Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS OverviewBlack Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick, explains how the Islamic State evolved from small terrorist organization into an army in control of a large stretch of land in Syria and Iraq. A nonfiction work drawing on author Joby Warrick's decades of reporting on Middle Eastern issues, the book describes the activities of slain terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant loosely connected to Osama bin Laden who carved out his own, uniquely brutal vision of Islamic terror in Iraq following the invasion to remove Saddam Hussein. Though Zarqawi would not live to see it, his followers would continue to exploit divisions in Iraqi society, as well as the civil war in neighboring Syria, swiftly moving to take territory in 2014 from Iraqi and Syrian populations devastated by conflict. There they impose a harsh vision of Islamic fundamentalism, while calling for an apocalyptic confrontation with non-believers.
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