Jihad!: Understanding the Threat of the Islamic State in America (Terror Jihad Reader Series Book 1)

By: Ilana Freedman

The dramatic rise of the Islamist State (IS) in 2014 spelled a game changer in the West’s fight against Islamic jihad. From its origins in Afghanistan and Iraq under the leadership of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, and its announcement of the new Islamic Caliphate under the self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, to its rapid proliferation throughout the world, IS has become the standard bearer for global jihad and the purest expression of Islam on earth today. Its motives spring from pure devotion to Allah and shariah, and its methods are primitive, brutal, and unforgiving.

Jihad! Understanding the Threat of the Islamic State in America provides an in-depth look inside the IS and reveals why it is a dangerous and imminent threat to the United States. During its short and infamous rise to power, IS has become a leader in the terrorist world, first operating covertly in the early years of the Syrian war, then capturing vast swaths of Iraq and Syria and announcing the establishment of the Caliphate. A feeble, collaborative effort by several Western nations did little to stop its advances. Even as IS lost nearly 40% of the territory to coalition air strikes on territories in Iraq and Syria that it had captured before 2016, the terrorist group intensified its expansion and international reach, perpetrating horrific acts of terror in twenty countries around the world, including France, Belgium, and the United States.

The savagery of the Islamic State is legendary. From the rape and murder of children and the sexual enslavement of thousands of captured women, the savage executions of gays, the murder of their own soldiers by drowning, and burning or burying them alive, IS will be remembered in history alongside Hitler, Pol Pot, and Ghengis Khan for its barbarism.

This book explores and explains the forces that drive the Islamic State to push its religious agenda at the expense of human life and the destruction of ancient communities in order to establish a global caliphate. In the first year following the announcement of the caliphate, IS was known to have murdered over 3,000 civilians, men, women and children in Syria alone. IS forced Christians in Syria and Iraq from their homes in communities that dated back over 1,000 years. Its ‘soldiers’ decimated the ancient Yazidi communities and sold little girls as young as nine into sexual slavery with IS fighters and wealthy old men. IS ravaged priceless, ancient ruins, and ruthlessly murdered anyone who tried to stand in its way.

Chapters in this book include the origins and recent history of the Islamic State, how it is funded, how it recruits jihadis in the West, what life is like under IS, the litany of IS’ crimes against humanity, how IS has infiltrated Europe and America, and the threat that IS poses to the United States today.

The lack of a coherent and comprehensive strategy by the Obama administration has left Americans highly vulnerable to attack by IS jihadis. The failure to understand IS’ ability to rapidly shift its own tactics, to decentralize in order to support intensified jihadi attacks abroad, has cost the West dearly. The coordinated attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and left hundreds wounded, and the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida that took 49 lives and wounded 53 others, all in the name of Allah and the Islamic State, is likely only the beginning of an Islamic State growing in power as it spreads its evil agenda around the world.

Understanding what drives the Islamic State is only the first step to combatting it. But it is an essential first step. Reading Jihad! Understanding the Threat of the Islamic State in America is a good place to start.


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