A new book on ISIS has just been published by William McCants, who is currently a fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institute.
Called “The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy, and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State”, the book uses a wide variety of sources, including numerous primary sources in Arabic to describe the meteoric rise of ISIS, which has only been around since 2014! His sources include “secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen”.
In a recent Podcast, Mr McCants talks about where ISIS came from, what developments inside Al Qaeda inadvertently helped to create organization, and how some of Assad’s own actions, such as emptying out Syria’s jails including numerous Jihadis at the beginning of the uprising in Syria helped Jihadi organizations. Apparently Assad did this in order to create a worst alternative to his regime, as a tool to convince the international community especially the West that he is the best alternative to all the others.
I will be putting Mr McCant’s book on my reading list. It sounds fascinating.
You can listen to the Podcast below. Other podcast guests include David Ignatius of The Washington Post and Ryan Evans who hosted the show.