The Unanticipated Threat of ISIS: Rise, Growth, and Stability


Originally published in the Towson University Journal of International Affairs
Author: Wes Cooper

The terrorism threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was unanticipated by many. However, examination of the history and social conditions in Syria and Iraq show that the expansion of ISIS, or another organization similar to ISIS, was nearly inevitable. This paper provides an overview of ISIS’ rise by examining how the organization was able to initially gain support. This paper will also explain the growth and durability of ISIS by examining how the organization is able to continue to support itself. Throughout the paper, I argue that the rise, growth, and durability of ISIS are largely due to political disenfranchisement and financial stability.

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