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How the Islamic State Militant Group Was Founded, Gained Influence

Known as Islamic State, the group of hard-line jihadists that once dominated large areas of Iraq and Syria is infamous for its sheer brutality, including beheadings, drownings, burning people alive, rape, and the promotion of slavery. Initially a largely Sunni Arab group, IS grew out of the terrorist organization known as al-Qaida in Iraq (AQ-I) led by Jordanian Abu Musab al Zarqawi in 2004. AQ-I fed off the deep sense of Sunni disenfranchisement after the United States decided to disband...

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