2018 Commonwealth Games

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
XXI Commonwealth Games
2018 Commonwealth Games.svg

Logo of 2018 Commonwealth Games
Host city Gold CoastQueensland
Country Australia
Motto Share the Dream
Nations participating 71 CommonwealthTeams
Athletes participating 4,426
Events 275 in 19 sports
Opening ceremony 4 April
Closing ceremony 15 April
Officially opened by Charles, Prince of Wales
Officially closed by Edward, Earl of Wessex
Athlete’s Oath Karen Murphy
Queen’s Baton Final Runner Sally Pearson
Main venue Carrara Stadium
Website GC2018.com
<  XX XXII  >

The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, were an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that were held on the Gold CoastQueenslandAustralia, between 4 and 15 April 2018. It was the fifth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games and the first time a major multi-sport event achieved gender equality by having an equal number of events for males and female atheletes.[1]

More than 4,400 athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part including Gambia where were readmitted as a Commonwealth Games Federation member on 31 March 2018. With 275 sets of medals, the games featured 19 Commonwealth sports, including beach volleyballpara triathlon and women’s rugby sevens. These sporting events took place at 14 venues in the host city, two venues in Brisbane and one venue each in Cairns and Townsville.[2]

These were the first Commonwealth Games to take place under the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) presidency of Louise Martin, CBE.[3]The host city Gold Coast was announced at the CGF General Assembly in BasseterreSaint Kitts, on 11 November 2011.[4] Gold Coast became the seventh Oceanian city to host the Commonwealth Games. These were the eighth games to be held in Oceania and Southern Hemisphere.

The host nation Australia topped the medal table for the fourth time in the past five Commonwealth Games, winning the most golds (80) and most medals overall (198). England and India finished second and third respectively.[5]VanuatuCook IslandsSolomon IslandsBritish Virgin Islands and Dominicaeach won their first commonwealth games medals.

Host selection[edit]

Countdown clock at Surfers Paradise

On 22 August 2008, the Premier of QueenslandAnna Bligh, officially launched Gold Coast City’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018. On 7 April 2009, the ABCreported a land exchange deal between Gold Coast City and State of Queensland for Carrara Stadium. According to Mayor Ron Clarke, the land would aid a potential bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The land exchanged would be used as the site of an aquatics centre. In the same article, Mayor Clarke raised the question of the Australian Federal Government’s commitment to a 2018 Commonwealth Games bid in light of the Government’s support for Australia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals bid.[7]On 16 April 2009, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told reporters that a successful Commonwealth Games bid by Gold Coast City could help the tourist strip win a role in hosting the World Cup.[8]

“Some of the infrastructure that would be built for the Commonwealth Games will be useful for Gold Coast City to get a World Cup game out of the soccer World Cup if we’re successful as a nation,” she said. However the decision on the venues for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were made eleven months prior to the bid decision for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, so the potential World Cup venues had already been chosen. On 3 June 2009, Gold Coast City was confirmed as Australia’s exclusive bidder vying for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[9] “Should a bid proceed, Gold Coast City will have the exclusive Australian rights to bid as host city for 2018,” Bligh stated.

“Recently I met with the president and CEO of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and we agreed to commission a full and comprehensive feasibility study into the potential for the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” she said. “Under the stewardship of Queensland Events new chair, Geoff Dixon, that study is now well advanced.” On 15 March 2010, it was announced that the Queensland Government will provide initial funding of A$11 million for the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid. The Premier of Queensland has indicated the Government’s support for the bid to the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.[10] On 31 March 2010, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association officially launched the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.[11] In October 2011, Gold Coast City Mayor Ron Clarke stated that the games would provide a strong legacy for the city after the games have ended.[12]

On 31 March 2010, a surprise bid was made for the 2018 Commonwealth Games by the Sri Lankan city of Hambantota. Hambantota was devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and is undergoing a major face lift. The first phase of the Port of Hambantota is nearing completion and it is funded by the government of China. The Mattala International Airport, which is the second international Airport of Sri Lanka is built close to Hambantota. A new Hambantota International Cricket Stadium had also been built, which had hosted matches in the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

On 10 November 2011, the Hambantota bidders claimed they had already secured enough votes to win the hosting rights.[13]However, on 11 November it was officially announced Gold Coast City had won the rights to host the games.[14][15]

2018 Commonwealth Games bidding results
City Country Votes
Gold Coast City Australia Australia 43
Hambantota Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 27

Administration[edit]

In February 2012, Mark Peters was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Gold Coast City 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation.[16] The Queensland Government Minister tasked with overseeing the Games was Kate Jones.[17]

Preparation[edit]

Venues[edit]

Concept image for Carrara Stadium and Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre

One of the key technical aspects of Gold Coast City’s successful bid was the fact that the city had 80 percent of the planned venues in place before the bidding deadline. The vast majority of venues were located within 20-minutes driving time of the Athletes Village in Parkwood and were broadly grouped into three areas; Central Gold Coast City, North Gold Coast City and South Gold Coast City. The only competitions held outside of Gold Coast City were track cycling and the preliminary rounds of Basketball which were held in Brisbane and Cairns or Townsvillerespectively, along with the shooting which was held in neighbouring Belmont.[18]

Athletes village[edit]

2018 Commonwealth Games Village

The 2018 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village provided accommodation and services to 6600 athletes and officials in 1252 permanent dwellings: 1170 one and two bedroom apartments and 82 three bedroom townhouses at Southport, Gold Coast.[19]

Queen’s baton relay[edit]

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Baton

The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay was launched on Commonwealth Day, 13 March 2017, on the historic forecourt at Buckingham Palace, signalling the official countdown to the start of the Games. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II heralded the start of the relay by placing her ‘message to the Commonwealth and its athletes’ into the distinctive loop-design Queen’s Baton which then set off on its journey around the globe. It traveled for 388 days, spending time in every nation and territory of the Commonwealth. The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay was the longest in Commonwealth Games history. Covering 230,000 km over 388 days, the baton made its way through the six Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

The baton landed on Australian soil in December 2017 and then spent 100 days travelling through Australia, finishing its journey at the Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where the message was removed from the Baton and read aloud by Charles, Prince of Wales.[20]

Transport[edit]

Gold Coast light rail extension at Helensvale

The Gold Coast light rail system, connected a number of the key games venues including the Gold Coast City Aquatic Centre, Broadwater Parklands and the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre with the major accommodation centres of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach and the Athletes Village at Parklands. An extension to the system was announced in October 2015, connecting the then current terminus at Gold Coast University Hospital to the railway line to Brisbane at Helensvale. The extension opened in December 2017, in time for the games.[21]

Anti-doping[edit]

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority conducted an anti-doping drive in the months prior to the games, covering around 2500 tests of Australian athletes, as well as 500 tests against international athletes. Three Australians failed drug tests in this process, along with around 20 international athletes, subject to appeal. The Commonwealth Games Federation conducted in-competition testing and, matching protocol at the Olympic Games, launched a sample storage initiative to allow for future testing of samples up to ten years later, should detection technology improve.[22]

Participating teams[edit]

There were 71 nations competing at 2018 Commonwealth Games.[23] Maldives were scheduled to participate, but in October 2016 they withdrew from the Commonwealth.[24] The Gambia returned to the Commonwealth Games after being readmitted as a Commonwealth Games Federation member on 31 March 2018.[25]

Nations expected to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast

[hide]Participating Commonwealth Games Associations: country name (number of participants)

Number of athletes by team[edit]

Calendar[edit]

OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medal events CC Closing ceremony
April 4
Wed
5
Thu
6
Fri
7
Sat
8
Sun
9
Mon
10
Tue
11
Wed
12
Thu
13
Fri
14
Sat
15
Sun
Events
Ceremonies OC CC N/A
Aquatics Diving pictogram.svg Diving 3 2 3 2 10
Swimming pictogram.svgSwimming 7 9 8 8 9 9 50
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 5 6 8 7 10 9 9 4 58
Badminton pictogram.svg Badminton 1 5 6
Basketball pictogram.svg Basketball 1 1 2
Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg Beach volleyball 2 2
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 16 16
Cycling
Cycling (mountain biking) pictogram.svgMountain biking 2 2
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Road cycling 2 2 4
Cycling (track) pictogram.svg Track cycling 6 4 6 4 20
Gymnastics
Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svgArtistic 1 1 2 5 5 14
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svgRhythmic 1 1 4 6
Field hockey pictogram.svg Hockey 2 2
Lawn bowls pictogram.svg Lawn bowls 2 2 1 2 3 10
Netball pictogram.svg Netball 1 1
Powerlifting pictogram (Paralympics).svg Powerlifting 4 4
Rugby union pictogram.svg Rugby sevens 2 2
Shooting pictogram.svg Shooting 3 3 3 3 1 3 3 19
Squash pictogram.svg Squash 2 1 2 5
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 1 1 1 4 2 9
Triathlon pictogram.svg Triathlon 2 3 5
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 3 3 3 3 4 16
Wrestling pictogram.svg Wrestling 4 4 4 12
Daily medal events 19 17 22 31 33 26 15 24 27 44 17 275
Cumulative total 19 36 58 89 122 148 163 187 214 258 275
April 4th
Wed
5th
Thu
6th
Fri
7th
Sat
8th
Sun
9th
Mon
10th
Tue
11th
Wed
12th
Thu
13th
Fri
14th
Sat
15th
Sun
Total events

Sports[edit]

The regulations stated that from the 26 approved sports administered by Commonwealth Governing Bodies, a minimum of ten core sports and maximum of seventeen sports must be included in any Commonwealth Games schedule. The approved sports included the 10 core sports: athleticsbadmintonboxinghockeylawn bowlsnetball (for women), rugby sevenssquashswimming and weightlifting. Integrated disabled competitions were also scheduled for the Games in nine sports: swimming, athletics, cycling, table tennis, powerlifting and lawn bowls. Along with these events for the first time EAD events in triathlon were held, with the medals added to the final tally for each nation. A record 38 para events were contested at these games.[26] On 8 March 2016, beach volleyball was announced as the 18th sport.[27]

The program was broadly similar to that of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with the major changes being the dropping of judo, the reintroduction of basketball, the debut of women’s rugby sevens and beach volleyball.[28]

On 7 October 2016, it was announced seven new events for women were added to the sport program, meaning there are an equal number of events for men and women. This marks the first time in history that a major multi-sport event has equality in terms of events. In total 275 events in 18 sports are being contested.[29][30]

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each sport.

Opening ceremony[edit]

The opening ceremony was held at Carrara Stadium in the Gold Coast, Australia, between 20:00 and 22:40 AEST, on 4 April 2018. Tickets for the ceremony started at 100 Australian dollars with half price tickets available for children.[31] The Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, was represented by her son, Charles, Prince of Wales.[32]

Parade of Nations[edit]

Following tradition, the host of the previous gamesScotland entered first, followed by the rest of the European countries competing.[33] Following this, all countries paraded in alphabetical order from their respective regions. After the European countries entered, countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, and lastly Oceania marched in. The host nation of Australia entered last. Each nation was preceded by a placard bearer carrying a sign with the country’s name.

Closing ceremony[edit]

The closing ceremony was held at Carrara Stadium and was produced by Jack Morton Worldwide at a cost of AU$30 million. Australian pop stars Guy SebastianSamantha JadeDami Im and The Veronicas were among the performers along with children’s entertainers, The Wiggles.[34]

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, declared the Games closed and passed the Commonwealth Games flag to Birmingham, England which will host the 2022 Games.[35]

The organising committee decided to bring in the athletes before the start of the ceremony. This caused an uproar on social media as, contrary to public expectations, none of the athletes were shown entering the stadium during the ceremony. Broadcast rights holders Channel 7 complained on air about the decision and concluded that, “it hasn’t really lived up to expectations”. Many spectators and athletes left during the ceremony, resulting in a half-empty stadium for much of the event.[36] Following this, the ABC claimed that Channel 7 was briefed on the closing ceremony schedule,[37] a claim which Channel 7 later refuted.[38]

Medal table[edit]

Only the top ten successful nations are displayed here.

The ranking in this table is consistent with International Olympic Committee convention in its published medal tables. By default, the table is ordered by the number of gold medals the athletes from a nation have won (in this context, a “nation” is an entity represented by a Commonwealth Games Association). The number of silver medals is taken into consideration next and then the number of bronze medals. If nations are still tied, equal ranking is given and they are listed alphabetically by their three-letter country code. Australia tops the medal table rank with 80 gold, second England with 45 gold and third India with 26 gold.

Key

*   Host nation (Australia)

2018 Commonwealth Games medal table
Rank CGA Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Australia (AUS)* 80 59 59 198
2  England (ENG) 45 45 46 136
3  India (IND) 26 20 20 66
4  Canada (CAN) 15 40 27 82
5  New Zealand (NZL) 15 16 15 46
6  South Africa (RSA) 13 11 13 37
7  Wales (WAL) 10 12 14 36
8  Scotland (SCO) 9 13 22 44
9  Nigeria (NGR) 9 9 6 24
10  Cyprus (CYP) 8 1 5 14
Total (43 CGAs) 275 276 289 840

Marketing[edit]

Borobi

Motto[edit]

The official motto for the 2018 Commonwealth Games was “Share the Dream”. It was chosen to highlight the dreams and experience at the games that were shared by participants of the games, ranging from athletes to volunteers and the host country Australia to the world including the Commonwealth nations.[39]

Emblem[edit]

The emblem of the 2018 Commonwealth Games was a silhouette of the skyline and landscape of Gold Coast, the host city of the games.[40]

Mascot[edit]

Borobi was named as the mascot of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in 2016. Borobi is a blue koala, with indigenous markings on its body. The term “borobi” means koala in the Yugambeh language, spoken by the indigenous Yugambeh peopleof the Gold Coast and surrounding areas.[41]

Medals[edit]

At a charity gala held on 4 November 2017, the medals for the games were officially unveiled. Australian Indigenous artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins designed the medals, while they were produced by the Royal Australian Mint. The design of the medals was inspired by the coastline of Gold Coast along with Indigenous culture.[42] Furthermore, Cockatoo-Collins mentioned, “the medal design represents soft sand lines which shift with every tide and wave, also symbolic of athletic achievement, The continual change of tide represents the evolution in athletes who are making their mark, Records are made and special moments of elation are celebrated”. Approximately 1,500 medals were created to be distributed to the medallists and each measures approximately 63 millimetres in diameter. The medals weigh between 138 and 163 grams.[43]

United Nations General Assembly resolution ES-10/L.22

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
UN General Assembly
Resolution ES‑10/L.22
United Nations General Assembly resolution A ES 10 L 22 vote.png

  Voted in favor
  Voted against
  Abstained
  Not present
Date 21 December 2017
Meeting no. 10th Emergency Special Session (continuation)
Code A/RES/ES‑10/L.22 (Document)
Subject Status of Jerusalem
Voting summary
128 voted for
9 voted against
35 abstained
21 absent
Result Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “null and void”

United Nations General Assembly resolution ES‑10/L.22 is a emergency session resolution declaring the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “null and void.”.[1] It was adopted by the 37th Plenary meeting of the tenth emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly[2] during the tenure of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2017. The draft resolution was drafted by Yemen and Turkey.[3]Though strongly contested by the United States, it passed by 128 votes to nine against with 21 absentees and 35 abstentions.

Background[edit]

On 6 December 2017, US President Donald Trump said that he would recognise the status of Jerusalem as being Israel’s sovereign capital[4] in a departure from previous UNGA resolutions as well prevailing international norms where no state either recognises Jerusalem as a national capital nor has an embassy there. The move prompted protests from states and communities in many parts of the world.[5]

Following the failure of an United Nations Security Council resolution three days earlier, after an U.S. veto, to rescind the recognition by any states of Jerusalem as a national capital, Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said that the General Assembly would vote on a draft resolution calling for Trump’s declaration to be withdrawn. He sought to invoke Resolution 377, known as the “Uniting for Peace” resolution, to circumvent a veto. The resolution states that the General Assembly can call an Emergency Special Session to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.[6]

Campaign[edit]

On 20 December, US President Donald Trump threatened to cut US aid to countries voting against the US’ side.[7] The day before the vote, he said: “Let them vote against us…We don’t care…this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”[8]Ambassador Nikki Haley warned her country would remember and “take names” of every country that voted in favour of the resolution.[9][10][11][12] The governments of Turkey and Iran denounced USA’s threats as “anti-democratic” and “blackmail“.[13][14] She had sent to a letter to dozens of member states that warned Trump had asked her to “report back on those countries who voted against us.”[15] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Trump that “he cannot buy Turkey’s democratic will with petty dollars” and “that opposition of other countries will teach the United States a good lesson”.[16][17]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel rejects this vote before it passes and called the UN “house of lies”.[18]

Canada’s, which was seeking re-negotiations of the NAFTA, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland‘s spokesman confirmed its intention to abstain from the vote and that the resolution should not have come to the General Assembly.[19]

Content[edit]

The text of the resolution includes the following key statements:[20]

The General Assembly,

  • Bearing in mind the specific status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and, in particular, the need for the protection and preservation of the unique spiritual, religious and cultural dimensions of the City, as foreseen in the relevant United Nations resolutions,
  • Stressing that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions,
  • Expressing in this regard its deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,
  • Affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard, calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to resolution 478 (1980) of the Security Council;
  • Demands that all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions;
  • Reiterates its call for the reversal of the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-State solution and for the intensification and acceleration of international and regional efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967.

It concluded in reading that “any decisions and actions, which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”[21]

Motion[edit]

The motion was proposed by Yemen and Turkey.[22]

Debate[edit]

In introducing the resolution as Chair of the Arab Group, Yemen’s Amabassador said the US decision was a “blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, as well as those of all Christians and Muslims.” He emphasized that it constituted a “dangerous breach of the Charter of the United Nations and a serious threat to international peace and security, while also undermining the chances for a two‑State solution and fuelling the fires of violence and extremism.”[23]

Turkey, who was the co-sponsor of the draft resolution, also spoke as current Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation(OIC).[23] Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Trump’s decision was an outrageous assault to all universal values. “The Palestinians have the right to their own state based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is the main parameter and only hope for a just and lasting peace in the region. However, the recent decision of a UN Member State to recognise Jerusalem, or Al-Quds, as the capital of Israel, violates international law, including all relevant UN resolutions.”[22]

The General Assembly heard from Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al‑Malki, who said that the meeting was “not because of any animosity to the United States of America” but instead the sessions was “called to make the voice of the vast majority of the international community — and that of people around the world — heard on the question of Jerusalem/Al‑Quds Al‑Sharif.” He called the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move its embassy there “an aggressive and dangerous move” which could inflame tensions and lead to a religious war that “has no boundaries.” He added that though the decision would have no impact on the city’s status, it would nevertheless compromise the role of the United States in the Middle East peace process.[23] He urged member states to reject “blackmail and intimidation.”[5]

US Ambassador Nikki Haley then said that her country was “singled out for attack” because of its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. She added that: “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley said. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations, and so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”[15] She added that: “America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that…this vote will make a difference in how Americans view the UN.”[22]

Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon then told the assembly that the vowed that “no General Assembly resolution will ever drive us from Jerusalem.”[4]

Venezuela’s Ambassador, speaking for the Non‑Aligned Movement (NAM), expressed “grave concern about Israel’s ongoing violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including attempts to alter the character, status and demographic composition of the City of Jerusalem. [It was] slso concerned about the decision to relocate the United States embassy [and] warned that such provocative actions would further heighten tensions, with potentially far‑reaching repercussions given the extremely volatile backdrop.[23]

Other speakers included, Pakistan, Indonesia, Maldives, Syria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran and China.[23]

Malaysia’s Ambassador Datuk Seri Mohammed Shahrul Ikram Yaakob said that, as a member of the OIC and NAM, “Malaysia joins the international community in expressing our deep concern and rejects the decision by the United States to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is also an infringement of the Palestinian people’s rights and their right to self determination.” He called for a peaceful two-state solution and that Malaysia is concerned the situation will only feed into the agenda of extremists.”[2]

Other speakers included, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Africa. The Permanent Observer for the Holy See, Tomasz Grysa, emphasised that Jerusalem was most sacred to the Abrahamic faiths and a symbol for millions of believers around the world who considered it their “spiritual capital.” Its significance went “beyond the question of borders, a reality that should be considered a priority in every negotiation for a political solution.” The Holy See, he said, called for a “peaceful resolution that would ensure respect for the sacred nature of Jerusalem and its universal value…reiterating that only international guarantee could preserve its unique character and status and provide assurance of dialogue and reconciliation for peace in the region.”[23]

After the motion was passed, more speeches continued with Estonia, who also spoke on behalf of other states. Australia’s Ambassador then explained her country’s government did “not support unilateral action that undermined the peace process [and] it did not believe today’s text would help to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.”[23]

Other speakers included, Paraguay, whose Ambassador said that the country would abstain because “the question of Jerusalem was a matter for the Security Council, as the primary body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.”[23] This was followed by El Salvador, Argentina and Romania.[23]

Canada’s Ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard called the proposal “one-sided”[23] and said: “We are disappointed that this resolution is one sided and does not advance prospects for peace to which we aspire, which is why we have abstained on today’s vote.” He, however, added that Canada wanted to emphasise Jerusalem’s special significance to the Abrahamic religions of Jews, Muslims and Christians. “Denying the connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths undermines the integrity of the site for all. We also reiterate the need to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s Holy sites.[19]

Nicaragua’s explained its support of the resolution, as it “rebuffed recent unilateral attempts to modify the character and status of Jerusalem. Such unilateral actions were in blatant violation of resolution 2234 (2016) and others…unilateral actions jeopardised peace and stability in the Middle East and drew the international community further away from a solution.”[23]

Mexico’s Ambassador then explained the abstention and emphasised that convening an emergency session was a disproportionate response. “The United States must become part of the solution, not a stumbling block that would hamper progress…the international community was further than ever from agreement.”[23]

The Czech Republic then said that while it supported the European Union position, it had abstained because it “did not believe the draft resolution would contribute to the peace process.”[23]

Armenia said that is position “remained unchanged. The situation should be resolved through negotiations paving the way for lasting peace and security.”[23]

Hungary echoed Armenia’s stance and said it would not comment on the foreign relations of the United States.[23]

Latvia then spoke, before Estonia re-took the floor to say it had also spoken on behalf of Albania, Lithuania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.[23]

Result[edit]

Vote[24] Quantity States
Approve 128 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
Reject 9 Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, United States.
Abstain 35 Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu.
Absent 21 Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, El Salvador, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Moldova, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Zambia.

Reactions[edit]

States

Israel – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the result shortly after it was announced in call it “preposterous,” while he also thanked the states that supported “the truth” by not participating in “the theatre of the absurd.” He added that: “Jerusalem is our capital. Always was, always will be…But I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refused to participate in this theatre of the absurd. So I appreciate that, and especially I want to again express our thanks to [US] President (Donald) Trump and Ambassador [Nikki] Haley, for their stalwart defence of Israel and their stalwart defence of the truth.” Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, reminded Israelis of the longstanding Israeli disdain for such votes. “Let us just remember that this is the same UN about which our first ambassador to the organisation, Abba Eban, once said: ‘If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions’. There is nothing new in what just happened at the UN.” He also praised the US as “the moral beacon shining out of the darkness.” Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Security Gilad Erdan said: “The historic connection between Israel and Jerusalem is stronger than any vote by the ‘United Nations’ — nations who are united only by their fear and their refusal to recognise the simple truth that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the Jewish people.”

    • However, opposition Joint List Chairman and MK Ayman Odeh called the vote a wake-up call for Israel: “In the international arena, there still exists a large and definitive majority that believes that the Palestinian people, like all other nations, deserve a place in this world and the right to self-determination. This evening’s vote by the majority of the world’s nations against Trump’s announcement, in spite of the pressure and threats, flies in the face of Trump’s and Netanyahu’s diplomatic policy and is a clear statement by the international community in support of peace and the right of the Palestinians to an independent state, whose capital is East Jerusalem,”[8]
Media

Haaretz‘s Noa Landau, wrote, in citing unnamed diplomatic sourced, that Israel was particularly disappointed with countries like India that have enhanced bilateral relations with it recently. “The main disappointment in Israel was with the countries that have enhanced bilateral relations in recent years, especially those that share a particularly conservative worldview with the Netanyahu government. For example, India – whose Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited Israel in July, a tour that was memorable mainly for the pastoral photographs of him and Netanyahu embracing and wading in the waves – voted for the resolution against Israel and the United States.”[8]

Others

At a “Solidarity to Save Jerusalem” rally organised by the Barisan National government in Malaysia, one of the attendees Association of NextGen Christians of Malaysia President Joshua Hong said at the Putra Mosque: “We are here because we feel that the decision made by President Trump on announcing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is merely a political decision. He added that the decision also hurts Christian and Arabic churches in Palestine and not just the Muslims. “To us as Christians, Jerusalem is a city of peace and after that announcement, we feel there is no more peace.I think it is not right and unjust. We believe we should continue pursuing the sustainable peace solution for Palestine and Israel, rather than just a single nation declaring it just like that.” He claimed that about 50 members of the group turned up in a show of support for the Palestinian people..[2]

Compulsory voting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Compulsory voting, enforced.
Compulsory voting, not enforced.
Compulsory voting, enforced (only men).
Compulsory voting, not enforced (only men).
Historical: the country had compulsory voting in the past.

ContentsCompulsory voting is a system in which electors are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, he or she may be subject to punitive measures such as fines or community service. As of August 2013, 22 countries were recorded as having laws for compulsory voting and 11 of these 22 countries as enforcing these laws in practice.

History[edit]

Athenian democracy held that it was every citizen‘s duty to participate in decision making, but attendance at the assembly was voluntary. Sometimes there was some form of social opprobrium to those not participating. For example, Aristophanes‘s comedy Acharnians 17–22, in the 5th century BC, shows public slaves herding citizens from the agora into the assembly meeting place (pnyx) with a red-stained rope. Those with red on their clothes were fined.[2] This usually happened if fewer than 6,000 people were in attendance, and more were needed for the assembly to continue.

Arguments for[edit]

Supporters of compulsory voting generally look upon voter participation as a civic duty, similar to taxation, jury duty, compulsory education or military service; one of the ‘duties to community’ mentioned in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[3] They believe that by introducing an obligation to vote, it helps to overcome the occasional inconvenience that voting imposes on an individual in order to produce governments with more stability, legitimacy and a genuine mandate to govern, which in turn benefits that individual even if their preferred candidate or party isn’t elected into power.

Compulsory voting systems can confer a high degree of political legitimacybecause they result in high voter turnout.[4] The victorious candidate represents a majority of the population, not just the politically motivated individuals who would vote without compulsion.[5]

Compulsory voting also prevents disenfranchisement of the socially disadvantaged. In a similar way that the secret ballot is designed to prevent interference with the votes actually cast, compelling voters to the polls for an election reduces the impact that external factors may have on an individual’s capacity to vote such as the weather, transport, or restrictive employers. If everybody must vote, restrictions on voting are easily identified and steps are taken to remove them. Countries with compulsory voting generally hold elections on a Saturday or Sunday to ensure that working people can fulfill their duty to cast their vote. Postal and pre-poll voting is provided to people who cannot vote on polling day, and mobile voting booths may also be taken to old age homes, hospitals and remote communities to cater for immobilized citizens.

If voters do not want to support any given choice, they may cast spoilt votes or blank votes. According to compulsory voting supporters, this is preferred to not voting at all because it ensures there is no possibility that the person has been intimidated or prevented from voting should they wish. In certain jurisdictions, voters have the option to vote none of the above if they do not support any of the candidates to indicate clear dissatisfaction with the candidate list rather than simple apathy at the whole process.

Another perceived benefit of the large turnout produced by compulsory voting is that it becomes more difficult for extremist or special interest groups to get themselves into power or to influence mainstream candidates. Under a non-compulsory voting system, if fewer people vote then it is easier for lobby groups to motivate a small section of the people to the polls and influence the outcome of the political process. The outcome of an election where voting is compulsory reflects more of the will of the people (Who do I want to lead the country?) rather than reflecting who was more able to convince people to take time out of their day to cast a vote (Do I even want to vote today?).

Other advantages to compulsory voting are the stimulation of broader interest politics, as a sort of civil education and political stimulation, which creates a better informed population. Also, since campaign funds are not needed to goad voters to the polls, the role of money in politics decreases. High levels of participation decreases the risk of political instability created by crises or charismatic but sectionally focused demagogues.[5]

There is also a correlation between compulsory voting, when enforced strictly, and improved income distribution, as measured by the Gini coefficient and the bottom income quintiles of the population.[6]

Arguments against[edit]

Voting may be seen as a civic right rather than a civic duty. While citizens may exercise their civil rights (free speech, right to an attorney, etc.) they are not compelled to. Furthermore, compulsory voting may infringe other rights. For example,Jehovah’s Witnesses and most Christadelphians believe that they should not participate in political events. Forcing them to vote ostensibly denies them their freedom of religious practice. In some countries with compulsory voting, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others may be excused on these grounds. If however they are forced to go to the polling place, they can still use a blank or invalid vote.

Similarly, compulsory voting may be seen as an infringement of Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of political opinion and thus the right of citizens to believe in a political system other than a democratic one, such as an absolute monarchy. However, it may also be argued that citizens may legitimately be required to vote since the right to believe in a different political system does not conflict with the obligation to conform with legal requirements of the system in place.

Another argument against compulsory voting, prevalent among legal scholars in the United States, is that it is essentially a compelled speech act, which violates freedom of speech because the freedom to speak necessarily includes the freedomnot to speak.[7]

Some do not support the idea of voters being compelled to vote for candidates they have no interest in or knowledge of. Others may be well-informed, but have no preference for any particular candidate, or may have no wish to give support to the incumbent political system. In compulsory voting areas, such people often vote at random simply to fulfill legal requirements: the so-called donkey vote may account for 1–2% of votes in these systems[citation needed], which may affect the electoral process. Similarly, citizens may vote with a complete absence of knowledge of any of the candidates or deliberately skew their ballot to slow the polling process or disrupt the election.

Low voter participation in a voluntary election may not be the result of political apathy. It may be simply an expression of the citizenry’s political will, indicating satisfaction with the political establishment in an electorate.[citation needed]

The Australian system of preferential voting means a person’s vote usually ends up favouring one of the two main political parties, even though the voter may not wish to advantage either. Former Australian opposition leader Mark Latham urged Australians to lodge blank votes for the 2010 election. He stated the government should not force citizens to vote or threaten them with a fine.[8] At the 2013 federal election, despite the threat of a non-voting fine of up to $170,[9] there was a turnout of only 92%,[10] of whom 6% lodged either informal or blank ballot papers.[11] In the corresponding Senate election, contested by over 50 groups,[12] legitimate manipulation of the group voting tickets and single transferable vote routing resulted in the election of one senator, Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, who had initially received only 0.5% of first-preference support.[13] The system was accused of undermining the entitlement of voters “to be able to make real choices, not forced ones—and to know who they really are voting for.”[14]

By countries[edit]

Historical[edit]

  • Austria – introduced in 1924 and exercised during 1925 presidential elections
  • Chile – removed from the Constitution and replaced with voluntary voting in 2009; voluntary voting was regulated and put into practice in 2012; all eligible citizens over 17 are automatically enrolled (only those over 18 on election day may vote; although the act of voting itself is voluntary, polling officer duties are not if chosen by a commission for the job)[15]
  • Fiji – Abolished in 2014 [16]
  • Italy – Introduced in 1945, abolished in 1993.
  • Netherlands – introduced 1917 along with universal suffrage, abolished in 1967.
  • Spain – 1907–1923, but not enforced
  • US State of Georgia in 1777 (10 years before the adoption of the federal Constitution of 1787):

    Every person absenting himself from an election, and shall neglect to give in his or their ballot at such election, shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding five pounds; the mode of recovery and also the appropriation thereof, to be pointed out and directed by act of the legislature: Provided, nevertheless, That a reasonable excuse shall be admitted.

    Constitution of Georgia, 5 February 1777, Article XII [17]

This provision was omitted from the revised Georgia constitution of 1789.[citation needed]

Present day[edit]

As of August 2013, 22 countries were recorded as having compulsory voting.[1] Of these, only 10 countries (and one Swiss canton) enforce it. Of the 30 member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 10 had forms of compulsory voting.[19]

Enforced[edit]

These are the 11 countries that enforce compulsory voting:

  • Argentina – Introduced in 1912.[20] Compulsory for citizens between 18 and 70 years old, non-compulsory for those older than 70 and between 16 and 18. (However in primaries, citizens under 70 may refuse to vote, if they formally express their decision to the electoral authorities, at least 48 hours before the election. This is valid only for the subsequent primary, and needs to be repeated each time the voter wishes not to participate.)
  • Australia – Introduced in 1924.[20] Compulsory for federal and state elections for citizens 18 years of age and above. The requirement is for the person to enroll, attend a polling station and have their name marked off the electoral roll as attending, receive a ballot paper and take it to an individual voting booth, mark it, fold the ballot paper and place it in the ballot box. The act does not explicitly state that a choice must be made, it only states that the ballot paper be ‘marked’. According to the act how a person marks the paper is completely up to the individual. In some states, local council elections are also compulsory.[21] At the 2010 Tasmanian state election, with a turnout of 335,353 voters, about 6,000 people were fined $26 for not voting, and about 2,000 paid the fine.[22]
  • Brazil[23] – Compulsory for literate citizens between 18 and 70 years old. Non-compulsory for Brazilian Youth age 16-17 or over 70 or illiterate citizens of any age. A justification form for not voting can be filled at election centers and post offices.
  • Cyprus – Introduced in 1960.[20]
  • Ecuador – Introduced in 1936.[20] Compulsory for citizens between 18 and 65 years old; non-compulsory for citizens aged 16–18, illiterate people, and those older than 65.
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg – Voluntary for those over 70.
  • Nauru – Introduced in 1965.[20]
  • Peru[24] – Introduced in 1933.[20] Compulsory for citizens between 18 and 70 years old, non-compulsory for those older than 70.
  • Singapore – Compulsory for citizens above 21 years old on 1 January of the year of election
  • Uruguay – Introduced in 1934, but not put into practice until 1970.[20]
  • Schaffhausen canton in Switzerland has compulsory voting – Introduced to Switzerland in 1904, but abolished in all other cantons by 1974.[20]

Not enforced[edit]

Countries that have compulsory voting on the law books but do not enforce it:

Measures to encourage voting[edit]

Although voting in a country may be compulsory, penalties for failing to vote are not always strictly enforced. In Australiaand Brazil, providing a legitimate reason for not voting (such as being sick or outside the country) is accepted. In Argentina, those who were ill on voting day are excused by requesting a doctor to prove their condition; those over 500 km (310 mi) away from their voting place are also excused by asking for a certificate at a police station near where they are. Belgianvoters can vote in an embassy if they are abroad or can empower another voter to cast the vote in their name; the voter must give a “permission to vote” and carry a copy of the eID card and their own on the actual elections.

States that sanction nonvoters with fines generally impose small or nominal penalties. However, penalties for failing to vote are not limited to fines and legal sanctions. Belgian voters who repeatedly fail to vote in elections may be subject todisenfranchisement. Singapore voters who fail to vote in a general election or presidential election will be subjected to disenfranchisement until a valid reason is given or a fine is paid. Goods and services provided by public offices may be denied to those failing to vote in Peru and Greece. In Brazil, people who fail to vote in an election are barred from obtaining a passport and subject to other restrictions until settling their situation before an electoral court or after they have voted in the two most recent elections. If a Bolivian voter fails to participate in an election, the person may be denied withdrawal of the salary from the bank for three months.[28][33]

List of Banks owned by the Rothschild Family

“Give me control over a nations currency, and I care not who makes its laws” – Baron M.A. Rothschild

rothcrest

ROTHSCHILD OWNED BANKS:
Afghanistan, Bank of Afghanistan,
Albania, Bank of Albania,
Algeria, Bank of Algeria,
Argentina, Central Bank of Argentina,
Armenia, Central Bank of Armenia,
Aruba, Central Bank of Aruba,
Australia, Reserve Bank of Australia,
Austria, Austrian National Bank,
Azerbaijan, Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic,
Bahamas, Central Bank of The Bahamas,
Bahrain, Central Bank of Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Bangladesh Bank,
Barbados, Central Bank of Barbados,
Belarus, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus,
Belgium, National Bank of Belgium,
Belize, Central Bank of Belize,
Benin, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Bermuda, Bermuda Monetary Authority,
Bhutan, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan,
Bolivia, Central Bank of Bolivia,
Bosnia, Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Botswana, Bank of Botswana,
Brazil, Central Bank of Brazil,
Bulgaria, Bulgarian National Bank,
Burkina Faso, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Burundi, Bank of the Republic of Burundi,
Cambodia, National Bank of Cambodia,
Came Roon, Bank of Central African States,
Canada, Bank of Canada – Banque du Canada,
Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority,
Central African Republic, Bank of Central African States,
Chad, Bank of Central African States,
Chile, Central Bank of Chile,

China, The People’s Bank of China,

Colombia, Bank of the Republic,
Comoros, Central Bank of Comoros,
Congo, Bank of Central African States,
Costa Rica, Central Bank of Costa Rica,
Côte d’Ivoire, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Croatia, Croatian National Bank,
Cuba, Central Bank of Cuba,
Cyprus, Central Bank of Cyprus,
Czech Republic, Czech National Bank,
Denmark, National Bank of Denmark,
Dominican Republic, Central Bank of the Dominican Republic,
East Caribbean area, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank,
Ecuador, Central Bank of Ecuador,
Egypt, Central Bank of Egypt ,
El Salvador, Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador,
Equatorial Guinea, Bank of Central African States,
Estonia, Bank of Estonia,
Ethiopia, National Bank of Ethiopia,
European Union, European Central Bank,

money-world-

Fiji, Reserve Bank of Fiji,
Finland, Bank of Finland,
France, Bank of France,
Gabon, Bank of Central African States,
The Gambia, Central Bank of The Gambia,
Georgia, National Bank of Georgia,
Germany, Deutsche Bundesbank,
Ghana, Bank of Ghana,
Greece, Bank of Greece,
Guatemala, Bank of Guatemala,

Guinea Bissau, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Guyana, Bank of Guyana,
Haiti, Central Bank of Haiti ,
Honduras, Central Bank of Honduras,
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Monetary Authority,
Hungary, Magyar Nemzeti Bank,
Iceland, Central Bank of Iceland,
India, Reserve Bank of India,
Indonesia, Bank Indonesia,
Iran, The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

Iraq, Central Bank of Iraq,

Ireland, Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland,
Israel, Bank of Israel,
Italy, Bank of Italy,
Jamaica, Bank of Jamaica,
Japan, Bank of Japan,
Jordan, Central Bank of Jordan,
Kazakhstan, National Bank of Kazakhstan,
Kenya, Central Bank of Kenya,
Korea, Bank of Korea,
Kuwait, Central Bank of Kuwait,
Kyrgyzstan, National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic,
Latvia, Bank of Latvia,
Lebanon, Central Bank of Lebanon,
Lesotho, Central Bank of Lesotho,

Libya, Central Bank of Libya,

us-homeland-security-seal-plaque_m-747261

Uruguay, Central Bank of Uruguay,
Lithuania, Bank of Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Central Bank of Luxembourg,
Macao, Monetary Authority of Macao,
Macedonia, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia,
Madagascar, Central Bank of Madagascar,
Malawi, Reserve Bank of Malawi,
Malaysia, Central Bank of Malaysia,
Mali, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Malta, Central Bank of Malta,
Mauritius, Bank of Mauritius,
Mexico, Bank of Mexico,
Moldova, National Bank of Moldova,
Mongolia, Bank of Mongolia,
Montenegro, Central Bank of Montenegro,
Morocco, Bank of Morocco,
Mozambique, Bank of Mozambique,
Namibia, Bank of Namibia,
Nepal, Central Bank of Nepal,
Netherlands, Netherlands Bank,
Netherlands Antilles, Bank of the Netherlands Antilles,
New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand,
Nicaragua, Central Bank of Nicaragua,
Niger, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Nigeria, Central Bank of Nigeria,
Norway, Central Bank of Norway,
Oman, Central Bank of Oman,
Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan,
Papua New Guinea, Bank of Papua New Guinea,
Paraguay, Central Bank of Paraguay,
Peru, Central Reserve Bank of Peru,
Philip Pines, Bangko Sentralng Pilipinas,
Poland, National Bank of Poland,
Portugal, Bank of Portugal,
Qatar, Qatar Central Bank,
Romania, National Bank of Romania,
Russia, Central Bank of Russia,

Rwanda, National Bank of Rwanda,
San Marino, Central Bank of the Republic of San Marino,
Samoa, Central Bank of Samoa,
Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency,

Senegal, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Serbia, National Bank of Serbia,
Seychelles, Central Bank of Seychelles,
Sierra Leone, Bank of Sierra Leone,
Singapore, Monetary Authority of Singapore,
Slovakia, National Bank of Slovakia,
Slovenia, Bank of Slovenia,
Solomon Islands, Central Bank of Solomon Islands,
South Africa, South African Reserve Bank,
Spain, Bank of Spain,
Sri Lanka, Central Bank of Sri Lanka,
Sudan, Bank of Sudan,
Surinam, Central Bank of Suriname,
Swaziland, The Central Bank of Swaziland,
Sweden, Sveriges Riksbank,
Switzerland, Swiss National Bank,

Tajikistan, National Bank of Tajikistan,
Tanzania, Bank of Tanzania,
Thailand, Bank of Thailand,
Togo, Central Bank of West African States, (BCEAO),
Tonga, National Reserve Bank of Tonga,
Trinidad and Tobago, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago,
Tunisia, Central Bank of Tunisia,
Turkey, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey,

Uganda, Bank of Uganda,
Ukraine, National Bank of Ukraine,
United Arab Emirates, Central Bank of United Arab Emirates,

United Kingdom, Bank of England,

United States, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve Bank of New York,

US-FederalReserveSystem-Seal_svg_

Vanuatu, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu,
Venezuela, Central Bank of Venezuela,

Vietnam, The State Bank of Vietnam,
Yemen, Central Bank of Yemen,
Zambia, Bank of Zambia,
Zimbabwe, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,
Bank For International Settlements, (BIS),

Israel Grants Oil Rights Inside Illegally Occupied Golan Heights Syria: To Rupert Murdoch And Jacob Rothschild.

By :http://politicalvelcraft.org

Constructing A Palestine, Israeli False Flag Campaign!

The Rothschild zionists along with their coconspirators, The British government, and British royalty confiscated Palestine for Rothschild, and the Georgian Khazars who are no more Hebrew Jewish than the man in the moon.
  1. Israel Has Lots Of Oil ~ Washington Times!
  2. Israel Richest Oil Country In The World ~ Omega Letter
  3. Israel’s Giant Off-Shore Oil and Gas Field Israel National News!
  4. USGS identifies potential giant oil and gas fields in Israel/Palestine

Levant_Fig1_Press release

 

  1. The Cyprus Bailout Pits East vs. West: European Union Is All About World War III.
  2. U.S. Can Learn From Cyprus Environment Commissioner: National Launching Of GMO-Free Zone Campaign
  3. Rothschilds Attacks Russian Cyprus Holdings: Russia Launches Surprise Large-Scale, 36 Warship Military Exercise In The Black Sea

They have no religious, or other background to make claim on the land, but Rothschild and the British knew about the oil and made sure they supported Rothschild in his claim for Israel.

They never do anything for just one reason, so add to the fact that International Khazar Jewrys’ influence in America was great and Britain needed America in the war as its [bulldog]…. THE LIED TO CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES DO THE BIDDING OF THE RICH AND SHAMELESS!

Richard Henry Lee

AMERICA’S BLOOD & TREASURE IS EXPLOITED ~ THE RICH GET RICHER!

Roman Catholic opposition to Rothschild’s Israel contributed to the Rothschilds violent hatred of America’s, China’s, & Russia’s large Catholic Christian populations.  Catholic Church vs New World Order

Hubert Herring in his book “And So To War” sums up the price the U.S. had to pay so that the Rothschild Zionists & Britain might have Palestine:

  1. “We paid for the war. We paid with the lives of 126,000 dead, of 234,300 mutilated and wounded. 
  2. We paid with the dislocated lives of hundreds of thousands whom the war wrenched from their accustomed places in a peaceful world. 
  3. We paid in the imponderable damage to our national morale through the lashings of war hysteria. 
  4. We paid with a period of economic confusion from which we have not yet escaped. The direct bill for the war reached the figure of fifty-five billions of dollars. The indirect bill can never be reckoned.”

The Roman Catholic Pope was against this entire mess [Letting Rothschild Create An Israel]. He knew full well, the Rothschild Khazars hated Christians and that was proven out in the 1917 Rothschild/Lenin Russian Revolution where Christians were slaughtered by the millions by the khazar barbarians.

 

The International khazar Jewry cut a deal and the Balfour Declaration was the result. What Balfour left out was that nothing the British did or said could obscure the fact that Palestine was not theirs to give, nor did the British Government have the slightest right to secure a mandate for Palestine.

But Balfour, backed by Nathan Rothschild, pressed ahead anyway, as if the two men had an inherent right to act in the arbitrary manner which they saw fit.

Vatic Project

MY BROTHER’S KEEPER

palestine land

Rothschild’s Black Gold Empire: Shut Down America’s Oil Production And Buy From Rothschild.

The victims of Gaza: A list of Palestinians killed in Rothschild Israel’s ongoing assault

By: Chloé Benoist
As Israeli forces began their assault on the Gaza Strip, Israel’s leaders and media ramped up a rhetoric offensive, using dehumanizing discourse to garner support for deadly military action in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Operation “Protective Edge” – Israel’s latest military offensive to be given a name with nurturing undertones after “My Brother’s Keeper” and “Pillar of Defense” – has already killed at least 43 Palestinians and bombarded more than 400 locations in the Gaza Strip in less than 48 hours.

FATHER OF COLLECTIVISM AKA COMMUNISM ~ THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD.

Netanyahu: I Won’t Be Silenced On Rothschild’s Security.

Despite the intensity of the Israeli assault on Gaza, Israel’s politicians are framing the military operation as one they entered against their will. An estimated 200 [NWO Hamas] rockets have been fired from Gaza [To Foment Destruction Of Palestine For Rothschild Control] since Tuesday, but there have been no recorded Israeli casualties.

Despite the intensity of the [Rothschild] Israeli assault on Gaza, Israel’s politicians are framing the military operation as one they entered against their will.

“We are not eager for battle, but the security of our citizens and children takes precedence over all else,” NWO Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

An Israeli official quoted by The Jerusalem Post lamented that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas could not “influence his [NWO Muslim Brotherhood] Hamas partners to exercise restraint and stop kidnapping and murdering Israeli teenagers and sending rocket barrages into Israel.”

“That sort of restraint would have prevented the current crisis,” he added. *Yawn*

Memories Of History: When The People Get Fed Up!

  1. Out Of Chaos: Comes Dead Conspirators!
  2. The New World Order is “Communism”: Also Known As Rothschildism Or More Bluntly Robbery!

The implication of these statements are that [Rothschild’s NWO] Hamas has forced Israel into launching a full-scale military operation against them, conveniently ignoring the recent crackdown on the West Bank after the disappearance of three Israeli youths, which Israel blamed on Hamas without providing evidence to back its claims.

In an op-ed titled ‘Send Gaza to the Stone Age’ published on Wednesday, Israel Hayom’s Editor-in-Chief Amos Regev praised the Israeli government for “the levelheadedness, restraint and sound judgment it exhibited before ordering the Israel Defense Forces [sic] to launch Operation Protective Edge,” calling for a ground operation in Gaza to be “carried out with determination and clenched lips, with the knowledge that this is a war of no choice.”

Israel, its leaders would have you believe, is reluctantly entering an open conflict out of a sense of duty, once again indulging in the self-victimizing rhetoric that all Israeli military actions are defensive or retaliatory.

Israel’s enemy, once again, is Hamas, and Zionist political figures have stepped up their eliminationist discourse.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called for the destruction of Hamas.

“We are continuing to carry out attacks that are exacting a heavy price from Hamas,” Yaalon said. “We are destroying its arms, terrorist infrastructure, command and control systems, institutions, government buildings, terrorists’ homes, and we are killing terrorists in the organizational high command.”

Other politicians echoed the sentiment.

“A sovereign state cannot allow for a bunch of terrorists to run its life; we must cut off the head of the snake and for every Hamas man to know that his blood is upon his head,” Shas party leader Aryeh Deri tweeted on Wednesday.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon took it one step further, calling on Israel Wednesday to cut off fuel and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Neither Yaalon, Deri or Danon have acknowledged the human cost of such actions on Gaza, an enclave already suffering because of the crushing Israeli siege and already struggling with fuel and electricity shortages.“It is inconceivable that on the one hand we fight Hamas and on the other we provide fuel and electricity that are used to transport missiles that are fired at us,” Danon said. “We are in a campaign against Hamas, which is firing missiles at Israel’s citizens.”

Neither Yaalon, Deri or Danon have acknowledged the human cost of such actions on Gaza, an enclave already suffering because of the crushing Israeli siege and already struggling with fuel and electricity shortages. Nor did they mention the loss of civilian life which is the inevitable consequence of wide military actions in such a densely populated territory.

Israeli leadership, however, has repeatedly emphasized the plight of Israeli civilians. Israeli news outlets have dutifully reported every siren sounded in Israeli towns since the beginning of Operation “Protective Edge” and lamented the closure of some Israeli summer camps.

Cara Lebenzon, a blogger for The Times of Israel penned a post berating those who have spoken out against Israel’s attacks, saying “I would actually argue we are TOO nice to Hamas and the people of Gaza. I’ve never heard of a single country on earth that supplies their mortal enemies with water, goods and electricity on a daily basis, have you?” For these folk, Palestinians are not people entitled to basic human rights, and an assault on Gaza is not only warranted, but long overdue.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have bombarded Twitter with stylized graphics trying to garner sympathy for the fearful Israeli population who must run to bomb shelters — conveniently ignoring Palestinians’ lack of shelters during its deadly air raids.

The IOF has also shared an image which it claims is representative of Hamas’ own visual campaign to convince civilians stand in as human shields. The graphic, available only on IOF social media platforms, could have been created by the IOF’s own design team, purportedly standing as “proof” of Hamas’ treachery instead of showing actual existing Hamas posters.
The argument about Hamas forcing people to stand as human shields is one Israel regularly trots out, despite the fact that such claims have been dismantled in the past, and that the IOF is itself guilty of using such tactics repeatedly.

jewishklansmanpp71

Last Lap Dance Of Obama, Gorbachev, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, And The 5-Year Plans Of Banksters!

But the “human shield” argument is a convenient excuse for Israeli forces to continue with tactics that they know full well will lead to many civilian casualties while rejecting any responsibility for these deaths. Palestinians living in Gaza are not granted the luxury of being considered innocent civilians in Israeli rhetoric; dead Palestinian men, women and children are all guilty of standing in the way of Israeli weapons, despite the fact that there is nowhere to run in the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Dehumanization of Palestinians and demonization of the Palestinian struggle are essential tools of the Israeli military machine in order to continue justifying expansive military action while maintaining its discourse of victimization.

Follow all the latest updates on Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip.

English Al-Akhbar

Israel Grants Oil Rights Inside Syria To Murdoch And Rothschild

Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild. This from a 2010 Genie Energy press release:

Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented, “Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets. Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”

Rothschild Mafia Family

“I am grateful to Howard Jonas and IDT for the opportunity to invest in this important initiative,” Lord Rothschild said. “Rupert Murdoch’s extraordinary achievements speak for themselves and we are very pleased he has agreed to be our partner. Genie Energy is making good technological progress to tap the world’s substantial oil shale deposits which could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.”

For Israel to seek to exploit mineral reserves in the occupied Golan Heights is plainly illegal in international law.

Japan was succesfully sued by Singapore before the International Court of Justice for exploitation of Singapore’s oil resources during the second world war.

The argument has been made in international law that an occupying power is entitled to opeate oil wells which were previously functioning and operated by the sovereign power, in whose position the occupying power now stands. But there is absolutely no disagreement in the authorities and case law that the drilling of new wells – let alone fracking – by an occupying power is illegal.

Rothschild Standing Kissinger Sitting Far Right. Antitrust their currency hoarding.

Middle East Rothschild Banking Puppet Regimes Are Collapsing: Kissinger’s Petrodollar Going Down!

Israel tried to make the same move twenty years ago but was forced to back down after a strong reaction from the Syrian government, which gained diplomatic support from the United States. Israel is now seeking to take advantage of the weakened Syrian state; this move perhaps casts a new light on recent Israeli bombings in Syria.

In a rational world, the involvement of Rothschild and Murdoch in this international criminal activity would show them not to be fit and proper persons to hold major commercial interests elsewhere, and action should be taken.

Craig Murray – Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist – http://www.craigmurray.org.uk

NWO LOST IN EGYPT ~ THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD'S MOHAMMED MORSI IS NOW IN PRISON FOR MURDER.

  1. The Syrian Golan
  2. Why Rothschild Hates Syria ~ Oil In Syria’s Golan Heights ~ Which Was Illegally Annexed By Rothschild’s Israel Forces.
  3. January 22, 2014 “Information Clearing House – Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Jacob Rothschild.
  4. President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Army Crushes Rothschild’s NWO Terrorists In Aleppo; More Areas Liberated.

British Petroleum Orchestrated Oil Chaos!

Related Articles:

[7.5][islamic group]Islamic State in Iraq & Al Sham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“ISIL” and “ISIS” redirect here. For other uses, see ISIL (disambiguation) and ISIS (disambiguation).
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام  (Arabic)
ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-‘Irāq wash-Shām


Primary participant in:


Primary target of: The Global War on Terrorism, the Military interventions against ISIL, theInterventions in Iraq, the Interventions in Syria, and the Interventions in Libya.

Black Standard adopted by ISIL
Flag Emblem
Motto: باقية وتتمدد
Bāqiyah wa-Tatamaddad
“Remaining and Expanding”[1]
Anthem: أمتي قد لاح فجر
Ummatī, qad lāha fajrun
“My Nation, Dawn Has Appeared”[2][3]
Military situation as of 16 February 2015, in Iraq and Syria (minus the Golan Heights).

  Controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  Controlled by al-Nusra
  Controlled by other Syrian rebels
  Controlled by Syrian government
  Controlled by Iraqi government
  Controlled by Syrian Kurds
  Controlled by Iraqi Kurds

Note: Syria and Iraq contain large desert areas with limited population. These areas are mapped as under the control of forces holding roads and towns within them.

Map of the current military situation in Iraq
Map of the current military situation in Syria

Administrative center Ar-Raqqah, Syria
(de facto)[4][5]
35°57′N 39°1′E
Largest city Mosul, Iraq
Ideologies Wahhabism[6]
Salafist Jihadism
Salafism[7][8]
Type Rebel group controlling territory

Military strength & operation areas Inside Iraq and Syria
200,000[12] (Kurdish claim)
20,000–31,000 (CIA estimate)
Outside Iraq and Syria
21,000–35,800 (SeeMilitary of ISIL for more-detailed estimates.)
Leaders
 – Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi[13]
 – Deputy leader in Iraq Abu Muslim al-Turkmani  [14][15]
 – Deputy leader in Syria Abu Ali al-Anbari[15]
 – Head of Military Shura Abu Ayman al-Iraqi[16]
 – Spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani[17][18]
 – Field commander Abu Omar al-Shishani[19]
Establishment
 – Formation (as Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād) 1999[20]
 – Joined al-Qaeda October 2004
 – Declaration of an Islamic statein Iraq 13 October 2006
 – Claim of territory in the Levant 8 April 2013
 – Separated from al-Qaeda[21][22] 3 February 2014[23]
 – Declaration of “Caliphate 29 June 2014
 – Claim of territory in Libya,Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia,Yemen, Afghanistan andPakistan 13 November 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL /ˈsəl/) is a jihadistrebel group that controls territory in Iraq and Syria and also operates in eastern Libya, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and other areas of the Middle East,[24] North Africa, South Asia,[25] and Southeast Asia.[25][26]The group’s Arabic name is transliterated as ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-‘Irāq wash-Shām leading to the Arabic acronym Da‘ish or DAESH(Arabic pronunciation: da:ʕeʃ).[27] The name is also commonly translated as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS /ˈsɪs/).[27] On 29 June 2014, the group proclaimed itself to be a Worldwide Caliphate and renamed itself to theIslamic State (IS), but the new name has been widely criticized and condemned, with the UN, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups refusing to acknowledge it.[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37]Many Islamic and non-Islamic communities judge the group to be unrepresentative of Islam.[38] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named its “caliph“.[39] As caliphate it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide and that “the legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khilāfah’s (caliphates’s) authority and arrival of its troops to their areas”.[40][41]

The United Nations has held ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes, and Amnesty International has reported ethnic cleansing by the group on a “historic scale”. The group has beendesignated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, theEuropean Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, India, and Russia. Over 60 countries are directly or indirectly waging war against ISIL.

The group originated as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which was renamed Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn—commonly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)—when the group pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, AQI took part in the Iraqi insurgency. In 2006, it joined other Sunni insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, which shortly afterwards proclaimed the formation of an Islamic state, naming it the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). The ISI gained a significant presence in Al Anbar,Nineveh, Kirkuk and other areas, but around 2008, its violent methods, including suicide attacks on civilian targets and the widespread killing of prisoners, led to a backlash from Sunni Iraqis and other insurgent groups.[a]

The group grew significantly under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and after entering the Syrian Civil War, it established a large presence in Sunni-majority areas of Syria within the governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Idlib, Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo.[42] Having expanded into Syria, the group changed its name in April 2013 to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), when al-Baghdadi announced its merger with the Syrian-based group al-Nusra Front. The group remained closely linked to al-Qaeda until February 2014, when after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with ISIL—citing its failure to consult and “notorious intransigence”.[23][43]

ISIL is known for its well-funded web and social media propaganda, which includes Internet videos of the beheadings of soldiers, civilians, journalists, and aid workers. (See ISIL beheading incidents.)

The group gained notoriety after it drove the Iraqi government forces out of key western cities in Iraq while in Syria it conquered and conducted ground attacks against both the government forces and rebel factions in the Syrian Civil War. It gained those territories after an offensive, initiated in early 2014, which senior U.S. military commanders and members of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs saw as a reemergence of Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda militants. This territorial loss implied a failure of U.S. foreign policy and almost caused a collapse of the Iraqi government that required renewal of U.S. action in Iraq.

History

Outline of history – with links to content below

As Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Organization of Monotheism and Jihad)  (1999–2004)
As Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (al-Qaeda in Iraq)  (2004–2006)
As Mujahideen Shura Council  (2006)
As Islamic State of Iraq  (2006–2013)
As Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant  (2013–2014)
As self-proclaimed “Islamic State  (June 2014–present)

Names

The group has had various names since it was established.[47]

  1. The group was founded in 1999 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawiunder the name Jamāʻat al-Tawḥīd wa-al-Jihād, “The Organization of Monotheism and Jihad” (JTJ).[20]
  2. In October 2004, al-Zarqawi swore loyalty to Osama bin Ladenand changed the group’s name to Tanẓīm Qāʻidat al-Jihād fī Bilād al-Rāfidayn, “The Organization of Jihad’s Base in Mesopotamia“, commonly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq.(AQI).[47][48] Although the group has never called itself al-Qaeda in Iraq, this has been its informal name over the years.[49]
  3. In January 2006, AQI merged with several other Iraqi insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council.[50]Al-Zarqawi was killed in June 2006.
  4. On 12 October 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council merged with several more insurgent factions, and on 13 October the establishment of the Dawlat al-ʻIraq al-Islāmīyah, Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) was announced.[51] The leaders of this group were Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri.[52] After they were killed in a US–Iraqi operation in April 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became the new leader of the group.
  5. On 8 April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group adopted the name Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which more fully translates as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.[53][54][55]These names are translations of the Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām,[56][57] al-Shām being a description of the Levant or Greater Syria.[27] The translated names are commonly abbreviated as ISIL or ISIS, with a debate over which of these acronyms should be used.[57][27] The Washington Post concluded that the distinction between the two “is not so great”.”[27]
  6. The name Daʿish is often used by ISIL’s Arabic-speaking detractors. It is based on the Arabic letters dāl, alif, ʻayn, and shīn, which form the acronym (داعش) of ISIL’s Arabic name al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī al-ʻIrāq wa-al-Shām.[58][59]There are many spellings of this acronym with DAESH gaining acceptance. ISIL considers the name Da’ish derogatory for it sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes, “one who crushes something underfoot,” and Dahes, “one who sows discord.”[60][61]—and reportedly uses flogging as a punishment for those who use the name in ISIL-controlled areas.[62][63]
  7. On 14 May 2014, the United States Department of State announced its decision to use “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) as the group’s primary name.[58] However, in late 2014 top US officials shifted toward DAESH citing it was the preferred term used by Arab partners.[60]
  8. On 29 June 2014, the group renamed itself the Islamic State (IS) and declared itself to be a worldwide “caliphate“.[39][64][65] “Accordingly, the “Iraq and Shām” in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.” This name and the idea of a caliphate has been widely criticized, with the UN, various governments, and mainstream Muslim groups refusing to use it.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][66]

Foundation of the group (1999–2006)

A screenshot from the 2004 hostage video, where Nick Berg was beheadedby al-Zarqawi’s group.

Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Jordanian Salafi Jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his militant group Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, founded in 1999, achieved notoriety in the early stages of the Iraq insurgency, by (suicide) attackingShia Islamic mosques and civilians, Iraqi government institutions, and Italiansoldiers partaking in the U.S.-led ‘Multi-National Force‘.

Armed insurgents in Iraq

Al-Zarqawi’s group in October 2004 it officially pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden‘s al-Qaeda network, changing its name to Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد في بلاد الرافدين, “Organization of Jihad’s Base inMesopotamia“), also known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).[21][67][68] Attacks by the group on civilians, Iraqi Government and security forces, foreign diplomats and soldiers, American convoys, continued with roughly the same intensity. In a letter to al-Zarqawi in July 2005, al-Qaeda‘s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined a four-stage plan to expand the Iraq War, which included expelling US forces from Iraq, establishing an Islamic authority, as caliphate, spreading the conflict to Iraq’s secular neighbors, and clash with Israel, which the letter says “was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity”.[69]

In January 2006, AQI merged with several smaller Iraqi insurgent groups under an umbrella organization called the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC). This was claimed by Brian Fishman in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science to be little more than a media exercise and an attempt to give the group a more Iraqi flavour and perhaps to distance al-Qaeda from some of al-Zarqawi’s tactical errors, notably the 2005 bombings by AQI of three hotels in Amman.[70] On 7 June, al-Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike and was succeeded as leader of the group by the Egyptian militant Abu Ayyub al-Masri.[71][72]

On 12 October 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council united with three smaller groups and six Sunni Islamic tribes to form the “Mutayibeen Coalition”, that swore by Allah “…to rid Sunnis from the oppression of the rejectionists (= Shi’ite Muslims) and the crusader occupiers, … to restore rights even at the price of our own lives… to make Allah’s word supreme in the world, and to restore the glory of Islam…”.[73][74]

On 13 October 2006, the Mujahideen Shura Council declared the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which should comprise Iraq’s six mostly Sunni Arab governorates,[75] with Abu Omar al-Baghdadi being announced as itsEmir.[51][76] Al-Masri was given the title of Minister of War within the ISI’s ten-member cabinet.[77]

A joint US–Iraqi training exercise near Ramadi in November 2009. The Islamic State of Iraq had declared the city to be its capital.

As Islamic State of Iraq (2006–2013)

Main article: Islamic State of Iraq

According to a study compiled by US intelligence agencies in early 2007, the ISI—also known as AQI—planned to seize power in the central and western areas of the country and turn it into a Sunni Islamic state.[78] The group built in strength and at its height enjoyed a significant presence in the Iraqi governorates of Al Anbar,Nineveh,[citation needed] Kirkuk,[citation needed] most of Salah ad Din,[citation needed] parts ofBabil,[citation needed] Diyala and Baghdad, and claimed Baqubah as a capital city.[79][80][81][82]

However, by late 2007, violent and indiscriminate attacks directed by rogue AQI elements against Iraqi civilians had severely damaged the group’s image and caused a loss of support among the population, thus isolating it.[citation needed] In a major blow to AQI, many former Sunni militants who had previously fought alongside the group started to work with the US armed forces.[citation needed] The US troops surge of 2007 supplied the U.S. military with more manpower for operations targeting the group, resulting in dozens of high-level AQI members being captured or killed.[83]

Between July and October 2007, al-Qaeda in Iraq or ISI seemed to have lost their secure military bases in Anbar provinceand the Baghdad area.[84] During 2008, a series of US and Iraqi offensives managed to drive out the AQI-aligned insurgents from their former safe havens, such as the Diyala and Al Anbar governorates, to the area of the northern city ofMosul, the latest major battleground against ISI.[85]
By 2008, the ISI was describing itself as being in a state of “extraordinary crisis”.[86] Its violent attempts to govern its territory led to a backlash[clarification needed] from Sunni Iraqis and other insurgent groups and a temporary decline in the group,[clarification needed] which was attributable to a number of factors,[87] notably the Anbar Awakening.

In late 2009, the commander of the US forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, stated that the ISI “has transformed significantly in the last two years. What once was dominated by foreign individuals has now become more and more dominated by Iraqi citizens”.[88] On 18 April 2010, the ISI’s two top leaders, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, were killed in a joint US-Iraqi raid near Tikrit.[89] In a press conference in June 2010, General Odierno reported that 80% of the ISI’s top 42 leaders, including recruiters and financiers, had been killed or captured, with only eight remaining at large. He said that they had been cut off from al-Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan.[90][91][92]

On 16 May 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was appointed as the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq.[93][94] Al-Baghdadi replenished the group’s leadership, many of whom had been killed or captured, by appointing former Ba’athist military and intelligence officers who had served during the Saddam Hussein regime. These men, nearly all of whom had spent time imprisoned by the US military, came to make up about one-third of Baghdadi’s top 25 commanders. One of them was a former Colonel, Samir al-Khlifawi, also known as Haji Bakr, who became the overall military commander in charge of overseeing the group’s operations.[95][96]

In July 2012, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement online announcing that the group was returning to the former strongholds from which US troops and their Sunni allies had driven them in 2007 and 2008.[97] He also declared the start of a new offensive in Iraq called Breaking the Walls, aimed at freeing members of the group held in Iraqi prisons.[97] Violence in Iraq had begun to escalate in June 2012, primarily by AQI’s car bomb attacks, and by July 2013, monthly fatalities had exceeded 1,000 for the first time since April 2008.[98]

Syrian Civil War (2011–present)

In March 2011, protests began in Syria against the government of Bashar al-Assad. In the following months, violence between demonstrators and security forces led to a gradual militarisation of the conflict.[99] In August 2011, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi began sending Syrian and Iraqi ISI members experienced in guerilla warfare across the border into Syria in order to establish an organization inside the country. Led by a Syrian known as Abu Muhammad al-Julani, this group began to recruit fighters and establish cells throughout the country.[100][101] On 23 January 2012, the group announced its formation as Jabhat al-Nusra li Ahl as-ShamJabhat al-Nusra—more commonly known as the al-Nusra Front. Al-Nusra grew rapidly into a capable fighting force, with popular support among Syrians opposed to the Assad government.[100]

As Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (2013–2014)

Islamic State fighters in 2014, seen here in Anbar province, with Abu Waheeb in the foreground.

On 8 April 2013, al-Baghdadi released an audio statement in which he announced that the al-Nusra Front had been established, financed, and supported by the Islamic State of Iraq,[102] and that the two groups were merging under the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham”.[53] Al-Jawlani issued a statement denying the merger, and complaining that neither he nor anyone else in al-Nusra’s leadership had been consulted about it.[103] In June 2013, Al Jazeera reported that it had obtained a letter written by al-Qaeda‘s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, addressed to both leaders, in which he ruled against the merger, and appointed an emissary to oversee relations between them to put an end to tensions.[104] In the same month, al-Baghdadi released an audio message rejecting al-Zawahiri’s ruling and declaring that the merger was going ahead.[105] The ISIL campaign to free imprisoned ISIL members culminated in July 2013, with the group carrying out simultaneous raids on Taji and Abu Ghraib prison, freeing more than 500 prisoners, many of them veterans of the Iraqi insurgency.[98][106]
In October 2013, al-Zawahiri ordered the disbanding of ISIL, putting al-Nusra Front in charge of jihadist efforts in Syria,[107]but al-Baghdadi contested al-Zawahiri’s ruling on the basis of Islamic jurisprudence,[105] and his group continued to operate in Syria. In February 2014, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIL.[43]

According to journalist Sarah Birke, there are “significant differences” between the al-Nusra Front and ISIL. While al-Nusra actively calls for the overthrow of the Assad government, ISIL “tends to be more focused on establishing its own rule on conquered territory”. ISIL is “far more ruthless” in building an Islamic state, “carrying out sectarian attacks and imposing sharia law immediately”. While al-Nusra has a “large contingent of foreign fighters”, it is seen as a home-grown group by many Syrians; by contrast, ISIL fighters have been described as “foreign ‘occupiers'” by many Syrian refugees.[108] It has a strong presence in central and northern Syria, where it has instituted sharia in a number of towns.[108] The group reportedly controlled the four border towns of Atmeh, al-Bab, Azaz and Jarablus, allowing it to control the entrance and exit from Syria into Turkey.[108] Foreign fighters in Syria include Russian-speaking jihadists who were part of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar(JMA).[109] In November 2013, the JMA’s Chechen leader Abu Omar al-Shishani swore an oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi;[110] the group then split between those who followed al-Shishani in joining ISIL and those who continued to operate independently in the JMA under new leadership.[111]

In January 2014, rebels affiliated with the Islamic Front and the US-trained Free Syrian Army[112] launched an offensive against ISIL militants in and around the city of Aleppo in Syria.[113][114] In May 2014, Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered al-Nusra Front to stop its attacks on its rival, ISIL.[115] In June 2014, after continued fighting between the two groups, al-Nusra’s branch in the Syrian town of Al-Bukamal pledged allegiance to ISIL.[116][117] In mid-June 2014, ISIL captured the Trabil crossing on the Jordan–Iraq border,[118] the only border crossing between the two countries.[119] ISIL has received some public support in Jordan, albeit limited, partly owing to state repression there,[120] but ISIL has undertaken a recruitment drive in Saudi Arabia,[121] where tribes in the north are linked to those in western Iraq and eastern Syria.[122]

As self-proclaimed Islamic State (June 2014–present)

On 29 June 2014, the organization proclaimed a Worldwide Caliphate.[28] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—known by his supporters as Amir al-Mu’minin, Caliph Ibrahim—was named its Caliph, and the group renamed itself the “Islamic State“.[39] As a “Caliphate,” it claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.[29][41] The concept of a Caliphate and the name “Islamic State” has been rejected by governments and Muslim leaders worldwide.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][66]

In June and July 2014, Jordan and Saudi Arabia moved troops to their borders with Iraq, after Iraq lost control of, or withdrew from, strategic crossing points that had then come under the control of ISIL, or tribes that supported ISIL.[119][123]There was speculation that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had ordered a withdrawal of troops from the Iraq–Saudi crossings in order “to increase pressure on Saudi Arabia and bring the threat of ISIS over-running its borders as well”.[122]

In July 2014, ISIL recruited more than 6,300 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, some of whom were thought to have previously fought for the Free Syrian Army.[124] Also, on 23 July 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon swore loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video, along with the rest of the organization, giving ISIL a presence in the Philippines.[26][125] In September 2014, the group began kidnapping people for ransoming, in the name of ISIL.[126]

On 3 August 2014, ISIL captured the cities of Zumar, Sinjar, and Wana in northern Iraq.[127] The need for food and water for thousands of Yazidis, who fled up a mountain out of fear of approaching hostile ISIL militants, and the threat of genocideto Yazidis and others as announced by ISIL, in addition to protecting Americans in Iraq and supporting Iraq in its fight against the group, were reasons for the US to launch a humanitarian mission on 7 August 2014, to aid the Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar[128] and to start an aerial bombing campaign in Iraq on 8 August.

On 11 October 2014, ISIL dispatched 10,000 militants from Syria and Mosul to capture the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad,[129]and Iraqi Army forces and Anbar tribesmen threatened to abandon their weapons if the US did not send in ground troops to halt ISIL’s advance.[130] On 13 October, ISIL fighters advanced to within 25 kilometers—15.5 miles—of Baghdad Airport.[131]

At the end of October 2014, 800 radical militants gained control of the Libyan city of Derna pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thus making Derna the first city outside Syria and Iraq to be a part of the “Islamic State Caliphate.”[132]On 2 November 2014, according to the Associated Press, in response to the coalition airstrikes, representatives from Ahrar ash-Sham attended a meeting with the al-Nusra Front, the Khorasan Group, ISIL, and Jund al-Aqsa, which sought to unite these hard-line groups against the US-led Coalition and moderate Syrian rebel groups.[133] However, by 14 November 2014, it was revealed that the negotiations had failed.[134] On 10 November 2014, a major faction of the Egyptian militant group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis also pledged its allegiance to ISIL.[135]

In mid-January 2015, it was revealed that ISIL had the dozens in Yemen since December 2014, and that they were coming into direct competition with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with their recruitment drive.[136]

In January 2015, Afghan officials confirmed that ISIL had a military presence in Afghanistan,[137] recruiting over 135 militants by late January. However, by the end of January 2015, 65 of the militants were either captured or killed by theTaliban, and ISIL’s top Afghan recruiter, Mullah Abdul Rauf, was captured by the Taliban.[138][139][140]

In late January 2015, it was revealed that ISIL members infiltrated the European Union and disguised themselves as civilian refugees who were emigrating from the war zones of Iraq and the Levant.[141] An ISIL representative said that ISIL had successfully smuggled 4,000 fighters, and that the smuggled fighters were planning attacks in Europe in retaliation to the airstrikes carried out against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria. However, experts believe that the claim of 4,000 was exaggerated to boost their stature and spread fear, although they acknowledged that some Western countries were aware of the smuggling.[142]

In early February 2015, ISIL militants in Libya managed to capture part of the countryside to the west of Sabha, and later, an area encompassing the cities of Sirte, Nofolia, and a military base to the south of both cities.

On 16 February 2015, Egypt began conducting airstrikes in Libya, in retaliation against ISIL’s beheading of 2 Egyptian Christians. By the end of that day, 64 ISIL militants in Libya had been killed by the airstrikes, including 50 militants in Derna.[143]

Group goals, structure and characteristics

Goals

From at least since 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of an Islamic state.[144][145] Specifically, ISIL has sought to establish itself as a Caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader—the Caliph—who is believed to be the successor to Muhammad.[146] In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad,[146] and upon proclaiming a new Caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. As Caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide, according to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).[147]

Areas controlled (as of 3 February 2015)     Remaining territory in countries with ISIL presence

When the Caliphate was proclaimed, ISIL stated: “The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah’s [caliphate’s] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.”[146] This was a rejection of the political divisions in the Middle East that were established by Western powers during World War I in the Sykes–Picot Agreement.[148][149][150]

In late 2014, ISIL claimed that they would humiliate U.S. soldiers in Syria and raise the “flag of Allah” over the White House.[151] ISIL also threatened to “liberate” Istanbul if Turkey did not open a dam that has been limiting the flow of water to Syria and Iraq.[151] Recruits are encouraged to “set out in jihad” if they “desire what God had promised.”[151] Speaking to Westerners, one fighter from Belgium said, “God willing, the Caliphate has been established and we are going to invade you as you invaded us. We will capture your women as you captured our women. We will orphan your children as you orphaned our children.”[151] Also, in late September 2014, it was revealed that ISIL planned to kill 10 million Americans as retribution for their perceived role of America in killing “10 million Muslims.”[152]

Territorial control and provinces

In Iraq and Syria, ISIL uses many of the existing Governorate boundaries to subdivide its claimed territory; it calls these divisions wilayah or provinces.[153] After a series of expansions, as of November 2014, it claims provinces and controls territory in Iraq, Syria, Sinai, and eastern Libya. ISIL also claims provinces and has members in Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan,Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Turkey, but it does not control territory in these areas.

Barqa Province

On 5 October 2014, The Shura Council of Islamic Youth and other militants in Libya were absorbed and designated the Barka Province of ISIL.[154][155] There are 800 fighters reported to be operating within Libya. The Libyan branch of ISIL has been the most active and successful out of all the ISIL branches outside of Iraq and Syria. They appear to be active mainly in the eastern urban centres of Derna and Benghazi. The group was responsible for the 2015 Corinthia Hotel attack, which saw between 9–10 people killed.[156] ISIL forces in Libya have also seized control of the city Derna.

On 4 January 2015, ISIL forces in Libya also seized control of the eastern countryside of Sabha, executing 14 Libyan soldiers in the process.[157][158]

Sinai Province

On 10 November 2014, many members of the group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis took an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL.[159] ISIL supporters from the group describe themselves as “Sinai Province” (Arabic: ولاية سيناء‎ Wilayat Sinai).[160][161] A faction of the Sinai group also operates in the Gaza Strip, which has renamed itself to the Islamic State in Gaza.[162]

When Ansar Bait al-Maqdis was dissolved, a large Sinai-based part of the group pledging allegiance to ISIL assumed the designation Sinai Province of ISIL.[154][163] They are estimated to have 1,000–2,000[26] fighters.[164]

Khorasan Province

On 29 January 2014, Hafiz Saeed Khan and Abdul Rauf swore an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL. Khan was named as the Emir (Governor) of the Province and Rauf as his deputy. The province includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and “other nearby lands”.[165][166][167][168]

Algerian Province

Members of Jund al-Khilafah swore allegiance to ISIL in September 2014.[24] ISIL in Algeria gained notoriety when it beheaded French tourist Herve Gourdel in September 2014. Since then, the group has largely been silent, with reports that its leader Khalid Abu-Sulayman was killed by Algerian forces in December 2014.[169]

Other areas

  • Unidentified militants in Saudi Arabia and Yemen – are described as ISIL provinces[24]
  • Militants of the group Sons of the Call for Tawhid and Jihad (Jordan) pledging allegiance to ISIL
  • Militants of the groups Jundallah,[170] Tehreek-e-Khilafat, and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar[26] (Pakistan) pledging allegiance to ISIL
  • Militants of the group Abu Sayyaf (Philippines, Malaysia)[171] pledging allegiance to ISIL[26]
  • Almost all the commanders of the Caucasus Emirate in Chechnya and Dagestan have switched their allegiance to ISIL.[172]

Leadership and governance

Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US armed forces while in detention at Camp Bucca in 2004

The group is headed and run by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with a cabinet of advisers. There are two deputy leaders, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani (KIA) for Iraq and Abu Ali al-Anbari for Syria, and 12 local governors in Iraq and Syria. Beneath the leaders are councils on finance, leadership, military matters, legal matters—including decisions on executions—foreign fighters’ assistance, security, intelligence and media. In addition, a Shura council has the task of ensuring that all decisions made by the governors and councils comply with the group’s interpretation of sharia.[173] The majority of the ISIL’s leadership is dominated by Iraqis, especially among former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime. It has been reported that Iraqis and Syrians have been given greater precedence over other nationalities within ISIL.[174][175][176][177]

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in the Great Mosque of al-Nuriin Mosul (July 2014)

The Wall Street Journal estimated in September 2014 that eight million Iraqis and Syrians live in areas controlled by ISIL.[178] Ar-Raqqah in Syria is the de facto headquarters, and is said to be a test case of ISIL governance.[179] As of September 2014, governance in Ar-Raqqah has been under the total control of ISIL where it has rebuilt the structure of modern government in less than a year. Former government workers from the Assad government maintained their jobs after pledging allegiance to ISIL. Institutions, restored and restructured provided their respective services. The Ar-Raqqah dam continues to provide electricity and water. Foreign expertise supplements Syrian officials in running civilian institutions. Only the police and soldiers are ISIL fighters, who receive confiscated lodging previously owned by non-Sunnis and others who fled. Welfare services are provided, price controls established, and taxes imposed on the wealthy. ISIL runs a soft power program in the areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, which includes social services, religious lectures and da’wah—proselytizing—to local populations. It also performs public services such as repairing roads and maintaining the electricity supply.[180]

British security expert Frank Gardner has concluded that ISIL’s prospects of maintaining control and rule are greater in 2014 than they were in 2006. Despite being as brutal as before, ISIL has become “well entrenched” among the population and is not likely to be dislodged by ineffective Syrian or Iraqi forces. It has replaced corrupt governance with functioning locally controlled authorities, services have been restored and there are adequate supplies of water and oil. With Western-backed intervention being unlikely, the group will “continue to hold their ground” and rule an area “the size of Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future”, he said.[153][181]Further solidifying ISIL rule is the control of wheat production, which is roughly 40% of Iraq’s production. ISIL has maintained food production, crucial to governance and popular support.[182]

Ideology and beliefs

ISIL is a Salafi or Wahhabi extremist group.[183][184] It follows an extreme interpretation of Islam, promotes religious violence, and regards those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates—see takfirism.[7] ISIL has demonstrated that ideology and adherence to Islamic beliefs and laws are secondary to its criminal financial enterprises supporting the group’s activities.[185] ISIL’s philosophy is well represented by the symbolism in the Black Standard variant of the legendary battle flag of Muhammad that it has adopted. The flag shows the seal of the Muhammad within a white circle, with the phrase above it, “There is no God but Allah“.[186] Such symbolism has been said to point to ISIL’s belief that it represents the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam, with all the political, religious and eschatological ramifications that this would imply.[187] Saudi Arabia was criticised by Noam Chomsky in October 2014 of having “long been the major source of funding for ISIS as well as providing its ideological roots” (i.e. Salafism or Wahhabism).[188] According to Owen Jones at The Guardian, “Salafists across the Middle East receive ideological and material backing from within the kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, and America knows this, with Hillary Clinton having called Saudi donors “the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”.[189] Some people in Saudi Arabia applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”.[190]

According to some observers, ISIL emerged from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the first post-Ottoman Islamist group dating back to the late 1920s in Egypt.[191] It adheres to global jihadist principles and follows the hard-line ideology ofal-Qaeda and many other modern-day jihadist groups.[23][7]

However, other sources trace the group’s roots not to the Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood and the more mainstream jihadism of al-Qaeda, but to Wahhabism. The New York Times wrote:

For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State … are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.[192]

ISIL aims to return to the early days of Islam, rejecting all innovations in the religion, which it believes corrupt its original spirit. It condemns later caliphates and the Ottoman Empire for deviating from what it calls pure Islam,[193] and seeks to revive the original Wahhabi project of the restoration of the caliphate governed by strict Salafist doctrine. Following Salafi-Wahhabi tradition, ISIL condemns the followers of secular law as disbelievers, putting the current Saudi government in that category.[194]

Salafists such as ISIL believe that only a legitimate authority can undertake the leadership of jihad, and that the first priority over other areas of combat, such as fighting non-Muslim countries, is the purification of Islamic society. For example, ISIL regards the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas as apostates who have no legitimate authority to lead jihad and it regards fighting Hamas as the first step toward confrontation with Israel.[192][195]

Eschatology

One difference between ISIL and other Islamist and jihadist movements is its emphasis on eschatology and apocalypticism, and its belief that the arrival of the Mahdi is imminent. ISIL believes it will defeat the army of “Rome” at the town of Dabiq in fulfillment of prophecy. According to ISIL, true Islam ceased to exist for over a thousand years and was only restored in 2014 with the declaration of al-Baghdadi as caliph. They argue that one cannot be fully Islamic without pledging allegiance to a true caliph.[196]

Theological objections

According to The New York Times, “All of the most influential jihadist theorists are criticizing the Islamic State as deviant, calling its self-proclaimed caliphate null and void” and have denounced it for its beheading of journalists and aid workers.[192] ISIL is widely denounced by a broad range of Islamic clerics, including al-Qaeda-oriented and Saudi clerics.[192][8]

Sunni critics, including Salafi and jihadist muftis such as Adnan al-Aroor and Abu Basir al-Tartusi, say that ISIL and related terrorist groups are not Sunnis, but modern-day Khawarij—Muslims who have stepped outside the mainstream of Islam—serving an imperial anti-Islamic agenda.[197][198][199][200] Other critics of ISIL’s brand of Sunni Islam include Salafists who previously publicly supported jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda, for example the Saudi government official Saleh Al-Fawzan, known for his extremist views, who claims that ISIL is a creation of “Zionists, Crusaders and Safavids”, and the Jordanian-Palestinian writer Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, the former spiritual mentor to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was released from prison in Jordan in June 2014 and accuses ISIL of driving a wedge between Muslims.[200]

Non-combatants

Although the Islamic State attracts extremists from different parts of the world by promoting the image of holy war, not all of them end up in combatant roles. There have been several cases of new recruits who expected to be mujihadeen that returned from Syria disappointed by the everyday jobs that had been assigned to them, like drawing water or cleaning toilets, or by the ban imposed on use of mobile phones during military trainings.[201]

ISIL also publishes material directed to women. Although women are not allowed to take up arms, media groups encourage them to play supportive roles within ISIL: providing first aid, cooking, nursing and sewing, to become “good wives of jihad”.[202]

Designation as a terrorist organization

Organisation Date Faction References
Multinational Organizations
 United Nations 18 October 2004 United Nations Security Council [203][204]
 European Union 2004 EU Council (via adoption of UN al-Qaida Sanctions List) [205]
Nations
 United Kingdom March 2001 (as part of al-Qaeda)
20 June 2014 (after separation from al‑Qaeda)
Home Secretary of the Home Office [206]
 United States 17 December 2004 United States Department of State [207]
 Australia 2 March 2005 Attorney-General for Australia [208]
 Canada 20 August 2012 Parliament of Canada [209]
 Turkey 30 October 2013 Grand National Assembly of Turkey [210][211]
 Saudi Arabia 7 March 2014 Royal decree of the King of Saudi Arabia [212]
 Indonesia 1 August 2014 National Counter-terrorism Agency BNPT (id) [213]
 UAE 20 August 2014 UAE Cabinet [214]
 Israel 3 September 2014 Ministry of Defense [215]
 Malaysia 24 September 2014 Ministry of Foreign Affairs [216]
 Egypt 30 November 2014 The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters [217][218]
 India 16 December 2014 Ministry of Home Affairs [219][220]
 Russia 29 December 2014 Supreme Court of Russia [221]

The United Nations Security Council in its Resolution 1267 (1999) described Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates as operators of a network of terrorist training camps.[222] The UN’s Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee first listed ISIL in its Sanctions List under the name “Al-Qaida in Iraq” on 18 October 2004, as an entity/group associated with al-Qaeda. On 2 June 2014, the group was added to its listing under the name “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”. The European Unionadopted the UN Sanctions List in 2002.[205]

Many world leaders and government spokespeople have called ISIL a terrorist group or banned it, without their countries having formally designated it as such. Some examples:

The Government of Germany banned ISIL in September 2014. Activities banned include donations to the group, recruiting fighters, holding ISIL meetings and distributing its propaganda, flying ISIL flags, wearing ISIL symbols and all ISIL activities. “The terror organisation Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well,” de Mazière said. “Today’s ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals.” The ban does not mean ISIL has been outlawed as a foreign terrorist organisation, as that requires a court judgement.[223]

In October 2014, Switzerland banned ISIL’s activities in the country, including propaganda and financial support of the fighters, with prison sentences as potential penalties.[224]

In mid-December 2014, India banned ISIL, after arresting the operator of a pro-ISIL Twitter account.[225]

Media sources worldwide have also called ISIL a terrorist organization.[226][227][228][229][230]

Human rights abuse and war crime findings

In July 2014, the BBC reported the United Nations‘ chief investigator as stating: “Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may be added to a list of war crimes suspects in Syria.”[231] By June 2014, according to United Nations reports, ISIL had killed hundreds of prisoners of war[232] and over 1,000 civilians.[233][234][235] In August 2014, the UN accused ISIL of committing “mass atrocities” and war crimes,[236][237] including the mass killing of up to 250 Syrian Armysoldiers near Tabqa Air base.[232] Other known killing of military prisoners took place in Camp Speicher (1,095–1,700 Iraqi soldiers shot and “thousands” more “missing”)[238][239] and the Shaer gas field (200 Syrian soldiers shot).[240] Navi Pillay, UNHigh Commissioner for Human Rights, said that they were performing “widespread ethnic and religious cleansing in the areas under their control.”[241]

In early September 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council agreed to send a team to Iraq and Syria to investigate the abuses and killings being carried out by the ISIL on “an unimaginable scale”. Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, the newly appointedUN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged world leaders to step in to protect women and children suffering at the hands of ISIL militants, who he said were trying to create a “house of blood”. He appealed to the international community to concentrate its efforts on ending the conflict in Iraq and Syria.[242]

In November 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that ISIL was committing crimes against humanity.[243][244]A report by Human Rights Watch in November 2014 accused ISIL groups in control of Derna, Libya of war crimes andhuman rights abuses and of terrorizing residents. Human Rights Watch documented three apparent summary executions and at least ten public floggings by the Islamic Youth Shura Council, which joined ISIL in November. It also documented the beheading of three Derna residents and dozens of seemingly politically motivated assassinations of judges, public officials, members of the security forces and others. Sarah Leah Watson, Director of HRW Middle East and North Africa, said: “Commanders should understand that they may face domestic or international prosecution for the grave rights abuses their forces are committing.”[245]

Speaking of ISIL’s methods, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has stated that the group “seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey”.[246]

Religious and minority group persecution

ISIL compels people in the areas that it controls to declare Islamic creed and live according to its interpretation of Sunni Islam and sharia law.[226][247] There have been many reports of the group’s use of death threats, torture and mutilation to compel conversion to Islam,[226][247] and of clerics being killed for refusal to pledge allegiance to the so-called “Islamic State”.[248] ISIL directs violence against Shia Muslims, indigenous Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac and Armenian Christians,Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks and Mandeans in particular.[249]

Amnesty International has held ISIL responsible for the ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minority groups in northern Iraq on a “historic scale”. In a special report released on 2 September 2014, it describes how ISIL has “systematically targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014”. Among these people are Assyrian Christians,Turkmen Shia, Shabak Shia, Yazidis, Kaka’i and Sabean Mandeans, who have lived together for centuries in Ninevehprovince, large parts of which are now under ISIL’s control.[250][251]

Among the known killings of religious and minority group civilians carried out by ISIL are those in the villages and towns ofQuiniyeh (70–90 Yazidis killed), Hardan (60 Yazidis killed), Sinjar (200–500 Yazidis killed), Ramadi Jabal (60–70 Yazidis killed), Dhola (50 Yazidis killed), Khana Sor (100 Yazidis killed), Hardan (250–300 Yazidis killed), al-Shimal (dozens of Yazidis killed), Khocho (400 Yazidis killed and 1,000 abducted), Jadala (14 Yadizis killed)[252] and Beshir (700 Shia Turkmen killed),[253] and others committed near Mosul (670 Shia inmates of the Badush prison killed),[253] and in Tal Afarprison, Iraq (200 Yazidis killed for refusing conversion).[252] The UN estimated that 5,000 Yazidis were killed by ISIL during the takeover of parts of northern Iraq in August 2014.[254] In late May 2014, 150 Kurdish boys from Kobani aged 14–16 were abducted and subjected to torture and abuse, according to Human Rights Watch.[255] In the Syrian towns of Ghraneij,Abu Haman and Kashkiyeh 700 members of the Sunni Al-Shaitat tribe were killed for attempting an uprising against ISIL control.[256][257] The UN reported that in June 2014 ISIL had killed a number of Sunni Islamic clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to it.[248]

Christians living in areas under ISIL control who want to remain in the “caliphate” face three options: converting to Islam, paying a religious levy—jizya—or death.[258][259] “We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword”, ISIL said.[260] ISIL had already set similar rules for Christians in Ar-Raqqah, once one of Syria’s more liberal cities.[261][262]

Treatment of civilians

During the Iraqi conflict in 2014, ISIL released dozens of videos showing its ill treatment of civilians, many of whom had apparently been targeted on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned of war crimes being committed in the Iraqi war zone, and disclosed a UN report of ISIL militants murdering Iraqi Army soldiers and 17 civilians in a single street in Mosul. The UN reported that in the 17 days from 5 to 22 June, ISIL killed more than 1,000 Iraqi civilians and injured more than 1,000.[233][234][235] After ISIL released photographs of its fighters shooting scores of young men, the UN declared that cold-blooded “executions” by militants in northern Iraq almost certainly amounted to war crimes.[263]

ISIL’s advance in Iraq in mid-2014 was accompanied by continuing violence in Syria. On 29 May, ISIL raided a village in Syria and at least 15 civilians were killed, including, according to Human Rights Watch, at least six children.[264] A hospital in the area confirmed that it had received 15 bodies on the same day.[265] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that on 1 June, a 102-year-old man was killed along with his whole family in a village in Hama province.[266] According to The Reuters 1878 people were killed in Syria by ISIL during the last six months of 2014, most of them civilians.[267]

In Mosul, ISIL has implemented a sharia school curriculum which bans the teaching of art, music, national history, literature and Christianity. Although Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has never been taught in Iraqi schools, the subject has been banned from the school curriculum. Patriotic songs have been declared blasphemous, and orders have been given to remove certain pictures from school textbooks.[268][269][270][271] Iraqi parents have largely boycotted schools in which the new curriculum has been introduced.[272]

After capturing cities in Iraq, ISIL issued guidelines on how to wear clothes and veils. ISIL warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or face severe punishment.[273] A cleric told Reuters in Mosul that ISIL gunmen had ordered him to read out the warning in his mosque when worshippers gathered. ISIL ordered the faces of both male and female mannequins to be covered, in an order which also banned the use of naked mannequins.[274] In Ar-Raqqah the group uses its two battalions of female fighters in the city to enforce compliance by women with its strict laws on individual conduct.[275]

ISIL released 16 notes labeled “Contract of the City”, a set of rules aimed at civilians in Nineveh. One rule stipulated that women should stay at home and not go outside unless necessary. Another rule said that stealing would be punished by amputation.[180][276] In addition to the Muslim custom of banning the sale and use of alcohol, ISIL has banned the sale and use of cigarettes and hookah pipes. It has also banned “music and songs in cars, at parties, in shops and in public, as well as photographs of people in shop windows”.[277]

According to The Economist, dissidents in the ISIL capital of Ar-Raqqah report that “all 12 of the judges who now run its court system … are Saudis”. Saudi practices also followed by the group include the establishment of religious police to root out “vice” and enforce attendance at salat prayers, the widespread use of capital punishment, and the destruction of Christian churches and non-Sunni mosques or their conversion to other uses.[278]

ISIL carried out executions on both men and women who were accused of various acts and found guilty of crimes against Islam such as homosexuality, adultery, watching pornography, usage and possession of contraband, rape, blasphemy, renouncing Islam and murder. Before the accused are executed their charges are read toward them and the spectators. They carry out executions in various forms such as stoning to death, crucifixions, beheadings and some are thrown from the top storeys of tall buildings.[279][280][281]

Child soldiers

ISIL has recruited Iraqi children as young as nine to its ranks, who can be seen with masks on their faces and guns in their hands patrolling the streets of Mosul and even making arrests.[282] According to a report by the magazine Foreign Policy, children as young as six are recruited or kidnapped and sent to military and religious training camps, where they practise beheading with dolls and are indoctrinated with the religious views of ISIL. Children are used as human shields on front lines and to provide blood transfusions for Islamic State soldiers, according to Shelly Whitman of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. The second instalment of a Vice News documentary about ISIL focused on how the group is specifically grooming children for the future. A spokesman told VICE News that those under the age of 15 go to sharia camp to learn about religion, while those older than 16 can go to military training camp. Children are also used for propaganda. According to a UN report, “In mid-August, ISIL entered a cancer hospital in Mosul, forced at least two sick children to hold the ISIL flag and posted the pictures on the internet.” Misty Buswell, a Save the Children representative working with refugees in Jordan, said, “It’s not an exaggeration to say we could lose a whole generation of children to trauma.”[283]

Sexual violence and slavery

There are many reports of sexual abuse and enslavement in ISIL controlled areas of women and girls, predominantly from the minority Christian and Yazidi communities.[284][285] According to one report, ISIL’s capture of Iraqi cities in June 2014 was accompanied by an upsurge in crimes against women, including kidnap and rape.[286][287][288] The Guardian reported that ISIL’s extremist agenda extended to women’s bodies and that women living under their control were being captured and raped.[289] Fighters are told that they are free to have sex and rape non-Muslim captive women.[290] A Baghdad-based women’s rights activist, Basma al-Khateeb, said that a culture of violence existed in Iraq against women generally and felt sure that sexual violence against women was happening in Mosul involving not only ISIL but all armed groups.[291] During a meeting with Nouri al-Maliki, British Foreign Minister William Hague said with regard to ISIL: “Anyone glorifying, supporting or joining it should understand that they would be assisting a group responsible for kidnapping, torture, executions, rapeand many other hideous crimes”.[292] According to Martin Williams in The Citizen, some hard-line Salafists apparently regard extramarital sex with multiple partners as a legitimate form of holy war and it is “difficult to reconcile this with a religion where some adherents insist that women must be covered from head to toe, with only a narrow slit for the eyes”.[293]

Haleh Esfandiari from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has highlighted the abuse of local women by ISIL militants after they have captured an area. “They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try to sell them. The younger girls … are raped or married off to fighters”, she said, adding, “It’s based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters.”[294] Speaking ofYazidi women captured by ISIL, Nazand Begikhani said, “These women have been treated like cattle… They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They’ve been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags.”[295] Yazidi girls in Iraq allegedly raped by ISIL fighters have committedsuicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar, as described in a witness statement.[296]

A United Nations report issued on 2 October 2014, based on 500 interviews with witnesses, said that ISIL took 450–500 women and girls to Iraq’s Nineveh region in August, where “150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves”.[285] In mid-October, the UN confirmed that 5,000–7,000 Yazidi women and children had been abducted by ISIL and sold into slavery.[297][298] In November 2014 The New York Times reported on the accounts given by five who escaped ISIL of their captivity and abuse.[299] In December 2014 the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights announced that ISIL had killed over 150 women and girls in Fallujah who refused to participate in sexual jihad.[300][301] Non-Muslim women have reportedly been married off to fighters against their will. ISIL claims the women provide the new converts and children necessary to spread ISIL’s control.[302] Shortly after the death of U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller was confirmed on February 10, 2015,.[303][304][305][306] several media outlets reported that the U.S. intelligence community believed she may have been given as a wife to an ISIL fighter.[307][308][309]

In its digital magazine Dabiq, ISIL explicitly claimed religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women.[310][311][312][313][314][315]According to The Wall Street Journal, ISIL appeals to apocalyptic beliefs and claims “justification by a Hadith that they interpret as portraying the revival of slavery as a precursor to the end of the world”.[316] ISIL appeals to the Hadith andQur’an when claiming the right to enslave and rape captive non-Muslim women.[317][313][318] According to Dabiq, “enslaving the families of the kuffar and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia’s that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an and the narration of the Prophet … and thereby apostatizing from Islam.” Captured Yazidi women and children are divided among the fighters who captured them, with one fifth taken as a tax.[318][319] ISIL has received widespread criticism from Muslim scholars and others in the Muslim world for using part of the Qur’an to derive a ruling in isolation, rather than considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.[317][313][318]According to Mona Siddiqui, ISIL’s “narrative may well be wrapped up in the familiar language of jihad and ‘fighting in the cause of Allah’, but it amounts to little more than destruction of anything and anyone who doesn’t agree with them”; she describes ISIL as reflecting a “lethal mix of violence and sexual power” and a “deeply flawed view of manhood”.[302] Dabiqdescribes “this large-scale enslavement” of non-Muslims as “probably the first since the abandonment of Shariah law”.[318][319]

In late 2014 ISIL released a pamphlet that focused on the treatment of female slaves.[320][321][322] It says fighters are allowed to have sex with adolescent girls and to beat slaves as discipline. The pamphlet’s guidelines also allow fighters to trade slaves, including for sex, as long as they have not been impregnated by their owner.ISIL claims that sexual slavery is justified only against infidels (non-Muslims) according to the koran.[320][321][322][323][324][325] Charlie Winter, a researcher at the counter-extremist think tank Quilliam, described the pamphlet as “abhorent”.[323][325] In response to this document Abbas Barzegar, a religion professor at Georgia State University, said Muslims around the world find ISIL’s “alien interpretation of Islam grotesque and abhorrent”.[324] Muslim leaders and scholars from around the world have rejected the validity of these claims, claiming that the reintroduction of slavery is unislamic, that they are required to protect ‘People of the Scripture’ including Christians, Jews, Muslims and Yazidis, and that ISIL’s fatwas are invalid due to their lack of religious authority and the fatwas’ inconsistency with Islam.[326][327]

Attacks on members of the press

The Committee to Protect Journalists states: “Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable.”[328] ISIL has tortured and murdered local journalists,[329][330] creating what Reporters Without Borders calls “news blackholes” in areas controlled by ISIL. ISIL fighters have reportedly been given written directions to kill or capture journalists.[331]

In December 2013, two suicide bombers stormed the headaquarters of TV station Salaheddin and killed five journalists, after accusing the station of “distorting the image of Iraq’s Sunni community”. Reporters Without Borders reported that on 7 September 2014, ISIL seized and on 11 October publicly beheaded Raad al-Azzawi, a TV Salaheddin cameraman from the village of Samra, east of Tikrit.[332] As of October 2014, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, ISIL is holding nine journalists and has nine others under close observation in Mosul and Salahuddin province.[331]

During 2013 and part of 2014, an ISIL unit nicknamed the Beatles acquired and held 12 Western journalists hostage, along with aid workers and other foreign hostages, totaling 23 or 24 known hostages. A Polish journalist Marcin Suder was captured in July 2013 but escaped four months later.[333] The unit executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and released beheading videos. Eight of the other journalists were released for ransom: Danish journalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, French journalists Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin, and Pierre Torres, and Spanish journalists Marc Marginedas, Javier Espinosa, and Ricardo García Vilanova. The unit continues to hold hostage British journalist John Cantlie and a female aid worker.[334]

Cyber-security group the Citizen Lab released a report finding a possible link between ISIL and a digital attack on the Syrian citizen media group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RSS). Supporters of the media group received an emailed link to an image of supposed airstrikes, but clicking on the link introduced malware to the user’s computer that sends details of the user’s IP address and system each time it restarts. That information has been enough to allow ISIL to locate RSS supporters. “The group has been targeted for kidnappings, house raids, and at least one alleged targeted killing. At the time of that writing, ISIL was allegedly holding several citizen journalists in Raqqa,” according to the Citizen Lab report.[335]

On January 8, 2015, ISIL members in Libya claimed to have executed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari who disappeared in September 2014.[336] Also in January 2015, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto Jogo was captured after traveling to Raqqah and displayed on video with another Japanese citizen with a demand for $200 million ransom.

Beheadings and mass executions

An unknown number of Syrians and Iraqis, several Lebanese soldiers, at least ten Kurds, two American journalists, one American and two British aid workers, and three Libyans have been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIL uses beheadings to intimidate local populations and has released a series of propaganda videos aimed at Western countries. They also engage in public and mass executions, sometimes forcing prisoners to dig their own graves before shooting lines of prisoners and pushing them in.[337][338] ISIL was reported to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters who tried to leave Raqqa.[339]

Destruction of cultural and religious heritage

UNESCO‘s Director-General Irina Bokova has warned that ISIL is destroying Iraq’s cultural heritage, in what she has termed “cultural cleansing”. “We don’t have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history”, she said. Referring to the ancient cultures of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, she said, “This is a way to destroy identity. You deprive them of their culture, you deprive them of their history, their heritage, and that is why it goes hand in hand with genocide. Along with the physical persecution they want to eliminate – to delete – the memory of these different cultures. … we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable.” [340] Saad Eskander, head of Iraq’s National Archives said, “For the first time you have cultural cleansing… For the Yazidis, religion is oral, nothing is written. By destroying their places of worship … you are killing cultural memory. It is the same with the Christians – it really is a threat beyond belief.”[341]

In order to finance its activities, ISIL is stealing artifacts from Syria[342] and Iraq and sending them to Europe to be sold. It is estimated that ISIL raises US$200 million a year from cultural looting. UNESCO has asked for United Nations Security Council controls on the sale of antiquities, similar to those imposed after the 2003 Iraq War. UNESCO is working withInterpol, national customs authorities, museums, and major auction houses in attempts to prevent looted items being sold.[341] ISIL occupied Mosul Museum, the second most important museum in Iraq, as it was about to reopen after years of rebuilding following the Iraq War, saying that the statues were against Islam and threatening to destroy the museum’s contents.[343][344]

ISIL considers worshipping at graves tantamount to idolatry, and seeks to purify the community of unbelievers. It has used bulldozers to crush buildings and archeological sites.[344] Bernard Haykel has described Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi‘s creed as “a kind of untamed Wahhabism”, saying, “For Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself”.[192] The destruction by ISIL in July 2014 of the tomb and shrine of the prophet YunusJonah in Christianity—the 13th century mosque of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qassimin, the 14th century shrine of prophet Jerjis—St George to Christians—and the attempted destruction of the Hadba minaret at the 12th century Great Mosque of Al-Nuri have been described as “an unchecked outburst of extreme Wahhabism”.[345] “There were explosions that destroyed buildings dating back to theAssyrian era“, said National Museum of Iraq director Qais Rashid, referring to the destruction of the shrine of Yunus. He cited another case where “Daesh (ISIL) gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square”.[346]

There is also the fear that warfare waged on any side will harm cultural heritage. “The worst thing about wars is that they do not distinguish between the past and the future”, Mosul calligrapher and conservationist Abdallah Ismail told a local correspondent for the German-funded publication Niqash.org. He suggested that ISIL was “taking the pulse” of the local population to see how it would react to their appetite for destruction. Philippe Lalliot, France’s ambassador to UNESCO gave this perspective: “When people die in their tens of thousands, must we be concerned about cultural cleansing? Yes, definitely yes … It’s because culture is a powerful incentive for dialogue that the most extreme and the most fanatical groups strive to annihilate it.”[346] According to the London Charter and several Hague Conventions, the deliberate destruction of historical sites and places of worship, unless such destruction is a necessity during war, is a war crime.[347]

Organ trafficking

According to media reports, ISIL has established a system for harvesting and selling human organs from fighters, captives, and hostages, including minority children in Mosul and other areas. ISIL is using imported teams of doctors who are not allowed to interact with local medical staff.[348][349][350][351]

Criticism

Islamic criticism

ISIL has been at the receiving end of severe criticism from other Muslims, especially religious scholars and theologians. In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned the Islamic State and al-Qaeda saying, “Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims”.[352] In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily Sufi[353]—from around the Muslim world signed anopen letter to the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, explicitly rejecting and refuting his group’s interpretations of Islamic scriptures, the Qur’an and hadith, used by it to justify its actions.[354][355] “[You] have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder … this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world”, the letter states.[356] It rebukes the Islamic State for its killing of prisoners, describing the killings as “heinouswar crimes” and its persecution of the Yazidis of Iraq as “abominable”. Referring to the “self-described ‘Islamic State'”, the letter censures the group for carrying out killings and acts of brutality under the guise of jihad—holy struggle—saying that its “sacrifice” without legitimate cause, goals and intention “is not jihad at all, but rather, warmongering and criminality”.[356][357]It also accuses the group of instigating fitna—sedition—by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of the anti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.[356] Other scholars have described the group as not Sunnis, butKhawarij.[358]

Kurdish demonstration against ISIL in Vienna, Austria, 10 October 2014

The group’s declaration of a caliphate has been criticized and its legitimacy disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,[359] and Sunni Muslimtheologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: “[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under shariaand has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria”, adding that the title of caliph can “only be given by the entire Muslim nation”, not by a single group.[360]

Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. The protest was led by the leader of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Dalil Boubakeur, and was joined by thousands of other Muslims around the country under the slogan “Not in my name”.[361][362] French president François Hollande said Gourdel’s beheading was “cowardly” and “cruel”, and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. Hollande also called for three days of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast throughout the country and said that security would be increased throughout Paris.[361]

International criticism

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. On 24 September 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: “As Muslim leaders around the world have said, groups like ISIL – or Da’ish — have nothing to do with Islam, and they certainly do not represent a state. They should more fittingly be called the “Un-Islamic Non-State”.”[363] The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan.[364]

Criticism of the name “Islamic State” and “caliphate” declaration

The declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and the name “Islamic State” have been criticized and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists inside and outside the territory it controls.[31][32][33][34] In a speech in September 2014, President Obama said that, ISIL is not “Islamic” on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents and that no governmentrecognises the group as a state,[66] and many object to using the name “Islamic State” owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom[35][36][37][365][366][367][368] and other countries generally call the group “ISIL”, while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym “Dāʻish”. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said “This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats.'”[369] Retired general John Allen, the U.S. envoy to coordinate the coalition, U.S. military Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group, and Secretary of State John Kerry have all shifted toward the term DAESH by December 2014.[370]

In late August 2014, a leading Islamic educational institution, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah in Egypt, advised Muslims to stop calling the group “Islamic State” and instead refer to it as “Al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria” or “QSIS”, because of the militant group’s “un-Islamic character”.[371][372] When addressing the United Nations Security Council in September 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott summarized the widespread objections to the name “Islamic State” thus: “To use this term [Islamic State] is to dignify a death cult; a death cult that, in declaring itself a caliphate, has declared war on the world”.[373] The group is very sensitive about its name. “They will cut your tongue out even if you call them ISIS – you have to say ‘Islamic State'”, said a woman in ISIL-controlled Mosul.[374]

In mid-October 2014, representatives of the Islamic Society of Britain, the Association of British Muslims and the UK’sAssociation of Muslim Lawyers proposed that “‘Un-Islamic State’ (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda”, further stating, “We need to work together and make sure that these fanatics don’t get the propaganda that they feed off.”[375][376] The “Islamic State” is mocked on social media websites such as Twitter andYouTube, with the use of hashtags, mock recruiting ads, fake news articles and YouTube videos.[377] One parody, by aPalestinian TV satire show, portrays ISIL as “buffoon-like hypocrites”, and has had more than half a million views on YouTube.[377][378]

Analysis

By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia rather than as a terrorist group.[379] As major Iraqi cities fell to ISIL in June 2014, Jessica Lewis, a former US army intelligence officer at the Institute for the Study of War, described ISIL as “not a terrorism problem anymore”, but rather “an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they are taking terrain. They have shadow governments in and around Baghdad, and they have an aspirational goal to govern. I don’t know whether they want to control Baghdad, or if they want to destroy the functions of the Iraqi state, but either way the outcome will be disastrous for Iraq.” Lewis has called ISIL “an advanced military leadership”. She said, “They have incredible command and control and they have a sophisticated reporting mechanism from the field that can relay tactics and directives up and down the line. They are well-financed, and they have big sources of manpower, not just the foreign fighters, but also prisoner escapees.”[379]

While officials[which?] fear that ISIL may either inspire attacks in the United States by sympathizers or by those returning after joining ISIL, US intelligence agencies find there is no immediate threat or specific plots. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagelsees an “imminent threat to every interest we have”, but former top counterterrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin has derided such alarmist talk as a “farce” that panics the public.[380]

Some news commentators, such as international newspaper columnist Gwynne Dyer,[381] and samples of American public opinion, such as surveys by NPR,[382] have advocated a strong but measured response to ISIL’s recent provocative acts.

Conspiracy theories in the Arab world

Conspiracy theorists in the Arab world have advanced rumors that the U.S. is secretly behind the existence and emboldening of ISIL, as part of an attempt to further destabilize the Middle East. After such rumors became widespread, the U.S. embassy in Lebanon issued an official statement denying the allegations, calling them a complete fabrication.[383]Others[which?] are convinced that ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an Israeli Mossad agent and actor called Simon Elliot. The rumors claim that NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal this connection. Snowden’s lawyer has called the story “a hoax.”[384][385][386]

Countries and groups at war with ISIL

ISIL’s expanding claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups. International rejection of ISIL as a terrorist entity and rejection of its claim to even exist have placed it in conflict with countries around the world.

Opposition within Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen

Iraqi Insurgency Syrian Civil War Other conflicts
Iraq-based opponentsIraq Iraqi Armed Forces

Iraqi Kurdistan Iraqi Kurdistan

IRGC-Seal.svg Special Groups

Iraqi Turkmen Front[390]

Shabak Militia[391][392]

Syria-based opponents[393]Syria Syrian Armed Forces

Syria Syrian Opposition[394][395][396]

Syrian Kurdistan Syrian Kurdistan[399]

Lebanon-based opponentsLebanon Lebanese Armed Forces[403]

Hezbollah[404]

Egypt-based opponents

Egypt Egyptian Armed Forces[405]

Libya-based opponents

Libya Libyan Armed Forces

Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade (Libyan rebel group)[407]

Afghanistan-based opponents

Afghanistan Afghan Armed Forces[137]
Taliban[408][409]

Yemen-based opponents

Yemen Yemeni Armed Forces[136]
al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula[136]
Houthis[410]

American-led Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Airstrikes in Syria by 24 September 2014

The Global Coalition to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Daesh), also referred to as the Counter-ISIL Coalition or Counter-DAESH Coalition,[411] is a US-led group of nations and non-state actors that have committed to “work together under a common, multifaceted, and long-term strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL/Daesh”. According to a joint statement issued by 59 national governments and the European Union, participants in the Counter-ISIL Coalition are focused on multiple lines of effort:[412]

  1. Supporting military operations, capacity building, and training;
  2. Stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters;
  3. Cutting off ISIL/Daesh’s access to financing and funding;
  4. Addressing associated humanitarian relief and crises; and
  5. Exposing ISIL/Daesh’s true nature (ideological delegitimization).

Operation Inherent Resolve is the operational name given by the US to military operations against ISIL and Syrian al-Qaeda affiliates. Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve is coordinating the military portion of the response.

The following multi-national organizations are part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition:[412]
 European Union – declared to be part, most members are participating;[412]
 NATO – all 28 members are taking part;
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf or GCC – all six current members and the two pending members, Jordan and Morocco, are taking part.

Military operations in or over Iraq and/or Syria
airstrikes, air support, and ground forces performing training
Supplying military equipment to opposition forces
within Iraq and/or Syria in cooperation with EU/NATO/partners
Humanitarian and other contributions
to identified coalition objectives
NATO members:

CCASG members:

Other:

Part of the Counter-ISIL Coalition engaged in anti-ISIL military operations within their own borders[412]

Note: Listed countries in this box may also be supplying military and humanitarian aid, and contributing to group objectives in other ways.

NATO members: (also EU members except Albania)

 European Union Members (not in NATO)

Other:

  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina[433]

Note: These countries may also be supplying humanitarian aid and contributing to group objectives in other ways.

NATO members: (who are also EU members, except Iceland)

 European Union Members (not in NATO)

CCASG members:

Other

Other state opponents

 Azerbaijan[436][437] — security operations within state borders

 Iran[438][439] — ground troops, training and air power (see Iranian intervention in Iraq (2014–present))

 Russia[440][441] — arms supplier to Iraqi and Syrian Governments

Other non-state opponents

 Arab League—coordinating member response[442]
al-Qaeda[443]

Afghanistan Taliban[444]
Kurdistan Workers Party of Turkey—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan [445]
Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran—ground troops in Iraqi Kurdistan[445]
HouthisShi’ite insurgent group in Yemen backed by Iran, currently participating in an insurgency in Yemen[410]
Anonymous

Supporters

Groups with expressions of support

Memberships of these groups have declared support for ISIL, either fully or in part.

By mid-November 2014, the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) in Florida had identified 60 jihadist groups in 30 countries that have pledged allegiance or support to ISIL. “We at TRAC are constantly adding to the list (nearly daily)”, it said. Many of these groups were previously affiliated with al-Qaeda, indicating a shift in global jihadist leadership toward ISIL.[458]

Allegations of Turkish support

Turkey has been accused of supporting or colluding with ISIL, especially by Syrian Kurds.[459][460] According to journalistPatrick Cockburn, there is “strong evidence for a degree of collaboration” between the Turkish intelligence services and ISIL, although the “exact nature of the relationship … remains cloudy”.[461] David L. Phillips of Columbia University‘s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, who compiled a list of allegations and claims accusing Turkey of assisting ISIL, writes that these allegations “range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services”.[462] Several ISIL fighters and commanders have claimed Turkey supports ISIL.[463][464][465]Within Turkey itself, ISIL is believed to have caused increasing political polarisation between secularists and Islamists.[466]

Turkey has been further criticized for allowing individuals from outside the region to enter its territory and join ISIL in Syria.[467][468] With many Islamist fighters passing through Turkey to fight in Syria, Turkey has been accused of becoming a transit country for such fighters and has been labeled the “Gateway to Jihad”.[469] Turkish border patrol officers are reported to have deliberately overlooked those entering Syria upon the payment of a small bribe.[469] A report by Sky Newsexposed documents showing that passports of foreign Islamists wanting to join ISIL by crossing into Syria had been stamped by the Turkish government.[470] An ISIL commander stated that “most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies”,[465][471] adding that ISIL fighters received treatment in Turkish hospitals.[465]

Allegations of Saudi Arabia’s support

Although Saudi Arabia‘s government rejected these claims,[472] the Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki[473] and some media outlets like NBC, BBC, and NYTimes stated that Saudi Arabia is funding ISIL.[474][475][476][477]

Military and resources

Military

Main article: Military of ISIL

ISIL fighters seen here in the Anbar province, Iraq.

Estimates of the size of ISIL’s military vary widely from tens of thousands up to 200,000 fighters.[12][478]

Alleged support by the US

Rand Paul, the junior Senator from Kentucky, accused the US government of allying with ISIL in the Syrian Civil War by arming their allies and fighting their enemies in that country.[479][480]

Foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria

There are an estimated 15,000 fighters from nearly 70 countries in ISIL’s ranks, according to a UN report.[481]

Statistics gathered on a nation by nation basis indicate: 7,000 from Saudi Arabia,[482] 2,400–5,000 from Tunisia,[482][483]500–2,000 from the United Kingdom,[484] 1,000 from the Russian Federation, 1,000 from Turkey,[485] 900 from France,[486]550 from Germany,[487] 300 from China,[488] 250–400 from Belgium,[489] 250 from Australia,[490] 150 from Sweden,[491] 140 from Norway,[492] 130 from Canada,[493] 130 from the Netherlands,[494] 100 from the United States,[495] 100 from Denmark,[496] 50 from Finland,[497] 40–50 from Israel,[498] and 40 from Spain.[499]

Weapons

Conventional weapons

ISIL relies mostly on captured weapons. Major sources are Saddam Hussein‘s Iraqi stockpiles from the 2003–11 Iraq insurgency[500] and weapons from government and opposition forces fighting in the Syrian Civil War and during the post-US withdrawal Iraqi insurgency. The captured weapons, including armor, guns, surface-to-air missiles, and even some aircraft, enabled rapid territorial growth and facilitated the capture of additional equipment.[501]

Armored fighting vehicles

Name Type Quantity Origin Photo Notes
T-55/55MV/AM/AMV Main battle tank 45+  Soviet Union T-55 4.jpg Multiple captured[181]
T-62M/K Main battle tank 10-15  Soviet Union T-62 BRL.jpg Multiple captured[181]
T-72/72M/A/AV /TURMS-T/M1 TURMS-T Main battle tank 5+  Soviet Union T-72 NPA.JPG Multiple captured[181]
M1A1M Abrams main battle tank Main battle tank 1-5  United States Abrams in Tahrir.jpg Multiple captured from Iraq Army[190]

Non-conventional weapons

The group has a long history of using truck and car bombs, suicide bombers, and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to turn them into weapons.[502][503]

 

Propaganda and social media

The logo of al-Hayat Media Center, a near-copy of that of Al Jazeera.

ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda.[504][505] It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world.[506]

In November 2006, shortly after the group’s rebranding as the “Islamic State of Iraq”, the group established the al-Furqan Institute for Media Production, which produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products.[507] ISIL’s main media outlet is the I’tisaam Media Foundation,[508] which was formed in March 2013 and distributes through the Global Islamic Media Front(GIMF).[509]

In 2014, ISIL established the al-Hayat Media Center, which targets a Western audience and produces material in English, German, Russian and French.[510][511]Also in 2014, ISIL launched the Ajnad Media Foundation, which releases jihadistaudio chants.[512] In December 2014, FBI Director James Comey stated that ISIL’s “propaganda is unusually slick. They are broadcasting… in something like 23 languages”.[513]

From July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English. According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in ahadith about Armageddon.[514]

ISIL’s use of social media has been described by one expert as “probably more sophisticated than [that of] most US companies”.[504][515] It regularly takes advantage of social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its message by organizing hashtag campaigns, encouraging Tweets on popular hashtags, and utilizing software applications that enable ISIL propaganda to be distributed to its supporters’ accounts.[516] Another comment is that “ISIS puts more emphasis on social media than other jihadi groups… They have a very coordinated social media presence.”[517] In August 2014, Twitter administrators shut down a number of accounts associated with ISIL. ISIL recreated and publicized new accounts the next day, which were also shut down by Twitter administrators.[518] The group has attempted to branch out into alternative social media sites, such as Quitter, Friendica and Diaspora; Quitter and Friendica, however, almost immediately worked to remove ISIL’s presence from their sites.[519]

In a switch from its former practices, ISIL’s media arm imposed a social media blackout on 27 September 2014, fearing that tweets and posts would give away military positions.[520] ISIL has also attempted to present a more “rational argument” in its series of “press release/discussions” performed by hostage/captive John Cantlie and posted on YouTube. In its most recent “Cantlie presentation”, various current and former US officials were quoted, such as US President Barack Obama and former CIA station chief Michael Scheuer.[521]

Finances

In 2014, the RAND Corporation carried out a study of 200 documents—personal letters, expense reports and membership rosters—that had been captured from Islamic State of Iraq (al-Qaeda in Iraq).[522] It found that from 2005 until 2010, outside donations amounted to only 5% of the group’s operating budgets, with the rest being raised within Iraq.[522] In the time period studied, cells were required to send up to 20% of the income generated from kidnapping, extortion rackets and other activities to the next level of the group’s leadership. Higher-ranking commanders would then redistribute the funds to provincial or local cells that were in difficulties or needed money to conduct attacks.[522] The records show that the Islamic State of Iraq was dependent on members from Mosul for cash, which the leadership used to provide additional funds to struggling militants in Diyala, Salahuddin and Baghdad.[522]

In mid-2014, Iraqi intelligence obtained information from an ISIL operative which revealed that the organization had assets worth US$2 billion,[523] making it the richest jihadist group in the world.[524] About three quarters of this sum is said to be represented by assets seized after the group captured Mosul in June 2014; this includes possibly up to US$429 million looted from Mosul’s central bank, along with additional millions and a large quantity of gold bullion stolen from a number of other banks in Mosul.[525][526] However, doubt was later cast on whether ISIL was able to retrieve anywhere near that sum from the central bank,[527] and even on whether the bank robberies had actually occurred.[528]

Exporting oil from oilfields captured by ISIL brings in tens of millions of dollars.[153][529] One US Treasury official has estimated that ISIL earns US$1 million a day from the export of oil. Much of the oil is sold illegally in Turkey.[530] Dubai-based energy analysts have put the combined oil revenue from ISIL’s Iraqi-Syrian production as high as US$3 million per day.[531] ISIL also extracts wealth through taxation and extortion.[530]

Today the majority of the group’s funding comes from the production and sale of energy. It controls around 300 oil wells in Iraq alone. At its peak, it operated 350 oil wells in Iraq, but lost 45 to foreign airstrikes. It has captured 60% of Syria’s total production capacity. About one fifth of its total capacity is in operation. ISIL earned US$2.5 million a day by selling 50,000–60,000 barrels of oil daily.[530][532] Foreign sales rely on a long-standing black market to export via Turkey. Many of the smugglers and corrupt Turkish border guards who helped Saddam Hussein to evade sanctions are helping ISIL to export oil and import cash.[532][533][534] Energy sales include selling electric power from captured power plants in northern Syria; some of this electricity is reportedly sold back to the Syrian government.[535]

Sales of artifacts may be the second largest source of funding for ISIL, according to an article in Newsweek. More than a third of Iraq’s important sites are under ISIL’s control. It looted the 9th century BC grand palace of the Assyrian kingAshurnasirpal II at Kalhu. Tablets, manuscripts and cuneiforms were sold, worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Stolen artifacts are smuggled into Turkey and Jordan. Abdulamir al-Hamdani, an archaeologist from SUNY Stony Brook, has said that ISIL is “looting… the very roots of humanity, artifacts from the oldest civilizations in the world”.[532]

The group routinely practises extortion, by demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, for example. Robbing banks and gold shops has been another source of income.[227]

Pictures show damage to the Gbiebe oil refinery in Syria following airstrikes by US and coalition forces.

ISIL is widely reported as receiving funding from private donors in the Gulf states,[536][537] and the governments of Iraq and Iranhave repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of financing and supporting the group. Ahead of the conference of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition held in Paris in September 2014, France’s foreign minister acknowledged that a number of countries at the table had “very probably” financed ISIL’s advances.[538]

Although Iran and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding the group,[539][540][541][542] there is reportedly no evidence that this is the case.[121][542][543][544] However, according to The Atlantic, ISIL may have been a major part of Saudi Arabian Bandar bin Sultan’s covert-ops strategy in Syria.[545]

Unregistered charity organizations are used as fronts to pass funds to ISIL. As they use aliases on Facebook‘s WhatsApp and Kik, the individuals and organizations are untraceable. Donations transferred to fund ISIL’s operations are disguised as “humanitarian charity”. Saudi Arabia has imposed a blanket ban on unauthorized donations destined for Syria as the only means of stopping such funding.[532]

Since 2012, ISIL has produced annual reports giving numerical information on its operations, somewhat in the style of corporate reports, seemingly in a bid to encourage potential donors.[504][546]

On 11 November 2014, ISIL announced that they intended to mint their own gold, silver and copper coins, based on thecoinage used by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th Century. Following the announcement, the group began buying up gold, silver and copper in markets throughout northern and western Iraq, according to precious metal traders in the area. Members of the group also reportedly began stripping the insulation off electrical power cables in order to obtain the copper wiring.[547][548] The announcement included designs of the proposed coins, which displayed imagery including a map of the world, a sword and shield, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a crescent moon. Economics experts, such as Professor Steven H. Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, were skeptical of the plans.[548][549] See also Modern gold dinar.

Timeline of recent events

Index to main: 2013 events; 2014 events: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September,October, November, December; 2015 events: January, February.

February 2015