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Understanding the Islamic State—A Review Essay
Politicians and pundits alike appeared shocked when the Islamic State conquered vast swathes of Iraq in 2014, punctuating its prowess with highly publicized beheadings, systematized sexual slavery, mass killings of religious minorities, and other atrocities. Although the Islamic State changes its name regularly, the group is by no means new: its predecessor organization emerged after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and quickly assumed an important role in the overall insurgency. The apparentdoi:10.1162/isec_r_00235 fatcat:chpk3pvmfveyxfmv6aqoc4izta