A number of Islamic militant groups formerly aligned with Al Qaeda realigned with IS, and IS's successes led to an influx of foreign Muslims into its ranks. Boko Haram allied itself with IS in 2015, and that year IS also established a presence in Surt (Sirte), Libya, and claimed responsibility for a series of terror attacks in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other countries. Since late 2015 terrorists associated with IS have bombed a Russian charter plane over the Sinai peninsula and mounted deadly terror attacks in Beirut, Paris, and elsewhere. Within territory it controls, the group's tactics since its resurgence have been especially brutal, including videotaped beheadings, the slaughtering of captured enemy forces and of civilians regarded as infidels, forced conversions and enslavements, and the destruction of mosques, churches, and shrines, archaeological ruins, and artifacts and books it considers un-Islamic. IS has also been accused of using chemical weapons. The group's successes in Iraq also led to air strikes by the United States against IS forces beginning in Aug., 2014, at first in Iraq, but later in Syria as well, and the subsequent creation of an informal international military coalition to defeat IS. IS has since suffered setbacks in parts of N Syria and N and central Iraq.
See studies by J. Stern and J. M. Berger (2015), J. Warrick (2015), and M. Weiss and H. Hassan (2015).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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