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In December 2013, two suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of TV station Salaheddin and killed five journalists, after accusing the station of "distorting the image of Iraq's Sunni community". Reporters Without Borders reported that on 7 September 2014, ISIL seized and on 11 October publicly beheaded Raad al-Azzawi, a TV Salaheddin cameraman from the village of Samra, east of Tikrit.355 SONY VAIO PCG-6Q1L CPU Fan

As of October 2014, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, ISIL is holding nine journalists and has nine others under close observation in Mosul and Salahuddin province.354HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

During 2013 and part of 2014, an ISIL unit nicknamed the Beatles acquired and held 12 Western journalists hostage, along with aid workers and other foreign hostages, totalling 23 or 24 known hostages. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

A Polish journalist Marcin Suder was captured in July 2013 but escaped four months later.356 The unit executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and released beheading videos. Eight of the other journalists were released for ransom: Danish journalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, HP 519004-001 Laptop Keyboard

French journalists Didier François, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Hénin, and Pierre Torres, and Spanish journalists Marc Marginedas, Javier Espinosa, and Ricardo García Vilanova. HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

The unit continues to hold hostage British journalist John Cantlie and a female aid worker.357

Cyber-security group the Citizen Lab released a report finding a possible link between ISIL and a digital attack on the Syrian citizen media group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RSS). Supporters of the media group received an emailed link to an image of supposed airstrikes, HP Mini 110-3135dx Laptop Keyboard

but clicking on the link introduced malware to the user's computer that sends details of the user's IP address and system each time it restarts. That information has been enough to allow ISIL to locate RSS supporters. "The group has been targeted for kidnappings, house raids, and at least one alleged targeted killing. At the time of that writing, ISIL was allegedly holding several citizen journalists in Raqqa," according to the Citizen Lab report. DELL PK130801B00 Laptop Keyboard

On 8 January 2015, ISIL members in Libya claimed to have executed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari who disappeared in September 2014.359Also in January 2015, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto Jogo was captured after travelling to Raqqah and displayed on video with another Japanese citizen with a demand for $200 million ransom. DELL F484C Laptop Keyboard

An unknown number of Syrians and Iraqis, several Lebanese soldiers, at least ten Kurds, two American journalists, one American and two British aid workers, and three Libyans have been beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIL uses beheadings to intimidate local populations and has released a series of propaganda videos aimed at Western countries.360 French Macaron Pillow,Creative Cushion - Matty's

They also engage in public and mass executions, sometimes forcing prisoners to dig their own graves before shooting lines of prisoners and pushing them in.361362 ISIL was reported to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters who tried to leaveRaqqa.UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova has warned that ISIL is destroying Iraq's cultural heritage, in what she has called "cultural cleansing". "SONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery

We don't have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history", she said. Referring to the ancient cultures of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, she said, "This is a way to destroy identity. You deprive them of their culture, you deprive them of their history, their heritage, and that is why it goes hand in hand with genocide. SONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery

Along with the physical persecution they want to eliminate – to delete – the memory of these different cultures. ... we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable."364 Saad Eskander, head of Iraq's National Archives said, "For the first time you have cultural cleansing... For the Yazidis, religion is oral, nothing is written. By destroying their places of worship ... you are killing cultural memory. It is the same with the Christians – it really is a threat beyond belief."SONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery

To finance its activities, ISIL is stealing artefacts from Syria366 and Iraq and sending them to Europe to be sold. It is estimated that ISIL raises US$200 million a year from cultural looting. UNESCO has asked for United Nations Security Councilcontrols on the sale of antiquities, similar to those imposed after the 2003 Iraq War. SONY VAIO PCG-21212V battery

UNESCO is working with Interpol, national customs authorities, museums, and major auction houses in attempts to prevent looted items from being sold.365 ISIL occupied Mosul Museum, the second most important museum in Iraq, as it was about to reopen after years of rebuilding following the Iraq War, saying that the statues were against Islam and threatening to destroy the museum's contents.367368SONY VAIO PCG-21213V battery

ISIL considers worshipping at graves tantamount to idolatry, and seeks to purify the community of unbelievers. It has used bulldozers to crush buildings and archaeological sites.368 Bernard Haykel has described al-Baghdadi's creed as "a kind of untamed Wahhabism", saying, "For Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself".170 SONY VAIO PCG-21214V battery

The destruction by ISIL in July 2014 of the tomb and shrine of the prophet Yunus—Jonah in Christianity—the 13th-century mosque of Imam Yahya Abu al-Qassimin, the 14th-century shrine of prophet Jerjis—St George to Christians—and the attempted destruction of the Hadba minaret at the 12th-century Great Mosque of Al-Nuri have been described as "an unchecked outburst of extreme Wahhabism".369Sony VAIO PCG-31111M battery

"There were explosions that destroyed buildings dating back to the Assyrian era", said National Museum of Iraq director Qais Rashid, referring to the destruction of the shrine of Yunus. He cited another case where "Daesh (ISIL) gathered over 1,500 manuscripts from convents and other holy places and burnt all of them in the middle of the city square".370 Sony VAIO PCG-31311M battery

In March 2015, ISIL reportedly bulldozed the 13th-century BC Assyrian city of Nimrud, believing its sculptures to be idolatrous. UNESCO head Irina Bokova deemed this to be a war crime.371

There is also the fear that warfare waged on any side will harm cultural heritage. "The worst thing about wars is that they do not distinguish between the past and the future", SONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery

Mosul calligrapher and conservationist Abdallah Ismail told a local correspondent for the German-funded publication Niqash.org. He suggested that ISIL was "taking the pulse" of the local population to see how it would react to their appetite for destruction. Philippe Lalliot, France's ambassador to UNESCO gave this perspective: "When people die in their tens of thousands, must we be concerned about cultural cleansing? Sony VAIO PCG-41112L battery

Yes, definitely yes ... It's because culture is a powerful incentive for dialogue that the most extreme and the most fanatical groups strive to annihilate it."370 According to the London Charter and several Hague Conventions, the deliberate destruction of historical sites and places of worship, unless such destruction is a necessity during war, is a war crime. SONY VAIO PCG-6Q1L CPU Fan

According to media reports, ISIL has established a system for harvesting and selling human organs from fighters, captives, and hostages, including minority children in Mosul and other areas. ISIL is using imported teams of doctors who are not allowed to interact with local medical staff.

ISIL has received severe criticism from other Muslims, especially religious scholars and theologians. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

In late August 2014, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, condemned the Islamic State and al-Qaeda saying, "Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims".377 DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

In late September 2014, 126 Sunni imams and Islamic scholars—primarily Sufi378—from around the Muslim world signed an open letter to the Islamic State's leader al-Baghdadi, explicitly rejecting and refuting his group's interpretations of Islamic scriptures, the Qur'an and hadith, used by it to justify its actions.379380 "You have misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture and murder ... HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

this is a great wrong and an offence to Islam, to Muslims and to the entire world", the letter states.381 It rebukes the Islamic State for its killing of prisoners, describing the killings as "heinous war crimes" and its persecution of the Yazidis of Iraq as "abominable". Referring to the "self-described 'Islamic State'", HP Mini 110-3135dx Laptop Keyboard

the letter censures the group for carrying out killings and acts of brutality under the guise of jihad—holy struggle—saying that its "sacrifice" without legitimate cause, goals and intention "is not jihad at all, but rather, warmongering and criminality".381382 It also accuses the group of instigating fitna—sedition—by instituting slavery under its rule in contravention of theanti-slavery consensus of the Islamic scholarly community.381 DELL PK130801B00 Laptop Keyboard

Other scholars have described the group as not Sunnis, but Khawarij.

The group's declaration of a caliphate has been criticised and its legitimacy disputed by Middle Eastern governments, other jihadist groups,384 and Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Qatar-based TV broadcaster and theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawistated: "Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

The declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria", adding that the title of caliph can "only be given by the entire Muslim nation", not by a single group.Two days after the beheading of Hervé Gourdel, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the Grand Mosque of Paris to show solidarity against the beheading. HP Pavilion DV9233EU Laptop Keyboard

The protest was led by the leader of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Dalil Boubakeur, and was joined by thousands of other Muslims around the country under the slogan "Not in my name".386387 French president François Hollande said Gourdel's beheading was "cowardly" and "cruel", and confirmed that airstrikes would continue against ISIL in Iraq. DELL F484C Laptop Keyboard

Hollande also called for three days of national mourning, with flags flown at half-mast throughout the country and said that security would be increased throughout Paris.

The group has attracted widespread criticism internationally for its extremism, from governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. Compaq Presario CQ57 Laptop Keyboard

On 24 September 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: "As Muslim leaders around the world have said, groups like ISIL – or Da’ish – have nothing to do with Islam, and they certainly do not represent a state. They should more fittingly be called the 'Un-Islamic Non-State'."388 The group was described as a cult in a Huffington Post column by notable cult authority Steven Hassan. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

The declaration of a new caliphate in June 2014 and the name "Islamic State" have been criticised and ridiculed by Muslim scholars and rival Islamists inside and outside the territory it controls.61626364 In a speech in September 2014, President Obama said that ISIL is not "Islamic" on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents and that no government recognises the group as a state,68 DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

and many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom  and other countries generally call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish". DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.'"394 Retired general John Allen, the US envoy to co-ordinate the coalition, IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X301 2774 Keyboard

US military Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group, and Secretary of State John Kerry have all shifted toward the term DAESH by December 2014.

In late August 2014, a leading Islamic educational institution, Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah in Egypt, advised Muslims to stop calling the group "Islamic State" and instead refer to it as "Al-Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria" or "QSIS", SONY Vaio VGN-AW Laptop Keyboard

because of the militant group's "un-Islamic character".396397 When addressing the United Nations Security Council in September 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott summarised the widespread objections to the name "Islamic State" thus: "To use this term Islamic State is to dignify a death cult; a death cult that, in declaring itself a caliphate, has declared war on the world".398 The group is very sensitive about its name. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

"They will cut your tongue out even if you call them ISIS – you have to say 'Islamic State'", said a woman in ISIL-controlled Mosul.In mid-October 2014, representatives of the Islamic Society of Britain, the Association of British Muslims and the UK's Association of Muslim Lawyers proposed that "'Un-Islamic State' (UIS) could be an accurate and fair alternative name to describe this group and its agenda", further stating, Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

"We need to work together and make sure that these fanatics don't get the propaganda that they feed off."400401 The "Islamic State" is mocked on social media websites such as Twitter and YouTube, with the use of hashtags, mock recruiting ads, fake news articles and YouTube videos.402 One parody, by a Palestinian TV satire show, portrays ISIL as "buffoon-like hypocrites", and has had more than half a million views on YouTube. HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

In mid-February 2015, Graeme Wood, a lecturer in political science at Yale University said in the Atlantic, "Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” HP G72-227WM Laptop Keyboard

Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”34 Wood further states, "The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. COMPAQ Presario CQ61 Laptop Keyboard

But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam."Mehdi Hasan, a political journalist said in the New Statesman, "Whether Sunni or Shia, Salafi or Sufi, conservative or liberal, Muslims – and Muslim leaders – have almost unanimously condemned and denounced Isis not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic." HP Pavilion DV3000 Laptop Keyboard

404 The British Historian, Tom Holland, writing for the New Statesman said, "Islamic State, in its conceit that it has trampled down the weeds and briars of tradition and penetrated to the truth of God’s dictates, is recognisably Salafist. When Islamic State fighters smash the statues of pagan gods, they are following the example of the Prophet; when they proclaim themselves the shock troops of a would-be global empire, HP Pavilion DV9243EA Laptop Keyboard

they are following the example of the warriors of the original caliphate; when they execute enemy combatants, and impose discriminatory taxes on Christians, and take the women of defeated opponents as slaves, they are doing nothing that the first Muslims did not glory in. Such behaviour is certainly not synonymous with Islam; but if not Islamic, then it is hard to know what else it is."405FUJITSU Lifebook E8110 Laptop Keyboard

Hassan Hassan, an analyst at the Delma Institute, wrote in The Guardian that because the Islamic State "bases its teachings on religious texts that mainstream Muslim clerics do not want to deal with head on, new recruits leave the camp feeling that they have stumbled on the true message of Islam.Former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, David Miliband concluded the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused the creation of ISIL.407Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

By 2014, ISIL was increasingly being viewed as a militia rather than as a terrorist group.408 As major Iraqi cities fell to ISIL in June 2014, Jessica Lewis, a former US army intelligence officer at the Institute for the Study of War, described ISIL as "not a terrorism problem anymore", but rather "an army on the move in Iraq and Syria, and they are taking terrain. They have shadow governments in and around Baghdad, and they have an aspirational goal to govern. HP Pavilion DV8310CA Laptop Keyboard

I don't know whether they want to control Baghdad, or if they want to destroy the functions of the Iraqi state, but either way the outcome will be disastrous for Iraq." Lewis has called ISIL "an advanced military leadership". She said, "They have incredible command and control and they have a sophisticated reporting mechanism from the field that can relay tactics and directives up and down the line.  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

They are well-financed, and they have big sources of manpower, not just the foreign fighters, but also prisoner escapees."408

While officialswhich? fear that ISIL may either inspire attacks in the United States by sympathisers or by those returning after joining ISIL, US intelligence agencies find there is no immediate threat or specific plots. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sees an "imminent threat to every interest we have", but former top counterterrorism adviser Daniel Benjamin has derided such alarmist talk as a "farce" that panics the public.Some news commentators, such as international newspaper columnist Gwynne Dyer,410 and samples of American public opinion, such as surveys by NPR,have advocated a strong but measured response to ISIL's recent provocative acts.  TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Conspiracy theorists in the Arab world have advanced rumours that the US is secretly behind the existence and emboldening of ISIL, as part of an attempt to further destabilise the Middle East. After such rumours became widespread, the US embassy in Lebanon issued an official statement denying the allegations, calling them a complete fabrication.412  Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 Laptop Keyboard

Otherswhich? are convinced that ISIL leader al-Baghdadi is an Israeli Mossad agent and actor called Simon Elliot. The rumours claim that NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal this connection. Snowden's lawyer has called the story "a hoax."ISIL's expanding claims to territory have brought it into armed conflict with many governments, militias and other armed groups.  HP G61-400SP Laptop Keyboard

International rejection of ISIL as a terrorist entity and rejection of its claim to even exist have placed it in conflict with countries around the world.Turkey has been accused of supporting or colluding with ISIL, especially by Syrian Kurds. According to journalist Patrick Cockburn, there is "strong evidence for a degree of collaboration" between the Turkish intelligence services and ISIL, although the "exact nature of the relationship ... remains cloudy".4COMPAQ Presario CQ40-133TU Laptop Keyboard

93David L. Phillips of Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, who compiled a list of allegations and claims accusing Turkey of assisting ISIL, writes that these allegations "range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services".494HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

Several ISIL fighters and commanders have claimed Turkey supports ISIL.495496497 Within Turkey itself, ISIL is believed to have caused increasing political polarisation between secularists and Islamists.498

Turkey has been further criticised for allowing individuals from outside the region to enter its territory and join ISIL in Syria.499500 HP HDX18-1200 CTO Laptop Keyboard

With many Islamist fighters passing through Turkey to fight in Syria, Turkey has been accused of becoming a transit country for such fighters and has been labelled the "Gateway to Jihad".501 Turkish border patrol officers are reported to have deliberately overlooked those entering Syria upon the payment of a small bribe.501 A report by Sky News exposed documents showing that passports of foreign Islamists wanting to join ISIL by crossing into Syria had been stamped by the Turkish government.502 DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

An ISIL commander stated that "most of the fighters who joined us in the beginning of the war came via Turkey, and so did our equipment and supplies",497503 adding that ISIL fighters received treatment in Turkish hospitals.

Although Saudi Arabia's government rejected these claims,504 the Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia of funding ISIL.505 SONY Vaio PCG-K215S Laptop Keyboard

Some media outlets likeNBC, BBC, and The New York Times and the US-based think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy have written of individual Saudi donations to the group, and the Saudi state's decade long sponsorship of Salafism around the world, but have concluded that there is no evidence of direct Saudi state support for ISIL.  Lenovo 45N2141 laptop keyboard

During the Syrian Civil War, multiple parties in the conflict have accused the Syrian government of collusion with Isil to some degree. Several sources have claimed that Isil prisoners were strategically released from Syrian prisons at the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.511 The Syrian government has bought oil directly from ISIS,512HP Pavilion dv6-2133ee laptop keyboard

and in March 2015 a European Union report brought to light that the Syrian government and ISIL jointly run a HESCO gas plant in Tabqa, central Syria; the facility continues to supply government-held areas, and electricity continues to be supplied to ISIL-held areas from government-run power plants.513HP COMPAQ NX6320 laptop keyboard

United States Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the Syrian government has tactically avoided Isis forces in order to weaken moderate opposition such as the Free Syrian Army,514 as well as "even purposely ceding some territory to them ISIS in order to make them more of a problem so he can make the argument that he is somehow the protector against them".515 ASUS X85S laptop keyboard

A IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center database analysis confirmed that only 6% of Syrian government forces attacks were targeted at ISIL in Jan 1–Nov 21, 2014, while in the same period only 13% of all ISIS attacks targeted government forces.510 The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has stated that the Syrian government has operatives inside ISIS,516 as has the leadership ofAhrar ash-Sham.51ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

7 ISIS members captured by the FSA have claimed that they were directed to commit attacks by Syrian government operatives.

Rand Paul, the junior Senator from Kentucky, accused the US government of allying with ISIL in the Syrian Civil War by arming their allies and fighting their enemies in that country.519520   LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

Abu Yusaf, a commander of the ISIL, said in August 2014 that many of the Free Syrian Army members who had been trained by United States' and Turkish and Arab military officers were now actually joining ISIL.521 In September 2014, some US-backed Syrian rebels and ISIL signed a "non-aggression" agreement.A UN report estimated a total of 15,000 fighters from over 80 countries in ISIL's ranks as of November 2014.52 Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 laptop keyboard

4 US intelligence estimated an increase to around 20,000 foreign fighters in February 2015, including 3,400 from Western countries.Statistics gathered by nation indicate up to: 3,000 from Tunisia,526527 2,500 from Saudi Arabia,526527 1,700 from Russia,5281,500 from Jordan,527 1,500 from Morocco,527 1,200 from France,527 1,000 from Turkey,529 900 from Lebanon,527COMPAQ Presario CQ40-133TU laptop keyboard

650 from Germany,530 600 from the United Kingdom,526527 600 from Libya,527 500 from Uzbekistan,527 500 from Pakistan,527 440 from Belgium,527 360 from Turkmenistan,527 360 from Egypt,527 350 from Serbia,531 330 from Bosnia,527 300 from China,532 300 from Kosovo,533 300 from Sweden,534 250 from Australia,535 250 from Kazakhstan,527 Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

250 from the Netherlands,527 200 from Austria,536 200 from Algeria,527 190 from Tajikistan,527 180 from the United States,525 150 from Norway,537 150 from Denmark,527 140 from Albania,531 130 from Canada,538 120 from Israel/Palestine,527 110 from Yemen,527 100 from Sudan,527 100 from Kyrgyzstan,527 100 from Spain,539 80 from Italy,527 HP Mini 110-3519la laptop keyboard

70 from Somalia,527 70 from Kuwait,527 70 from Finland,527 50 from Ukraine,527 40 from Switzerland,527 30 from Ireland,527 and 18 from India.ISIL relies mostly on captured weapons. Major sources are Saddam Hussein's Iraqi stockpiles from the 2003–11 Iraq insurgency541 and weapons from government and opposition forces fighting in the Syrian Civil War and during the post-US withdrawal Iraqi insurgency. HP COMPAQ 486654-001 laptop keyboard

The captured weapons, including armour, guns, surface-to-air missiles, and even some aircraft, enabled rapid territorial growth and facilitated the capture of additional equipment.

The group has a long history of using truck and car bombs, suicide bombers, and IEDs, and has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. TOSHIBA Satellite L755-S5357 laptop keyboard

ISIL captured nuclear materials from Mosul University in July 2014, but is unlikely to be able to turn them into weapons.ISIL is known for its extensive and effective use of propaganda.545546 It uses a version of the Muslim Black Standard flag and developed an emblem which has clear symbolic meaning in the Muslim world.547SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

In November 2006, shortly after the group's rebranding as the "Islamic State of Iraq", the group established the al-Furqan Institute for Media Production, which produces CDs, DVDs, posters, pamphlets, and web-related propaganda products.548 ISIL's main media outlet is the I'tisaam Media Foundation,549 which was formed in March 2013 and distributes through the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF).550 DELL E141395 laptop keyboard

When ISIL announced it's expansion to other countries in November 2014 it established media departments for the new branches, and it's media apparatus ensured that the new branches follow the same models it uses in Iraq and Syria.In 2014, ISIL established the al-Hayat Media Centre, which targets a Western audience and produces material in English, German, Russian and French.5HP 518965-001 laptop keyboard

Also in 2014, ISIL launched the Ajnad Media Foundation, which releases jihadist audio chants.554 In December 2014, FBI Director James Comey stated that ISIL's "propaganda is unusually slick. They are broadcasting... in something like 23 languages".From July 2014, al-Hayat began publishing a digital magazine called Dabiq, in a number of different languages including English. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

According to the magazine, its name is taken from the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, which is mentioned in a hadith aboutArmageddon.ISIL's use of social media has been described by one expert as "probably more sophisticated than that of most US companies".545557 It regularly takes advantage of social media, particularly Twitter, to distribute its message by organising hashtag campaigns, encouraging Tweets on popular hashtags, LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 laptop keyboard

and utilising software applications that enable ISIL propaganda to be distributed automatically via its supporters' accounts.558559 Another comment is that "ISIS puts more emphasis on social media than other jihadi groups... They have a very coordinated social media presence."560 In August 2014, Twitter administrators shut down a number of accounts associated with ISIL. DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard

ISIL recreated and publicised new accounts the next day, which were also shut down by Twitter administrators.561 The group has attempted to branch out into alternative social media sites, such as Quitter, Friendica and Diaspora; Quitter and Friendica, however, almost immediately worked to remove ISIL's presence from their sites.562HP Mini 1151NR laptop keyboard

In a switch from its former practices, ISIL's media arm imposed a social media blackout on 27 September 2014, fearing that tweets and posts would give away military positions.563 ISIL has also attempted to present a more "rational argument" in its series of "press release/discussions" performed by hostage/captive John Cantlie and posted on YouTube.  SONY KFRMBA220A laptop keyboard

In one "Cantlie presentation", various current and former US officials were quoted, such as US PresidentBarack Obama and former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer.

In 2014, the RAND Corporation carried out a study of 200 documents — personal letters, expense reports and membership rosters — which had been captured fromIslamic State of Iraq (al-Qaeda in Iraq).565 HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

It found that from 2005 until 2010, outside donations amounted to only 5% of the group's operating budgets, with the rest being raised within Iraq.565 In the time period studied, cells were required to send up to 20% of the income generated from kidnapping, extortion rackets and other activities to the next level of the group's leadership. Higher-ranking commanders would then redistribute the funds to provincial or local cells that were in difficulties or needed money to conduct attacks.56Toshiba Satellite L550-20W CPU Fan

5 The records show that the Islamic State of Iraq was dependent on members from Mosul for cash, which the leadership used to provide additional funds to struggling militants in Diyala, Salahuddin and Baghdad.565

In mid-2014, Iraqi intelligence obtained information from an ISIL operative which revealed that the organisation had assets worth US$2 billion,566 making it the richest jihadist group in the world.567 SONY Vaio VPC-EB3E1R/BQ CPU Fan

About three-quarters of this sum is said to be represented by assets seized after the group captured Mosul in June 2014; this includes possibly up to US$429 million looted from Mosul's central bank, along with additional millions and a large quantity of gold bullion stolen from a number of other banks in Mosul.568569 However, doubt was later cast on whether ISIL was able to retrieve anywhere near that sum from the central bank,570 and even on whether the bank robberies had actually occurred.571Dell Precision M4500 CPU Fan

Exporting oil from oilfields captured by ISIL brings in tens of millions of dollars.179572 One US Treasury official has estimated that ISIL earns US$1 million a day from the export of oil. Much of the oil is sold illegally in Turkey.573 Dubai-based energy analysts have put the combined oil revenue from ISIL's Iraqi-Syrian production as high as US$3 million per day.574 ISIL also extracts wealth through taxation and extortion.573HP G71-340US CPU Fan

Today, the majority of the group's funding comes from the production and sale of energy. It controls around 300 oil wells in Iraq alone. At its peak, it operated 350 oil wells in Iraq, but lost 45 to foreign airstrikes. It has captured 60% of Syria's total production capacity. About one fifth of its total capacity is in operation. ISIL earned US$2.5 million a day by selling 50,000–60,000 barrels of oil daily.573575Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7016 CPU Fan

Foreign sales rely on a long-standing black market to export via Turkey. Many of the smugglers and corrupt Turkish border guards who helped Saddam Hussein to evade sanctions are helping ISIL to export oil and import cash.575576577 Energy sales include selling electric power from captured power plants in northern Syria; some of this electricity is reportedly sold back to the Syrian government.578HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

Sales of artifacts may be the second largest source of funding for ISIL, according to an article in Newsweek. More than a third of Iraq's important sites are under ISIL's control. It looted the 9th century BC grand palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II at Kalhu. Tablets, manuscripts and cuneiforms were sold, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  HP Envy 17-3000er CPU Fan

Stolen artefacts are smuggled into Turkey and Jordan. Abdulamir al-Hamdani, an archaeologist from SUNY Stony Brook, has said that ISIL is "looting... the very roots of humanity, artifacts from the oldest civilizations in the world".The group routinely practices extortion, by demanding money from truck drivers and threatening to blow up businesses, for example.  HP Envy 17 Series CPU Fan

Robbing banks and gold shops has been another source of income.247 The Iraq government indirectly finances ISIS, as they continue to pay the salaries of the thousands of government employees who continue to work in areas controlled by ISIS, which then confiscates as much as half of those Iraqi government employees' pay.

ISIL is widely reported as receiving funding from private donors in the Gulf states,58HP 532614-001 CPU Fan

and the governments of Iraq and Iran have repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of financing and supporting the group. Ahead of the conference of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition held in Paris in September 2014, France's foreign minister acknowledged that a number of countries at the table had "very probably" financed ISIL's advances.582

Although Iran and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding the group,5HP Envy 17-3000er CPU Fan

there is reportedly no evidence that this is the case.123586587588 However, according to The Atlantic, ISIL may have been a major part of Saudi Arabian Bandar bin Sultan's covert-ops strategy in Syria.589

Unregistered charity organisations are used as fronts to pass funds to ISIL. As they use aliases on Facebook'sWhatsApp and Kik, the individuals and organisations are untraceable.  HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Donations transferred to fund ISIL's operations are disguised as "humanitarian charity". Saudi Arabia has imposed a blanket ban on unauthorised donations destined for Syria as the only means of stopping such funding.575

Since 2012, ISIL has produced annual reports giving numerical information on its operations, somewhat in the style of corporate reports, seemingly in a bid to encourage potential donors.545590HP 493001-001 CPU Fan

On 11 November 2014, ISIL announced its intent to mint its own gold, silver, and copper coins, based on the coinage used by the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century. Following the announcement, the group began buying up gold, silver, and copper in markets throughout northern and western Iraq, according to precious metal traders in the area. Toshiba BFB0605HA CPU Fan

Members of the group also reportedly began stripping the insulation off electrical power cables to obtain the copper wiring.591592 The announcement included designs of the proposed coins, which displayed imagery including a map of the world, a sword and shield, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a crescent moon. Economics experts, such as Professor Steven H. HP Pavilion dv5-1174ca CPU Fan

Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, were sceptical of the plans.592593 See also Modern gold dinar. Toshiba Satellite A110-101 CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv5-1174ca CPU Fan,HP 535442-001 CPU Fan

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