ISIS group has undertaken a number of atrocities in its short history

February 17, 2015 12:21 pm

The extremist Islamic State group, which now controls a third of both
and in its self-declared caliphate, has inspired militants
in Libya to behead Coptic Christians they held.
The Libyan
militants had earlier pledged its loyalty to the group, which grew out
of the remnants of al-Qaida’s former Iraqi branch under extremist leader
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The group has demanded the allegiance of
all the world’s Muslims and attracted foreigners with online videos
featuring atrocities like the mass shootings of prisoners and the
beheadings of Western hostages, films put together with Hollywood-style
special effects.

The Islamic State group has undertaken a number of atrocities in its
short history, including executing these two Japanese hostages Kenji
Goto Jogo, left, and Haruna Yukawa.

Though beaten back by airstrikes launched by a
US-led coalition, the Islamic State group remains a potent threat,
Western officials warn. Here’s a look at the group’s birth, its
atrocities and the world’s response to the extremists.

April 18, 2010 – US and Iraqi forces kill two top al-Qaida in
Iraq leaders, allowing al-Baghdadi to become the leader of a terror
group weakened by a concerted campaign aimed at ending a Sunni
insurgency in the country.
Oct. 31, 2010 – Al-Baghdadi’s al-Qaida
militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church in Baghdad
during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault
targeting Christians since the 2003 US-led invasion there. The militants
reportedly demand the release of Muslim women they claim were held by
Egypt’s Coptic Christian church.
Oct. 4, 2011 – The US puts a $10 million bounty on al-Baghdadi’s head over a series of attacks he orchestrated.
21, 2012 – In his first purported online message, al-Baghdadi promises
to regain lost ground in Iraq and calls on militants to “chase and
liquidate the judges, the investigators and the guards.” Within days,
his group begins a campaign of attacks, car bombings and other assaults
killing hundreds. He also mentions Syria, in the grips of a civil war
pitting largely Sunni rebels against embattled President Bashar Assad.
By this time, al-Baghdadi already has begun to send fighters there.
2013 – Al-Baghdadi announces his group has taken over the Nusra Front,
the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. Nusra denies the takeover, sparking
anger and infighting that continues to this day.
July 2013 – A military-style assault by al-Baghdadi’s fighters on two Baghdad-area prisons free more than 500 inmates.
2014 – Al-Baghdadi’s forces sweep into Ramadi and Fallujah in Iraq’s
Anbar province, which Iraqi security forces had abandoned weeks earlier.
That came after security forces killed demonstrators during a Sunni
protest, effectively turning the unrest into an uprising.
February 2014 – Al-Qaida breaks with al-Baghdadi’s group, now known as
the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Al-Baghdadi ignores al-Qaida
as his group now has control of wide regions of Syria, including the
city of Raqqa, which becomes the group’s de facto capital.
10 – Al-Baghdadi’s fighters take over Iraq’s second-largest city of
Mosul, followed by Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit and smaller
communities in the Sunni heartland as government forces melt away.
29 – The group declares the establishment of an Islamic state, or
caliphate, in territories it controls in Iraq and Syria and demands
allegiance from Muslims worldwide. It declares al-Baghdadi the leader of
the new caliphate. The militants rename themselves the Islamic State
July 5 – A man purporting to be al-Baghdadi makes his first public appearance, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Mosul.
8 – The U.S. begins targeting the Islamic State group with airstrikes,
citing the humanitarian plight of Iraq’s minorities, like the Yazidi.
19 – The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead
James Foley, a 40-year-old journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, in
response to the US-led airstrikes. This marks the first of many videos
showing militants behead Western captives.
Sept. 2 – The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff.
Sept. 13 – The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British aid worker David Haines.
Oct. 3 – The Islamic State group releases a video showing a jihadi behead British hostage Alan Henning.
8 – Iraqi officials say al-Baghdadi is wounded in an airstrike on an
Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Days later, an online audio message
purportedly from al-Baghdadi urges his followers to “explode the
volcanoes of jihad everywhere.”
Nov. 16 – An Islamic State group video shows extremists behead a dozen Syrian soldiers and U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig.
10 – An online video shows Taliban fighters in Pakistan pledge loyalty
to the Islamic State group and behead a man they identify as a soldier.
Similar pledges previously arose from Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere in the
Mideast. Afghan authorities later acknowledge a similar presence in
their country.
Jan. 24 – A message claims the Islamic State group
beheads Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, a 42-year-old adventurer, after
earlier demanding $200 million for him and captive Japanese journalist
Kenji Goto. Japanese and Jordanian officials attempt to negotiate a
prisoner swap to free him and captured Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu’ath
Jan. 26 – Kurdish fighters take control of the
Syrian border town of Kobani near Turkey after fighting the Islamic
State group for months. U.S.-led airstrikes helped turn the tide for the
Jan. 31 – The Islamic State group releases video saying it beheaded Goto.
3 – The Islamic State group releases a video of it burning al-Kaseasbeh
to death in a cage, sparking outrage in Jordan, which launches new
strikes targeting the militants.
Feb. 6 – The Islamic State group
claims a Jordanian airstrike kills American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller.
U.S. officials later confirm her death, but say it wasn’t caused by a
Jordanian airstrike.
Feb. 15 – Libyan militants who earlier
pledged their loyalty to the Islamic State group behead a group of
Coptic Christians from Egypt in an online video.
Feb. 16 – Egypt launches airstrikes in Libya in retaliation for the beheadings.

Skip to toolbar
shared on