Published On: Thu, Sep 11th, 2014

How ISIS grew from al-Qaeda

How ISIS grew from al-Qaeda

2004 — Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi forms an al-Qaeda splinter group in Iraq.

June 2006 — Al-Zarqawi is killed in a U.S. strike.

2006 — Al-Zarqawi’s successor, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, announces the creation of the Islamic State in Iraq. It comes under pressure from other Iraqi groups that seek to have al-Qaeda rein in its violence, as many insurgents start to turn against jihad in the Anbar Awakening.

May 2011 — Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is killed by Navy SEALs in Abottabad, Pakistan. Al-Qaeda’s long decline continues with the failure to launch major attacks, though affiliated regional groups in the Mideast and North Africa stage their own attacks. Drone attacks in Pakistan and the Mideast, and military campaigns in Mali, Yemen and Somali, diminish al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

April 2013 — Islamic State in Iraq absorbs the Syrian group Jabhat al-Nusra. ISI leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls the new group the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham. It is also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

May 2013 — Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s successor, concerned about ISIS’ expansion, its growing popularity with young jihadis worldwide and its harsh tactics against other Muslims, orders that ISIS be dissolved and ISI operations should be confined to Iraq.

June 2013 — Al-Baghdadi rejects al-Zawahiri’s ruling.

January 2014 — ISIS fighters capture the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place.

February 2014 — Al-Zawahiri expells ISIS from al-Qaeda for defying his orders.

June 9, 2014 — ISIS captures Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and scores of military equipment when Iraqi security forces shed their uniforms and flee.

June 11, 2014 — ISIS captures the central Iraq city of Tikrit.

June 13, 2014 — ISIS posts videos online depicting the apparent mass execution of thousands of captured Iraqi security forces.

June 16, 2014 — ISIS militants capture the strategic Iraqi town of Tal Afar, just 93 miles from the Syrian border.

June 19, 2014 — President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to train and equip Iraqi forces.

June 24, 2014 — The first contingent of U.S. military advisers arrives in Iraq.

June 29, 2014 — ISIS declares itself the Caliphate, or supreme world governance of Muslims, a direct challenge to al-Qaeda, which had declared restoration of the Caliphate as a goal.

Aug. 5, 2014 — Obama announces that he will authorize airstrikes in Iraq. ISIS’ advance is stalled and in some areas pushed back by Kurdish forces.

Sept. 4, 2014 — Al-Zawahiri announces the formation of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, seen as a bid to reassert al-Qaeda’s standing. He is said to be mulling the announcement of his own Caliphate, based in Afghanistan and boosted by the pending departure of U.S. troops there.


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