ISIS Book Summary - ISIS Book explained in key points
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ISIS summary

Michael Weiss Hassan Hassan

Inside the Army of Terror

4.1 (47 ratings)
27 mins

Brief summary

"ISIS" by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan is an informative book that explores the history, ideology, and strategies of the Islamic State. The authors present a clear, concise account of the group's rise to power and ongoing threats to global security.

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    ISIS recruits fanatics to feed its growing militant organization, inspired by terror and jihad.

    You can’t turn on the nightly news without hearing about the latest atrocities committed by a group called ISIS. But who exactly is ISIS?

    ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, is a militant group currently active in the Middle East. In a short period of time, the group’s soldiers have conquered a territory nearly the size of Great Britain through ruthless tactics or outright terror.

    As of 2014, the group renamed itself the Islamic State following the announcement that the land under its occupation was a caliphate.

    Much of the group’s power has come from its intelligence-gathering prowess and infiltration of competing groups. ISIS’s top brass consists of many former advisors from the toppled Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.

    The group has essentially branded itself as a defender of Sunni minorities in the Middle East, whom it feels are in need of protection from enemies such as the United States and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

    For many, ISIS is considered one of most rigorous, well-disciplined and organized militant groups in the world. But how did it establish this reputation?  

    Although ISIS has only a few thousand members spread across Syria and Iraq, it attracts fanatical and committed people who are more than willing to fight for its ideals.

    Abdelaziz is one such fighter. Born in Bahrain in 1995, he became interested in jihadism in late 2011. After joining several moderate rebel groups in the fight against Syria’s Bashar Assad, Abdelaziz became disillusioned, feeling that these groups weren’t sufficiently rigorous.

    Eventually, he found his way to ISIS.

    Abdelaziz quickly moved up the ranks, proving himself a dedicated fighter and participating in filmed beheadings, and even earning the right to own a sex slave.

    He soon found the martyrdom he sought when he was shot and killed in 2014 by a Syrian sniper.

    With ISIS, a man like Abdelaziz is the rule, not the exception. ISIS only recruits fanatics and as a result, is a real, constant threat to the resident populations in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding area.

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    What is ISIS about?

    ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (2015) charts the rapid rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East, from its early beginnings to its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Grippingly told, the story of ISIS’s domination over al-Qaeda in Iraq and its slow but ruthless push in Syria also shines light on the failings of the West in dealing with this fanatical yet disciplined jihadi group.

    ISIS Review

    ISIS (2015) by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan provides a comprehensive analysis of the rise and fall of the Islamic State. Here's what sets this book apart:

    • In-depth research and expert insights offer a nuanced understanding of the complex factors that contributed to the emergence of ISIS.
    • The authors' clear and concise explanation of the group's ideology, tactics, and recruitment strategies makes the subject matter accessible and compelling.
    • Through real-life stories and firsthand accounts, the book humanizes the victims and survivors of ISIS, shedding light on the human cost of this global phenomenon.

    Best quote from ISIS

    Al-Zarqawis trademark earned him the name, Sheikh of the Slaughterers.

    —Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan
    example alt text

    Who should read ISIS?

    • People interested in international politics and the rise of terrorism
    • Historians or students of Middle Eastern studies
    • Anyone with an interest in examples of religious extremism

    About the Author

    Hassan Hassan is an Middle East analyst with a focus on Syria, Iraq and the Gulf States and a columnist for The National in Abu Dhabi. His work has also appeared in the Guardian, Foreign Policy and the New York Times.

    Columnist Michael Weiss has written for publications such as Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast and NOW Lebanon. He is a fellow at the Institute of Modern Russia and serves as editor-in-chief of that organization's online news journal, The Interpreter.

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    ISIS FAQs 

    What is the main message of ISIS?

    Understanding the complex origins, ideology, and strategies of ISIS.

    How long does it take to read ISIS?

    Reading time for ISIS varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is ISIS a good book? Is it worth reading?

    ISIS is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the rise of ISIS and the challenges it poses.

    Who is the author of ISIS?

    Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan

    What to read after ISIS?

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