ISIS: A new threat in the Middle East

John Fey

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As U.S. military operations increase in Syria and other parts of the Middle East in response to the Islamic State’s growing sphere of influence many students are left wondering how to handle the crisis.

The Islamic State (IS) is also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The terrorist group has recently emerged as the greatest threat to national security, according to Washington D.C.

The terrorist organization has committed murder, rape, and torture in every part of the Middle East it has arrived in. Every area under the control of the Islamic State is placed under Sharia law.

The group has taken over a large majority of Iraq by force, financing its operations with revenue from captured oil fields in Syria.

The IS has been seen as so ruthless reports say that even al-Qaeda has disassociated itself from them.

Raqqa, one of the cities’ most notably under the thumb of IS, is undercomplete control. Sharia law is in full effect, Is even so far as committing mass executions and crucifixions of Christians in the region and others who oppose their rule.

The IS has pronounced itself as a Caliphate, a Muslim empire that has sovereignty over all Muslims. The leader of the terrorist organization, Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi, now being referred to as Caliph Ibrahim.

Bucks students are torn over how to handle this threat to national security, desiring to see the brutal terrorist group stamped out but wary of another decade long war in the Middle East.

“I do believe that the United States needs to take action against ISIS and stop them before they gain any more military power,” said Alex Chernicoff, 21, a physical education major from Newtown.

“I don’t believe we should go into another war,” said Stephanie Lutkins, 21, an early childhood education major from Newtown.

The conflict in Syria had not been a widely known issue until IS captured and executed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

The infamous videos are of a British IS member, “Jihadi John”, sending “a message” to Obama and the United States.

John then proceeds to behead Foley and Sotloff with a small knife in the middle of a Syrian desert. His most recent victim is David Haines, a British aid worker.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Tim McCuen, 19, a criminal justice major from Newtown. “They are a bunch of thugs hiding behind a flag to commit these atrocities.”

“[Killing] James Foley was an attack on the U.S. It could be justifiable means to get involved,” McCuen continued.

More recently, a video has surfaced of French hostage Herve Gourdel being beheaded by members of Jund al-Khilafa, an Algerian terrorist organization with allegiances to Caliph Ibrahim and the IS.

The messages in each of the videos makes it clear that the beheadings were in retaliation for Obama’s involvement in attacking the IS and the coalition between the UK, France and the U.S.


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