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The aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York City has seen widespread repercussions for the person believed to have been behind the planning – Osama bin Laden and his terror group, Al Qaeda now lie in a diminished state. Bin Laden was hunted and killed in his own soil in 2011 and without their most prominent head, the group has become a lot weaker than it was more than ten years ago. But in the wake of what should have been a joyous occasion for Americans, the situation grew worse with the birth of ISIS.
This new terror group rose from the ashes of Al Qaeda and became an effective group with the same overarching terrorism agenda as its elders (or fathers). Although, we have seen a lot of those detachable and fake reactions of shock, gaping and dancing on the streets, in favour of terror groups, or in favour of having them hunted whenever they have been just to rejoice about something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, or about the odd lateness of the hunting of a man who knew nothing but to kill innocent people and attack the United States of America, without a purpose, this book doesn’t capitalize on any of those insincere attitudes or public hooliganism cultivated amongst large-scale deprivation.
In Syria, lies a war that sees no end. Refugees from the state escape to Europe and homegrown terrorism gets stronger by the minute in that state. This is such a cause for concern because Syria is beginning to become a risk for global security. Ravaged by war and always unstable, the Middle East becomes a foreign policy challenge because of the ISIS. But it is a challenge worth winning as the terror group targets the West again like it’s ancestors.
The ISIS is a terror group that has used the civil war in Syria as a catalyst for gaining grounds in the region, while most of the country lies in a devastating state of rubble (and nothing much else). The terror group is rapidly becoming its father, the Al Qaeda: there are disagreements within it, they preach Islam with a tainted mind and repeatedly attack more developed states than the state it has been able to grow from.
You also meet several other terror groups running out in the world terrorising, in the book, such as Daesh and Boko Haram. Patrick Cockburn is a reporter for the Independent and he has used his vast expertise to analyse the jihadist movement, through both the Iraq and Syria angle. Iraq saw a failed war and numerous attacks on its soil so the book aims to bring clarity to terrorist activities, groups that harbor terrorism and what it means for global security.
I particularly think the revelations made in The Rise of the Islamic State were outstanding. These Islamist movements are sometimes connected to the government and at other times you are left at the mercy of policymakers each with their own set of agendas in Syria, from Russia to the United States. While Iraq is totally dominated by politicians/journalists involved there and talks floating over the internet, the picture in Syria is distinctive and different: as so many misunderstand the peaceful equation in Iraq, you also meet hopes that Assad’s empire will crumble soon but he keeps holding numerous portions of the country, and recently only lost just the one to a jihadist group. The book is engrossing reading for anyone who wants to learn more about the Islamic movement and what it means for security in both the Middle East and the West.