The Evolution of ISIS : From Al-Qaeda Affiliate to the Caliphate
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) recent decision to create and declare an Islamic caliphate is fraught with uncertainty. A brilliant move? Or a major blunder? Evolving from an offshoot of Al-Qaeda to an entity heavily embroiled in the Syrian Civil War, ISIS succeeded in building a so-called Islamic mini-state, vis-a-vis fighting the Syrian government and other jihadist groups. From its origins in its splinter from Al-Qaeda to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s decision to re-immerse the organization into the Iraqi turmoil by taking advantage of Sunni disgruntlement with the Shia-dominated government of Nuri al-Maliki; the conflict in Syria and Iraq has implications for the rest of the world. Why? Simply because there is a large number of foreign fighters; many of whom come from Southeast Asia. What dangers would these foreign fighters from Southeast Asia pose to the region should they return?