| At a Glance |

The Rise, Fall, and Survival of ISIS

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With the devastating April bombings in Sri Lanka and the reappearance of its supposedly dead leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, it’s clear that ISIS is back as a long-term threat. A timeline reveals a uniquely adaptive group, now in its third incarnation.


2014 | ISIS builds a terror state

The group takes Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, giving it control of approximately 34,000 square miles and a $2 billion economy.

But in August, the US starts airstrikes to defend Yazidis and roll back ISIS.


2015-2017 | Crumbling state, attacks worldwide

As ISIS comes under military pressure, it uses its territory as a source of prestige to recruit affiliates who attack worldwide, including:

Hypercacher supermarket in Paris

San Bernadino, California

Istanbul, Turkey

Jakarta, Indonesia

Brussels, Belgium

Moscow, London, & Barcelona


Dhaka, Bangladesh



2017-2019 | No territory, still worldwide threat


June  – Baghdadi declared killed by Russians

July – Mosul is retaken by Iraqi forces

Oct – Raqqa taken from ISIS by moderate rebel group SDF


April – ISIS kills 250 in church attacks in

Sri Lanka

attack attributed to ISIS in the Congo

ISIS leader Baghdadi reemerges and says

that Sri Lanka attacks are part of

ongoing war of attrition.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 759)

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