Kalifatet er etableret!

Dokumentar om det nyligt oprettede kalifat. Deres fremgang er ikke så overraskende. Kalifatets øverste, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, vinder lokale tilhængere med bloddryppende islamiske citater “a message that clearly resonated among the crowd”.

Fra Washington Post

It’s “worse than al-Qaeda,” Brett McGurk, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, told lawmakers last month. It “is no longer simply a terrorist organization. It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.”

Some accounts say it’s no longer seeking to do this — but has already done it.

In the Syrian town of Raqqah, called the Islamic State’s capital, the movement governs with an austere, barbaric but orderly hand. According to this telling New York Times piece, for which a reporter spent six days interviewing residents, crime is rare, traffic cops keep the streets moving and tax collectors are organized. Those accused of theft have also lost hands. It’s a glimpse of what may be coming to the rest of the captured territory, a nation-sized swath of terrain spilling across borders.

But it’s not just the land itself. It’s what the land holds that suggests the true extent of the Islamic State’s power. It “now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations,” wrote defense expert Janine Davidson of the Council of Foreign Relations. She added: “Should [the Islamic State] continue this pattern of consolidation and expansion, this terrorist ‘army’ will eventually be able to exert a destabilizing influence far beyond the immediate area.”

The group has a keen eye for resources and cash, which some suspect is the the fulcrum of its continued growth. In addition to stealing and selling ancient relics worth tens of millions and looting hundreds of millions from banks, it has also recently captured a Syrian gas field east of Homs along with other oilfields, killing 23, Reuters reported.

Experts estimate the group is pocketing as much as $3 million per day in oil revenue by selling off resources on black markets in the greater Levant.

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