Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants proclaimed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (bottom right) the leader of the world’s Muslims under his new name Caliph Ibrahim. Drawing up an ambitious map of the regions they hope to control within five years (main image) – including Spain and the Balkan states as well as the Middle East and North Africa – ISIS demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world, prompting some, including a group allegedly in the Netherlands (top right), to use social media to show their support.
. Sunni militants have announced formation of Islamic state in Middle East
. They demand Muslims around the world swear allegiance to the caliphate
. Claim leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi now has authority over all Muslims
. Group has also now changed its name from ISIS to just the Islamic State
. Announcement described as ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11’.
By John Hall
ISIS has formally declared the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the vast stretches of the Middle East that have fallen under its control, and has outlined a vision to expand into Europe.
The announcement was described as the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11’.
Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants – whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda – demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world.
With brutal efficiency, ISIS has carved out a large chunk of territory that has effectively erased the border between Iraq and Syria and laid the foundations of its proto-state.
The announcement, made on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, could trigger a wave of infighting among Sunni extremist factions that have until now formed a loose rebel alliance.
A spokesman for ISIS declared the group’s chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the leader of the new caliphate, or Islamic state, and called on Muslims everywhere, not just those in areas under the organization’s control, to swear loyalty to him…