By Giouli Lykoura, Junior Analyst KEDISA
The Islamic State is an unrecognized jihadist state and militant group in the region of Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). Syria and Lebanon were called Levant after World War I when the French controlled these territories. ISIS started from a Jordanian militant Islamist, Abu Musab al – Zarqawi, who first founded al – Tawhid wal – Jihad and in 2004 pledged allegiance to al – Qaeda, a militant Sunni Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden. Zarqawi’s group adopted the name al – Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). During the 2000s, and especially after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 at the United States, Zarqawi’s group started a series of attacks and violations towards the Iraqi people, creating a divide between Sunni and Shia.