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As of late, ISIS seems to be all over the news. With each air attack and each video taped execution, the world wants to know who is ISIS? It is only natural to be curious about such a group that has the world gripped in terror and held in fear. It helps to understand ISIS if you explore their history, their geographical location, and their goals.

ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and also stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The group came into visibility in 1999 as the Jama’at al Tawhid Wal-Jihad. The group does have ties to other extreme and radical terrorist groups.

Geographically, ISIS can be found in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, and Libya. The group, also known as a caliphate, has taken over parts of Syria and many Syrian refugees have moved to Jordan for safety and for sanctuary. There may be lone wolves ISIS members in the United States or UK, and the military is looking to ferret those people out. How many cells there are and exactly where they are located is a mystery. It has been said that some of the air strikes have hit some of their buildings and the oil fields than they make millions of dollars from daily. American and Europeans may have left their country to join these cells.

As a caliphate, their goal is wide and sweeping. The ISIS members want to have authority over Muslims worldwide. They also want to remove the people they call infidels. Their extreme and brutal executions have been enacted on people from America, France, and Europe. These people were aid helpers and journalists. The United Nations and the Amnesty International have called their actions a grave abuse of civil and human rights. Some of the executions came as retribution for things that ISIS felt Europe and America had done and other times it seemed as the brutal acts were a show of power. ISIS is holding hundreds and thousands of other people in captivity.

It would take a book of extreme length to fully explain ISIS and their goals, and the picture and situation seems to change daily. They do have the world terrorized by their actions, but Europe and the United States with support from some middle-eastern countries such as Jordan, have said they will be defeated by this brutal organization.