space. As Islamic State continues to dominate the world’s media headlines with horrific acts of ruthless violence, Atwan considers the movement’s chances of survival and expansion, and offers indispensable insights on potential government responses to contain the IS threat. ‘A key voice explaining Islamist militancy to the English-speaking world’ Peter Bergen ‘Thank heavens we have writers such as Atwan – who knew the real Bin Laden better than any other journalist’ Robert Fisk, Independent ‘An extraordinarily gifted, experienced and knowledgeable analyst of Arab affairs’ Ann Leslie, Daily Mail ‘Atwan ‘got it’ from the moment bin Laden appeared on the scene’ Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA bin Laden ‘Alec’ unit

Founding Gods Inventing Nations

Founding Gods  Inventing Nations
Author: William F. McCants
Release: 2012
Editor: Princeton University Press
Pages: 179
ISBN: 9780691151489
Language: en
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From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization's origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity. McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization's origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire.

The Rise of Islamic State

The Rise of Islamic State
Author: Patrick Cockburn
Release: 2015-02-03
Editor: Verso Books
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781784780494
Language: en
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The essential “on the ground” report on the fastest-growing new threat in the Middle East, from the winner of the 2014 Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year Award Born of the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, the Islamic State astonished the world in 2014 by creating a powerful new force in the Middle East. By combining religious fanaticism and military prowess, the new self-declared caliphate poses a threat to the political status quo of the whole region. In The Rise of Islamic State, Patrick Cockburn describes the conflicts behind a dramatic unraveling of US foreign policy. He shows how the West created the conditions for ISIS’s explosive success by stoking the war in Syria. The West—the US and NATO in particular—underestimated the militants’ potential until it was too late and failed to act against jihadi sponsors in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan.

Al Qaeda the Islamic State and the Global Jihadist Movement

Al Qaeda  the Islamic State  and the Global Jihadist Movement
Author: Daniel Byman
Release: 2015
Editor: What Everyone Needs to Know (P
Pages: 284
ISBN: 9780190217266
Language: en
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Founded as the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, Al Qaeda achieved a degree of international notoriety with a series of spectacular attacks in the 1990s; however, it was the dramatic assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11 that truly launched Al Qaeda onto the global stage. The attacks endowed the organization with world-historical importance and provoked an overwhelming counterattack by the United States and other western countries. Within a year of 9/11, the core of Al Qaeda had been chased out of Afghanistan and into a variety of refuges across the Muslim world. Splinter groups and franchised offshoots were active in the 2000s in countries like Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen, but by early 2011, after more than a decade of relentless counterterrorism efforts by the United States and other Western military and intelligence services, most felt that Al Qaeda's moment had passed.

The Mind of the Islamic State

The Mind of the Islamic State
Author: Robert Manne
Release: 2017-09-05
Editor: Prometheus Books
Pages: 175
ISBN: 9781633883727
Language: en
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Award-winning Australian intellectual Robert Manne presents an incisive analysis of the historical background and current ideology that motivates ISIS and their quest for domination in the Middle East and beyond. In the ongoing conflict with ISIS, military observers and regional experts have noted that it is just as important to understand its motivating ideology as to win battles on the ground. This book traces the evolution of this ideology from its origins in the prison writings of the revolutionary jihadist Sayyid Qutb, through the thinking of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who planned the 9/11 terrorist attack, to today's incendiary screeds that motivate terrorism via the Internet. Chief among these recent texts are two documents that provide the foundation for ISIS terrorism. One is called The Management of Savagery, essentially a handbook for creating mayhem through acts of violence. The other is the online magazine of horror called Dabiq, which combines theological justifications with ultraviolent means, apocalyptic dreams, and genocidal ambitions. Professor Manne provides close, original, and lucid readings of these important documents. He introduces readers to a strange, cruel, but internally coherent and consistent political ideology, which has now entered the minds of very large numbers of radicalized Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, and the West. However disturbing and unsettling, this book is essential reading for anyone concerned about terrorist violence.