Development of the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist group began with chaos of the sectarian civil war in Syria. It slowly matured to become the most mighty and dreaded dissident movement in the region. The group represents the anger and revenge of the last decade of the West’s failed policies in the Mideast in general and Iraq and Syria in particular. Unlike other al-Qaeda affiliate groups such as al-Nusra Front with largely Syrian nationals, the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist group has been more international and absorbed in expanding its territory and enforcing Sharia law. Most of these terrorists were granted safe passage by the Turkish Islamist Salafi government. Many of them have been recruited, trained, and equipped by the CIA and the MIT, the Turkish National Intelligence Agency.
After this Jihadist terrorist group took over Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq on June 10, 2014, the Muslim World became its field of dreams. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself Caliph Ibrahim and insisted that pledging allegiance to him was a religious requirement for all of the Muslims in the world. According to Keating (June 16, 2014), some circulated information on jihadist media says that the new Caliph has “earned a doctorate in Islamic studies and lectured on Sharia before becoming a militant.” Other accounts say he was a peasant who was trained by members of al-Qaida when he was in prison. However, his plea was immediately condemned.
This growth process was accompanied by an evolution of labeling the group. The group’s leader, now Caliph Ibrahim, and his inner council kept changing and dictating the name of this mainly Sunni Islamist Jihadist terrorists. The locals and international media faithfully repeated what the group asked for. Few of the available literature touch upon this name game and simply go over the names and their meanings. Apparently, by now, almost everybody know that the Arabic name of Greater Syria was al-Sham, which resembles the French name of Levant which is a reference to the Eastern costal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, none of these reports asks about why this terrorist group is altering its name so often. More importantly, why the group wants to maintain the spatial dimension of a “state.”
The purpose this paper is to fill this gap. The goal of this study is to go over the course of this evolutionary name game and suggest few alternative labels that fit the group’s objectives. The most important step for doing so is to deny the group a desired geographical property. The world should learn not to follow a terrorist group’s needs, demands, and dictates. All of the peace-loving people in the world; from the UN, the US, the EU, NATO, and all of the countries of the Muslim World have to agree in popularizing a debasing and degrading label for the world’s worst Islamist terrorist group. Furthermore, regardless of their aims of challenging Shia governments in Iran, Iraq or Syria, the Sunni countries of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan must stop helping the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist group. They too should entitle the group as WWIJT.
First, by looking at their lexicon of name change for over the last decade, from 2004-2014, the evolution of these labels, especially their connotation, will be presented. Here, this paper suggests two names of the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist, WWIJT and Ibrahim’s Terrorist, IT for the group. This section will be followed by a literature review. Most of these articles written this summer, between June and October, asked perceptive questions as to why the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist group is the only one has changed its name so often. These articles demonstrate that the freedom-loving people of the world together stand up to this terrorist group. These terrorists can be easily degraded, destroyed, and thrown into the garbage bin of history. For the time being, let’s not give them a “state,” any state at all.
Evolution of a Name Game
Terrorist groups always choose a name that they think to be relevant, descriptive, self-explanatory, and accurate for local, regional and international consumption. In 1928, a schoolteacher named Hassan Al-Banna established al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, or Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that became the Mideast’s first Islamist terrorist group. In nearly half a century, the name has not been changed. The MB Islamist policies are being practiced in few nations, including Turkey, the largest. The MB came to power in its birthplace for a short time, between 2012-2013, until it was overthrown by a coup. In 1988 Osama Ben Laden created al-Qaeda organization or the Base. He was tempted a few times to change the name but every time he came back to the Base that he authored.
Another al-Qaeda affiliate terrorist group in Syria that recently surfaced was called the Khorasan Group. Khorasan is a toponym, a geographical place name. This region is mainly located in Northeastern Iran, but it also stretches into Afghanistan and Central Asia. The organization Khorasan Group itself may be disbanded or destroyed but has not and will not change its name. Some basic information about Khorasan is provided in Appendix A. Yet, the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist group insists on having the word “state” in its name. A spatial dimension makes it analogous to a modern nation state. Instead of meticulously attempting to spell out their self-designated label, should the US State Department formulate a name for them similar to what was done in Egypt? The West in consultation with some Muslim nations, including Iran, should then decide what would be the most appropriate name.
By killing the largest numbers of the Kurds, Yazidi, Sunni, or Shia, the WWIJT has been trying to create a Terroristan out of Kurdistan. Essentially, by killing Sunni Kurds and taking their women as slaves and raping them, the terrorists proved that they do not overly concern themselves with the teachings of Islam. The group has been more focused on taking over American-made weapons, robbing banks, engaging in sexual activities, and stealing oil and selling it to the Turks. Before being confronted with the Kurdish Peshmerga freedom fighter in and around the city of Khobani since September 16 of 2014, the WWIJT group saw the Kurds as a weak ethnic group that has been suppressed and betrayed by everybody. As long as a single Kurdish Peshmerga warrior is alive, the terrorist group would not be able to create a Terroristan out of Kurdistan. The PKK, a Peshmerga group alone, was able to defend the Kurdish honor and defeat the Turkish army, the second largest in NATO organization.
Until after the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, there was no major Islamist terrorist group functioning in Iraq. The secular Baathist government of Saddam Hussein had no tolerance for Islamist fanatics. In 1999, the region saw the formation of a less known militant Islamist group led by the Jordanian national Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by the name of (1) the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, or Group of Monotheism and Jihad.. After pledging allegiance to Osama bin Laden’s network in October 2004, the group changed its name to (2) al-Qaeda in Iraq, AQI. In fact, the most recent infamous Jihadist terrorist group has operated under numerous forms until its current leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a new name for it in 2006. He named his terrorist group (3) the Islamic State in Iraq, ISI.
In 2013 after adding the word “al-Sham” to it, the name of the organization was changed to (4) the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham/Syria or Levant, ISIS and ISIL. But the story of name change and dictating it to the world was not over. After the capturing of the city of Mosul and after the leader proclaimed himself Caliph Ibrahim, the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist Terrorists became known as (5) the Islamic State, IS, in 2014.
The Egyptian Dar al-Ifta, a center for Islamic legal research and a source of religious authority since 1895, said, “[I]t’s not appropriate to refer to the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ that’s currently fighting in Iraq and Syria.” Instead, according to Joshua Keating (August 27, 2014), “we should call them “al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria,” or alternately (6) QSIS.” Of course, this clever name takes away the geographical dimension that the group demands. Replacing the word, “state” with Separatists is a very powerful message. They are just a separatist group with a territorial claim.
Also, the group can be labeled by their leader’s self-proclaimed title (7) Caliph Ibrahim’s Terrorists, CIT or just Ibrahim’s Terrorists, IT, instead of IS. However, this paper (8) suggests calling them the World’s Worst Islamist Jihadist Terrorists, WWIJT. Still, the whole world must unite in not allowing a terrorist group to debate, bargain, or dictate what should be their descriptive label. By not giving them their desired title, at least the mainstream media would not provide them what they want: acceptance, legality, and validity. A gang of terrorists must not be allowed to terrorize the freedom-loving people of the world. The progressive-minded individuals, journalist, and scholars must stand united against the temptation of terrorists. Talking and writing sarcastically and disrespectfully about terrorists of any designation, is the first step of degrading them.
In his Press Conference, President Obama on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks told Americans that the “ISIS that he called ‘ISIL’ is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents. And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. Moreover, ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq…” But the people in the Mideast name this extremist Sunni Jihadist group as DAESH, the Arabic acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham, which was locally publicized by the BBC in the Mideast. However, the group itself does not like to be called DAESH because the plural form of this word in Arabic means “bigots or chauvinists who force their views on others.”
The President added that it “has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. It has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way. In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality.” It must be noted that it is the first Islamist terrorist group that has captured a large territory and made obsolete Western imposed international borders. Furthermore, it is a Sunni Jihadist terrorist organization that has a clear vision of carving a medieval Caliphate country based on the Sharia laws of Islam.
Alexander Nekrassov, a Russian commentator and former Kremlin adviser, is the first who objected to the Western mainstream media’s following the orders of a bunch of Jihadist terrorists as to what to call them or name a territory that they captured this summer. He wrote (September 18, 2014), “The so-called ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS) — it’s better to keep it in quotation marks and add ‘so-called,’ so as not to give these terrorists legitimacy — has emerged as a force that has created a so-called caliphate and vows to spread its borders way beyond Syria and Iraq, where it is currently operating.”
Within a week of conquering Mosul, the second Iraqi largest city, on June 10, 2014 by the ISIS, three reporters attempted to document the thriving terrorism, how rich the group is, and what to call it. Just three day afterward, McCoy reported that in terms of sway, the acts of terror the group has been wildly successful. He stated, “From beheadings to summary executions to amputations to crucifixions, the terrorist group has become the most feared organization in the Middle East. That fear, evidenced in fleeing Iraqi soldiers and over 500,000 Mosul residents, has played a vital role in the group’s march toward Baghdad. In many cases, police and soldiers literally ran, shedding their uniforms as they went, abandoning large caches of weapons.”
Chulov (June 15, 2014) was concerned about the wealth of the terrorist network. Apparently with $2.0 billion, the network is the world’s richest Jihadist terrorist group and is earning over $1.0 million per day mainly from selling oil from Kurdish oil fields to Turkey, its largest trade partner. He wrote: “It soon became clear that in less than three years, Isis had grown from a ragtag band of extremists to perhaps the most cash-rich and capable terror group in the world.” In addition to massive cash flows from the Kurdish oilfields of eastern Syria, the group “reaped windfalls from smuggling all manner of raw materials pillaged from the crumbling state, as well as priceless antiquities from archaeological digs.”
Tharoor (June 18, 2014) discussed the debate over what to call Iraq’s most recent terror group and what to call it: ISIS or ISIL. He talked about “conflicting acronyms used for the jihadist group storming through the country.” He reported that ISIS was used by most of the news organization that operate in English, but ISIL was used by the UN, the U.S. State Department, and President Obama. Of course, the difference is the last letter of the acronyms that is a reference to a toponym or a place name. The last letter in ISIS may refer to Syria or Sham, Greater Syria. The last letter in ISIL is for Levant or Eastern Mediterranean coastal areas. He also had a third name DAESH that he said was “the Arabic shorthand for the group that no one in the English-language press seems to use.”
Carey, Habboush, and Viscusi (June 26, 2014) wrote, “The extremist militants battling government forces in Iraq know it takes more than guns and ammunition to carve out their Islamic state… are trying to add to the oil fields and water sources facilities the group controls in Syria and are also eyeing factories and power plants.” They argue that the new self-appointed Caliph Ibrahim, the leader of the Jihadist terrorist group, “has financial strength that al-Qaeda never managed to have under Osama bin Laden, who relied mainly on supporters living in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations, GCC.” Some of the offshoots al-Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen were able to control small land areas in the most inaccessible places but shortly were routed out. Yet, ISIS is doing something that no terrorist group has done before, to carve out a country of its own.
Their designated landmass is located south of Turkey between Syria and Iraq. One important act from ISIS is rendering obsolete the post-WWI imposed international boundaries devised by British cartographers in the Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916. The area is about the size of the State of Wyoming and larger that the U. K. It is about 98, sm2 (253,000 km2) in land. In comparison with the region, the land is fertile, has proven oil reserves, and is well populated. It is estimated that the area controlled by ISIS has nearly 8.0 million populations.
Before the end of June, two reports by Charles and Tim Lister, no relations, were available to this study. On June 27, 2014, Charles Lister of Brooking Doha Center was interested about “What will the militant group do next?” He wrote, “the wealthiest militant organization in the world; it controls large swathes of territory – stretching from al-Bab in eastern Aleppo province in Syria to as far as Suleiman Beck 415 miles (670km) away in Iraq’s Salahuddin province – and it explicitly wants to establish an Islamic state.” The group, according to him, wants to “sustain momentum in Iraq through further acquisitions of territory and finance-earning assets. He believed that ISIS cared more about “Establishing control over populations and implementing its absolutist form of governance [that] will allow Isis to portray itself as an emerging form of shadow government.”
Charles Lister also wrote, “In addition to imposing harsh rules on religious practice, women’s dress, the prohibition of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, ISIS standard governance practice now also includes establishing public welfare programs, offering countless forms of social service, good quality commercial inspections, tax offices, transport companies and much more. Today, ISIS presents itself as the world’s new jihadist vanguard. Its spectacular military progress, unrivalled wealth, and slick media apparatus have arguably seen it succeed in assuming the pre-eminence it has long sought.”
Tim Lister (June 30, 2014), on the other hand, was interested in how ISIS was outshining al-Qaeda. According to him, in essence, the group is saying the “colonial-era borders of the Middle East are no longer valid.” Furthermore, the group was going to change its name from ISIS to IS. The group believed that this was more than a simple name change. Quoting the group’s spokesman, Tim Lister reported, “It simultaneously strips away the geographical limits imposed by the previous name and underlines the movement’s control of a wide swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. It even suggests that the group should exercise authority over Islam’s holiest places.”
Adam Withnall (June 30, 2014) alleged that ISIS’s change of names and declaring, “the areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria as a new Islamic state” is a move that signifies a new era of global Jihadist terrorism. Since the end of WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, no Caliph has been selected in the Muslim world. The ISIS then “must think their dream of creating the caliphate is finally coming true, and it’s coming true faster and more dramatically than even they expected.” It has always been the vital goal of the Islamist movements to create a Caliphate that they saw as a solution to all of their problems facing the Muslims in the world.
Joshua Keating (August 27, 2014) had a question as to why ISIS has so many names. According to him, The Guardian reported that the Egyptian Dar al-Ifta, a center for Islamic legal research and a source of religious authority since 1895, “says that it’s not appropriate to refer to the self-proclaimed ‘Islamic State’ that’s currently fighting in Iraq and Syria. Instead, we should call them “al-Qaida Separatists in Iraq and Syria,” or alternately QSIS.” This name takes away the geographical dimension that the group demands. They are just a separatist group with no territorial claim. This is when scholars push a gang of terrorists to face geographical reality and when they tell them that they do not get what they ask for.
Peter Harling (September 4, 2014) of Le Monde Diplomatique informed his readers that “At root, IS simply fills a void. It occupies northeast Syria because the Syrian regime has by and large abandoned it, and the opposition that might have replaced it has failed to secure a genuine sponsor, in particular the US. And, in Iraq, IS has surged into cities such as Fallujah and Mosul [with mainly Sunni pop.] because the central power in Baghdad has largely neglected them: the Iraqi state maintained a presence there that was simultaneously corrupt, repressive and flimsy.”
Ian Black (September 21, 2014) also had a question about “What should you call the terrifying organization that beheads hostages and massacres its opponents?” To explain this, he said that it was like going into “a political and linguistic minefield.” He asserts, “This terminological conflict has deep historic and cultural roots.” The Islamist terrorist group that was formed in 1999 became known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq a year after the American invasion of that country. In 2006, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi created his own terrorist group called Islamic State in Iraq (ISI). From there we heard other names such as ISIS, ISIL, and IS. Mr. Black added “The militant Islamic State managed to link the territories under its control in both Iraq and Syria, erasing the border and declaring a caliphate. The group’s control in both countries is likely to endure, but it won’t necessarily expand significantly. In different ways, these flashpoints all underline the continued diffusion of power away from the United States to other actors, whether to different regional powers or to non-state actors. They remind us that such diffusion will multiply the sources of violent conflict in the world.”
Lizzie Dearden (September 23, 2014) tried to explain why it is important to know the differences between ISIS, ISIL, IS, and DAESH or why it mattered. She reminds us that Isis was name of an Egyptian goddess. Also, “France has changed the name it uses to avoid legitimizing terrorists. According to her, “the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked journalists and media organizations to follow their example, adding: “This is a terrorist group and not a state.” The French now use DAESH, the term commonly applied in the Mideast. Mr. Fabius then gave them an appropriate name. He said,
“The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats.’”
David Shariatmadari (Oct. 1, 2014) wrote about “why there is no such thing as Islamic State and the way language works can destroy reality.” As a part of name Game and “with the evolution of Islamic State, we have a neat case study in the power of proper nouns.” Politicians have long known this. Advertisers know it. And so do terrorists. He argued, “The shift is important because it suggests something substantial, a country with borders, laws and institutions. Look at the map of what it controls, however, and you’ll see anything but a state in the modern sense. Its territory snakes along riverbanks, grabbing towns here and there, extending its fingers into patches of desert… The names given to cults, militant factions or revolutionaries tend to be propaganda or insult.”
Barfi (October 8, 2014) describes what he saw on the ground in Raqqa, the assumed capital city of ISIS in Western Syria. He wrote, “In a war-torn country where civilians wait in line for hours to get bread, where they endure constant power outages and are hard-pressed to obtain fuel, Raqqans live on a paradise island of commodities. ISIS’ oil fields provide gas, its dams deliver electricity, and its efficient bureaucracy ensures that groceries are stocked with sufficient supplies of basic staples.” This might not be a state, he believed, “but the Syrians under its control are grateful for its state services. Most importantly, the group ensures security in a country where there is none. The chaos and plunder that characterize Free Syrian Army-controlled areas are a distant nightmare.” But it must be noted that, especially after the beginning of the airstrikes, Raqqa is not different than a “ghost town.” Without any hesitation, the world must cancel the evolutionary political project of the terrorists.
This summer, with the speed of lightning, the world’s worst Islamist Jihadist terrorist, WWIJT, showed up in the mainstream media. They have been modifying their name based on their achievements. Their name has gone through an evolutionary process of being revised based on their expansionist policies of building an Islamist medieval caliphate system. It has been shrinking from four to two words, from ISIS/ISIL to only IS. Fortunately, the group, with all of the ultra- modern American-made weapons, money, power, and personnel, has not been able to turn Kurdistan into a Terroristan. So far, Muslim authorities concerned about an ongoing name game by the terrorists, have suggested “al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria, QSIS.” It is an excellent idea to replace the word “State” with “Separatists.”
In order to degrade the group, this paper proposes to further change the name from Islamic State or IS to Ibrahim’s terrorists or IT. Lastly, a label such as the “World’s Worst Islamist Jihadist Terrorists,” WWIJT, may suit them more than any other. In order to deny them a spatial dimension and statehood, by inventing a label, the group should be shunned, derided, devalued, dishonored, degraded and then destroyed. As a part of damaging their fanaticism, they must be labeled by derogatory terms such as WWIJT.
Not following what they ask for, the world is not going to give these terrorists acceptance, and control. The whole world, including the Western powers, is not required to listen to them and their nonsense. It should be not up to them. Since the global war on terrorists by few governments has not been overwhelmingly successful, citizens of the world must start war of their own on terror by mocking the terrorists.
Whatever this terrorist group is called: ISIS, ISIL, IS or WWIJT, it is clever to keep in mind that, first and foremost, it is a criminal organization of the worst kind. Those countries that created it, those who are leading it, even its lowest ranking members must learn that they are 21st century’s disgrace, embarrassment, and shame. Freedom loving people of the world must constantly reminded them that they are a gang of lowlife, brainwashed, scoundrel, thugs, uncivilized, and murderers. They deserve to be called worse than WWWIJT.
Barfi, Barak. “The group that could help defeat the ISIS behemoth.” cnn.com, updated 9:27 PM EDT, Wed October 8, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/opinion/barfi-kurds-isis/?cid=ob_articlesidebarall&iref=obnetwork.
Black, Ian. “The Islamic State: is it Isis, Isil – or possibly Daesh? What should you call the terrifying organization that beheads hostages and massacres its opponents? Here we explain a political and linguistic minefield.” The Guardian, Sunday 21 September 2014 13.00 EDT. http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2014/sep/21/islamic-state-isis-isil-daesh.
Carey, Glen., Habboush, Mahmoud. and Viscusi, Gregory. “Financing Jihad: Why ISIL Is a Lot Richer Than Al-Qaeda.” bloomberg.com, Jun 26, 2014 5:01 PM ET . http://www. bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-26/looted-banks-fund-iraq-fighters-eyeing-wealth-al-qaeda-never-had.html.
Chulov, Martin. “How an arrest in Iraq revealed Isis’s $2bn jihadist network.” theguardian.com, Sunday 15 June 2014 21.06 BST. http://www.theguardian.com/ world/2014/jun/15/iraq-isis-arrest-jihadists-wealth-power.
Dearden, Lizzie. “Isis vs. Islamic State vs. Isil vs. Daesh: What do the different names mean – and why does it matter?” independent.co.uk, Tuesday 23 September 2014.
Harling, Peter. “Islamic State fills Middle East void: IS back in business.” Le Monde Diplomatique, English Language Edition, September 4, 2014. http://mondediplo.com/ 2014/09/04islamicstate.
Keating, Joshua. “Who Is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?” slate.com, June 16, 2014, 3:05 PM.
Keating, Joshua. “Why Does ISIS (or the Islamic State, or QSIS) Have So Many Names? What Should We Call It?” AUG. 27 2014 1:20 PM. http://www.slate.com /blogs/the_ world_ /2014/08/27/why_does_isis_or_the_islamic_state_or_qsis_have_so_many_ names_what_should.html.
Lister, Charles. “Isis: What will militant group do next?” bbc.com, 27 June 2014 Last updated at 07:18 ET. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28053489.
Lister, Tim. “How ISIS is overshadowing al Qaeda.” cnn.com, Updated 6:17 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/30/world/meast/isis-overshadows-al-qaeda/
McCoy, Terrence. “ISIS, beheadings and the success of horrifying violence.”
washingtonpost.com, June 13. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/06/13/isis-beheadings-and-the-success-of-horrifying-violence/
Nekrassov, Alexander. “View from Russia: Could Putin be in Obama’s ‘broad coalition’ against ISIS?” Special to CNN, September 18, 2014 — Updated 0916 GMT (1716 HKT). http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/18/opinion/isis-obamaputinnekrassov/index.html?hpt= hp_c1.
Shariatmadari, David. ”Why there’s no such thing as Islamic State: From Isis to Aum Shinrikyo, the way language works can distort reality. We must be vigilant in reading between the lines. The Guardian, Wednesday 1 October 2014 13.27 EDT. http://www. theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/01/islamic-state-language-isis.
Tharoor, Ishaan. “ISIS or ISIL? The debate over what to call Iraq’s terror group.” washingtonpost.com, June 18, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/world views/wp/2014/06/18/isis-or-isil-the-debate-over-what-to-call-iraqs-terror-group/
White House, Office of the Press Secretary. “Statement by the President on ISIL.” For Immediate Release September 10, 2014. State Floor. 9:01 P.M. EDT. http://www. whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/10/statement-president-isil-1.
Withnall, Adam. “Iraq crisis: Isis declares its territories a new Islamic state with ‘restoration of caliphate’ in Middle East.” independent.co.uk, Monday 30 June 2014. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/ middle-east/isis-declares-new-islamic-state-in-middle-east-with-abu-bakr-albaghdadi-as-emir-removing-iraq-and-syria-from-its-name-9571374.html.
Appendix A: The Khorasan Group
This September, the world learned about an Islamist Sunni Jihadist terrorist group dubbed the Khorasan Group. Apparently, the US has kept track of them for the last two years in Syria. The group is a part of al-Nusra Front and both are al-Qaeda affiliates. It was believed the group was more dangerous than the ISIS and might have attacked mainland USA. The Khorasan Group was named after a historical region now mainly located in Northeast Iran. During most of Iran’s history, called the Greater Khorasan, it extended into Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Until recently, Khorasan was the largest province, Ostan, in land in Iran. In 2004, Khorasan was divided into three smaller Ostans called North Khorasan, Razavi Khorasan, and South Khorasan. The one in the middle is named after Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of the Shia sect of Islam whose shrine is located in Mashhad, the capital city of this province. On November 6, 2014, it was announced that an American drone was able to kill the leader of the Khorasan Group in Syria.
Dr. Koohzad is the author of a forthcoming book entitled: Kurdistan: World’s Largest International Colony.