The best manipulation tactic to gather followers in a group is to claim that they all are the chosen ones, and that they are destined to succeed. If we create a myth that a well organized social entity started to exist out of nothing, then we are subconsciously subscribing and the fact that it has been created by a higher being for a purpose. If we do so, then we open a circle of justification for every mistake this group does.

This mythology has been used by ISIS to describe themselves as the chosen caliphate which is the omen of the judgment day. While in fact ISIS is a mundane, former Iraqi branch of Al Qaida ruled by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (a mastermind behind several suicide bombing attacks which targeted western populations in Iraq). His ideology differed from Bin Laden’s. While Bin Laden didn’t want to excommunicate other Muslims (Takfir), Zarqawi did it with great pleasure. He was the one who was fighting against everyone who didn’t support his ideology. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi army that was mainly secular and that based its loyalty to the government found itself in chaos. Some of the former soldiers became mercenaries, some stayed in the army, and some were radicalized and became members of Al Qaida. Those who became members of Al Qaida in Iraq are now soldiers of the Islamic State.

Zarqawi was the main recruiter of Al Qaida in Iraq and many members of Saddam’s regime joined him and accepted the ideology of Tekfir (excommunication of all people who do not support their ideology).  After Zarqawi died in 2006, the US believed that they had destroyed Al Qaida in Iraq. Unfortunately this was a mistake and it backfired in 2011 when North African Muslim countries fell into chaos.

Iraqi Al Qaida that the US thought was destroyed was in fact regrouping and training. During Arab Spring this former Al Qaida offset emerged in a much more sinister form, and a new organization was formed: ISIS.

From 2012 until now ISIS has battled against Russian, and Syrian forces and other militant groups especially the leftovers of original Al Qaida in its claim to establish a caliphate. The main propaganda that they are using is that they are an army of God that cannot be beaten and that they will never lose. From their first successes in capturing vast land in Iraq and Syria, these claims seemed to be justified and brought hype and with it young people willing to join them. What these youngsters didn’t know was that ISIS is an organization that already existed and that they were almost beaten once. If young Arab people that were raised in poverty really knew that ISIS was in fact just a branch of Al Qaida, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to fall in line.

We have to know and always remind ourselves that ISIS is not a new group of chosen ones that will transform society, nevertheless, their power and influence continues to grow around the globe. #Middle East #Terrorism