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The Real Story Behind The Rise of ISIS


by Catherine Shakdam

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) has built an empire, functioning as both a company and a state: selling oil and trafficking precious art while building a formidable army. But how did it become the world’s wealthiest terrorist group?

The fight of a generation, terror has undoubtedly come to define how nations, people and of course religious communities relate to one another. The evil of our modern days, terror has been pinned on Islam; the devolution we were told of an ideology whose creed originates in the deserts of Arabia, as violent and as unforgiving as the history of its people.

From the moment the World Trade Center tumbled to the ground, media, politicians and officials have drummed out their pre-packaged reality, playing on fear, hatred and revenge to fuel the war narrative, pointing angry fingers at Muslims the world over so that “free folks” remain oblivious to the shackles their states slowly weaved around their neck and feet – one civil liberty at a time, one executive order at a time.

For well over a decade Western nations have followed their leaders in wars and in fear, in anger and in disillusion, forever blaming “those Muslim radicals” for seeking to destroy their freedom and democracy. However, as wars followed one another, as fronts opened up in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, terror still advanced, radicalism still claimed more men and more territories to its name.

In perfect synchronicity with terror’s progress, Washington and its allies have raised the bar, forever inflating their defense budget, ceaselessly commandeering more resources and more solutions in view of cracking this terror algorithm. And yet, the superpowers have proven seemingly powerless in the face of this scourge.

A decade into this war and terror has not receded; instead it has carved itself an empire at the heart of the Greater Levant, merging territories and communities under its banner. For all its technological prowess and its economic might, the West has failed to curb Islamic State. Instead, it watches from afar as terror militants organize themselves into a state, building an economy and military power to match their hegemonic ambitions.

However, are we really to believe that Western powers, those powers which proved so confident in their own strength that they could challenge Russia and threaten Iran with war over allegations that both stood a distant threat to Western order, now stand clueless before IS? And if Western powers are not looking to decimate the militants in their tracks (as Washington’s neocons warned they would do to Iran should it so much as blink the wrong way), how can we not assume that this terror was indeed engineered to serve a covert agenda?

Conspiracy theory? Well not really … US officials have already


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