Attention getter: Lately, ISIS has become an increasingly popular topic in the news. As air strikes and taped executions continue to occur, the entire world wants to know more about this terrorist group.
Thesis/Introduce the Subject: ISIS is a caliphate with extensive and sweeping goals, as they wish to attain power over all Muslims across the world.
Relevance to Audience: Their terrorist acts affect everyone, as their group has spread terror on both small and large levels as they have attempted to instill fear in everyone.
Preview Statement: In order to understand ISIS, it is beneficial to learn about their history, where they are located, and their goals.

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Transition Statement: The history of ISIS does not extend far back, but is connected with other radical terrorist groups.

1. Point #1: ISIS originally began as an al-Qaida group in Iraq: the Islamic State of Iraq, or ISI.
A. This operation was led by an Iraqi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had indirect associations with the conflict in the beginning.
B. Abu Muhammed al-Joulani, also an ISI member, formulated Jabhat al-Jabhat-al Nusra in 2011: the central jihadi group during Syrian War. This group was supported and funded by ISI and Baghdadi.
C. Baghdadi’s goals included gaining power over the growing Jabhat al-Nusra by augmenting to Syria to include ISI operations, which became ISIS in this last year.
D. Infighting resulted, however, as there were differences in strategy and ideologies. ISIS became too brutal and extreme for al-Qaida and also for Jabhat al-Nusra. This led to the general public of Zawahiri repudiating ISIS, and then asking them to leave Syria.
E. In Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, ISIS has gained control, as well as the eastern edge of Aleppo, Falluja, and Syria.

Transition Statement: As ISIS has continued to amass more power and territory, their brutal measures of gaining control have also gained notoriety.

2. Point #2: ISIS is known for its brutality and ruthlessness in its territories.
A. The group is most likely responsible for killing the founding member of the Salafi group, as well as the group’s leader in Aleppo. These two figures were closely connected with senior al-Qaida leaders.
B. Also most likely responsible for the murder of Jabhat al-Nusra’s leader, along with his wife, relatives, and children.
C. Common punishment methods include crucifying, beheading, and amputations
D. Despite their brutality, ISIS has demonstrated a degree of flexibility in gaining power over disaffected Sunnis against the Shia-led government. This group has presented itself as a worthy alternative to the Sunni political class, and all others who oppose the central government.

Transition Statement: ISIS are unlike the Iraqi troops, as they are very much well equipped, motivated, and ruthless.

3. Point #3: ISIS is very much prepared and battle hardened to continue expanding their influence and clout.
A. It runs the equivalent of a functioning state.
B. It is in charge of the schools, courts, and even the food.
C. The group hangs its black and white flag over every facility it now controls.
D. They have further bolstered their strength by recruiting several thousand foreigners from Syria, Europe, and America.
E. Estimated to have over 10,000 people under control.
F. Maintains its resources from large extortion networks, such as the Conoco gas field
G. Now that Mosul is under firm control, the group is a very strong place to lead the jihadi group
H. ISIS is presented as a better ideological alternative to al-Qaida in the Jihadi community.

Transition into Conclusion: ISIS originally began as an al-Quaida group, but has since greatly expanded through forceful tactics and ruthlessness.
Review of Thesis: ISIS is a caliphate with broad ranging goals, as their ultimate wish is to have power over all Muslims.
ISIS has become an increasingly large and transnational movement, with goals and objectives that continue to increase, as well.

  • Tran, Mark. “Who Are Isis? A Terror Group Too Extreme Even for Al-Qaida.” The Guardian, 1 June 2014. Web. 19 Oct. 2015. .