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Islamic State - Statistics & Facts

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, originated as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999. Originally allied to al-Qaeda, the group rose to global prominence during the civil war in Syria and conflicts in Iraq in the early 2010s. As of 2019, it's terroristic activity resulted in more than 1,200 fatalities worldwide.

Where is ISIS most active?

Although ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks outside of the Middle East such as the Paris shootings in November 2015, the tyranny of the Islamic State has been largely concentrated on Iraq, Syria, and Libya. The number of terrorist attacks by country shows that Afghanistan, Syria and India are the countries most affected by the acts of terrorism worldwide.

Opinion of Americans on undertaking military action against ISIS

The fear instilled in communities is not limited to those countries where ISIS has a significant presence. A number of attacks in the United States linked to ISIS have meant that there is a desire among Americans for the government to combat the threat. According to a 2014 survey, 60 percent of American citizens approved of U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Furthermore, over 80 percent of the American population in 2014 believed that ISIS presented at least an important threat to the vital interests of the United States.

Source of funds

Despite calls from then-candidate Donald Trump to remove the revenue streams of ISIS by bombing oil facilities in territories held by the group, oil revenues amounted to less than one tenth of the group’s revenue in 2014. Instead, the vast majority of ISIS's revenue was obtained through extortion and taxation in Iraq, alongside funds stolen from state-owned banks.

Opinion on ISIS in Muslim-majority countries

Obviously, disdain for the extremist group is widespread beyond the country the Islamic State see as the leader of a global movement to suppress Islam. Although the group has sought to wage an ideological war in the name of Islam, the organization's extremist stance has led to the majority of followers of Islam around the world being critical of the group and their chances of success. A survey of youth from seventeen Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, showed that more than three quarters of respondents believed ISIS would be unsuccessful in their attempts to establish an Islamic state.

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